Erstellt am: 4. 11. 2010 - 18:17 Uhr
Living Across – Spaces of Migration heisst die Ausstellung, die heute ihre Pforten in der Akademie der bildenden Künste in Wien öffnet. Ihr Ausgangspunkt: MigrantInnen werden im Westen zusehends nur mehr als gefährliche Eindringlinge, wenn nicht gar als kriminelle Subjekte besprochen. Die Ausstellung interveniert in diesem äußerst engen dominanten Diskurs. Acht Künstlerinnen und Künstler mit Migrationshintergrund schildern eigene und fremde Erfahrungen und politische sowie ökonomische Kontexte von Flucht, Einwanderung und Transiträumen.
Es geht um die Sichtbarmachung wenig beleuchteter Seiten von Migration. Künstlerin Anna Jermolaewa rekonstruiert in einem Video ihre ersten Tage am Wiener Westbahnhof nach ihrer Flucht aus der Sowjetunion. Ein tschetschenischer Flüchtling filmt Kärnten aus seiner Perspektive. Der aus Spanien stammende Künstler Vicens Casassas hat sich im Auswanderungsland Senegal aufgehalten und dokumentiert die dortige öffentliche Auseinandersetzung über Auswanderer von Heldentum bis Egoismus. Die iranisch-französische Künstlerin Ghazel verfilmt ihre Performances mit AsylwerberInnen und mit "illegalen" MigrantInnen, den Clandestini, in Italien. Die Flüchtlinge artikulieren ihre Erinnerungen an zuhause, ihre imaginierte Zukunft und ihr Leben im Transitraum Flüchtlingslager als "Überleben im Warteraum vor dem echten Leben" Claus Pirschner hat mit Ghazel über ihre Flucht aus dem Iran und ihre Zusammenarbeit mit Flüchtlingen in Italien gesprochen:
What were findings that surprised you most? Concerning the peoples reflection on the situation and the political context?
Well you know, it was based on a workshop. And it was sort of an interaction between me and them. The way I started working with them was with drawings or with text. I tried to use humor and put a distance between their stories and the audience. To give you an example: One of the guys had a false leg and he thought that he would come in the performance and take it off. And I said "No, no, no,... that's just too hard for the viewers." I asked them: Charlie Chaplin and Victor Hugo, which one is stronger? Everybody agreed it was Charlie Chaplin. So I convinced them to use humor. The thing is that I myself had no papers for a while. A big part of my work is about this thing of being without papers, without documents. What I have in common with these people in the workshop is war. But of course my experience of war is not the same to the guy who lost his leg for example. But we have that in common and that is maybe why they cooperated with me. They trusted me.
When did you leave Teheran?
I left Iran in 1986, during the war. I was 19 and a half. The year before I left we felt the war physically in Teheran for the first time. There were bombings in Teheran, which in my family were quite fun. My brother and I enjoyed the bombings. We did a lot of conceptual stuff. We would record it and call it "Radio Saddam" and stuff like that. I come from a famliy where humor is very strong. But what happened was that after I left Iran and was in France to study, there were missile attacks on Teheran. And that was really bad. So my guilty conscience came up: Why did I leave my country, my parents, my brother during war? I started working on that when I entered Art School. I started working on that guilty conscience I had about war and about leaving my country during war. It took a long time to humor and to lighten stuff. At the beginning I was very heavy and I wanted to be another Joseph Beuys.
Is this lightness something you find in a lot of other people you work with? Because it is a helpful way to to cope with it "being illegal" over a longer period of time?
When I started doing this workshop with these people, my work was to convince them: Why are we going to use lightness and humor. I did that for example by showing my performance works. For example the guy with the false leg, it was very difficult to convince him. He just thought it was so strong to just take off his leg. But that way you take the viewer as a hostage. And I don't like that. You should do something that makes the viewer laugh and touches something deeper inside. So that is the work we did together. For each and every one, I took their stories and their drawings. For example this kurdish guy who talks about having a house on the moon. His first painting is the one we see in the film. He painted his village being bombed by the Americans. And he painted Saddam Hussein and George Bush drinking together. In the performance I didn't want to use that, but in the film I really wanted him to come and the paintings were fantastic. He started like that. And he himself started with humor. But his story itself is very very heavy. He lost all his family in those bombings. But he was happy to laugh about it. After the performance they are very happy and very proud.
Many people who have stayed in Austria for years are now deported. Have you followed the news on recent deportations and resulting discussions about immigration and integration in Austria?
It is just like in France. I am just very happy that there is a show such as this in Austria. I don't really think that they would have the courage to do such a thing in France. I am glad that despite all the things that are happening here, you still have a show like this in an important place. It is very important, and I like the publications, they are fantastic. I had a very hard time to show this work in the art scene. It is going to many festivals, documentary festivals and cinema festivals. But in the art scene, only Christian Kravagna has accepted and adopted it. Only he and one other curator in the south of France, these are the two people who wanted to show this work. Nobody else wanted to show this.
Why is that? What do you think?
I don't know. Because the art scene is very far away from reality maybe. They are in a little bubble. And when I see shows like this I am really happy to be a part of it. Sometimes artists or filmmakers are in advance. For example take Tony Gatlif, whos film "Liberté" came out in February 2010. It deals with the expulsion of romes during the occupation in France. And that is funny because they just did the real thing a few month later. The film was not very successful but in the arts you don't see that themes reflected at all. What is happening in France now is not in any way reflected there. There are a few artists who work on that but they don't get their work shown unfortunately. Because the art scene is not interested in that. It is interested in nice politically correct sweet stuff. Which is boring for me.