viennacontemporary 2016


22 – 25 September 2016
Marx Halle, Vienna
Curated by Verena Gamper
Represented by Kunsthalle Krems

Doplgenger “and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath”, 2016

Video and sound installation

With the reflection on the instrumentalization and politicization of media-promulgated images the Belgrade based artist duo Doplgenger focuses on media-political issues and the media construction of images of history. Isidora Ilić and Boško Prostran pursue a critical take on the visual regime in their work as they deconstruct film material and extract from the fragments new meanings that are only potentially inherent in the original stuff. Most of their sources are documentary recordings of political events or fictional, superficially nonpolitical material like TV series, which all have in common that they are pertinent to the history of former Yugoslavia. Doplgenger use various different metamorphic techniques in their media analysis to reveal the artificial nature of the film documentary and to lay open the grammar of the film image. The analysis of the devices of film dramaturgy brings out what is fictional in the allegedly documentary and vice versa, exposing the original intention as a media-encoded and frequently manipulative scenario. Their installation and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath is part of a larger body of work in which Doplgenger explore the complex and intricate relations of labor, war, and economy. Historic literary texts that deal with different labor contexts provide the inspiration and the titles for the works created so far. After using a passage from Émile Zola’s novel Germinal describing the labor conditions of 19th-century French miners, they now borrow the phrase “and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath” from John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (1939) for their current installation. The epic novel about the distress, exodus, exploitation, and social exclusion of a family of Midwest farmers during the Great Depression of the 1930s provides the point of reference of Doplgenger’s view of economically caused, historical and contemporary migration movements. They focus on, and question, the media representation of labor—from the phenomenon of the temporary economic migration of gastarbeiter in postwar 1960s Europe to the labor market debate around the polarization between economic and war refugees in the course of today’s massive migration into Europe. The departing train is the backbone motif of the video installation “and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath”, and with it the theme of movement. The moving image and the image of economic-driven mobility are reflective of one another.

Verena Gamper