The solo-exhibition Another His-Story is inspired by travels to Denmark, Sweden, Germany, The Netherlands, Greece and Australia. During these travels Ivanka Annot visited 27 initiatives to research how to create, reshape or resist society. She visited self-organized refugee homes, DIY trash warriors, alternative art spaces, floating villagers, Queer activists and eco-villages amongst others. From the different approaches and visions of these initiatives she distilled mechanisms through which art can be a tool to stand up and shape society and used these to make the works for her exhibition. The works reflect on the constructs of society, systems such as nationalism and history, and how the individual and the collective can influence these with actions and narratives.
‘It’s not a coat’
Materials: bamboo wood, audio players, headphones
The audio tracks of ‘It’s not a coat’ are composed using excerpts of narratives of refugees, queers and solidarity workers recorded at initiatives of solidarity and collectivity visited during the artist’s 2016 research trip across Europe “Resisting, Reshaping and Recreating Society”. By reworking the stories in her own voice and multi-layering them in a distorted manner, Ivanka brings the stories as a multiform message that could have been anyones story, yours or mine. The reality of the lives of these stories demand their place in society. The title of the work challenges the idea that the mainstream white, heterosexual, cis-gendered and able-bodied perspective is a superior backdrop to all lives, to which we can all adapt.
Red Carpet – An aburd melanchlic conversation between two refugees seeking to enter Europe who just found out the border between Macedonia and Greece is now completely shut, trapping them in Greece.
They are just like you – A passionate claim by Stella who joined solidarity efforts in Athens to provide self-organized shelter for large groups of refugees
Pathologization – Dia’s speech fights against Trans* pathologization and “safe country of origin”
Materials: fridge magnets, fridge, cold beers
The fridge magnets of Sing-along are a cynical parody on nationalism, showing an accumulation of nationalistic symbols for the countries Sweden, Denmark, Greece, Australia, The Netherlands and Germany, the countries that were visited during the artist’s 2016 research trip “Resisting, Reshaping and Recreating Society”. The casual display of the accumulation of nationalism becomes eeri by it’s familiarity, enhanced by the visitor’s own experience of being raised with the sing songs of nationalism that often speak of exploitation or denyal of the Other.
After a year in which neo-nationalism spread throughout Europe and reached the highest seat of power in America, this work questions defending the identity of a nation state, and nationalism as political legitimacy for xenophobia.
Materials: Multiplex, paint, ink, paper, plastic soldiers, metal.
Another His-story is a board game that shuffles the elements that make op our popular history. It rips historical players and happenings out of the context of the white man’s history book, and permits them to be viewed from another perspective and in another time. This gives way to a different understanding now that the story is not constricted to the perspective of the victor. The players of the game get to choose ideals and a goal to strive for, playing to create their very own system of society using any elements they like, shaking up the belief that everything can only be as it is now and as it has been before.
Materials: NATO razor-wire, air, plastic
Originally used to describe Nazi-occupied mainland Europe during WOII, the term Fortress Europe now describes Europe’s closed borders politics and the walls, fences, barriers and border patrols erected at the borders of Greece-Turkey, Bulgaria – Turkey, Austria – Hungary, Hungary – Serbia, Croatia – Serbia, Hungary – Romania, Hungary – Croatia, Hungary – Slovenia, Slovenia – Croatia, Macedonia – Greece, Austria – Slovenia, Germany – Austria, France – United Kingdom, Norway – Russia and Serbia – Macedonia, consecutively between August 2011 and February 2016. At the time of two of these border closures Ivanka had joined solidarity initiatives for the refugees at the camps and saw the devastating effect on people’s situation and future perspectives. The process of hermetically closing Europe’s borders for refugees entering to seek asylum was completed by the EU-Turkey deal of March 2016 that erected invisible walls around all of Europe north of Greece, which the UN ruled illegal and a violation of international laws on human rights.
‘Lovely Pink’, 2017
Materials: Petrol, styrofoam, tint.
The materials used to create ‘Lovely Pink’ are a reflection of the engine of capitalist society: oil, mass consumption an unsustainable foodproduction. The mixture of petrol and styrofoam is known as the rebel’s napalm. Pink being the dominating color in meat production, the spread out sow belly with tits is a visceral representation of the beast of civilization, that consumes all and endlessly reproduces itself. Inspired by the use of this mixture as waterproof paint by ultimate trashrecycling anarchists, ‘Lovely Pink’ connects the addiction of a society to the resistance against that society- the freedom fighters creating alternatives that are DIY and for free. It gives way to imagine different societies that can be built from the rubble of capitalism.
Exhibition Jan 26th – February 9th 2017, Minerva Image in Context Lecotrate, Praediniussingel 59, Groningen The Netherlands
Photo 1, 3 and 5 credit Hylke Zikken