JOSEPHINE MECKSEPER. IG-Metall und die k√ľnstlichen Paradiese des Politischen. 23.04.2004 – 05.06.2004 

Press Release
Exhibition Views

english / deutsch

Galerie Reinhard Hauff is pleased to announce IG-Metall und die künstlichen Paradiese des Politischen – the second solo exhibition by German-born Josephine Meckseper, who lives and works in New York. The exhibition contains new paintings, video, film, photos, collages and installations dealing with the esthetics of leftist ideologies and Utopian peace and love dreams. Whereas IG Metall is the title of a recent gouache on paper included in the show, the subtitle is taken from a chapter in Jean Baudrillard´s 1978 book L’Agonie du réel. Meckseper is deeply interested in political issues and current affairs, and particularly in the way counterculture becomes stereotyped. In her current work she looks at the similarity between the appearance and behaviour of political opposition activists in the hippie movements of the late 60’s and 70’s, and today in the current anti-war, anti- Bush and anti-globalisation movements. In a piece where Meckseper inserts original 60’s footage of a Flower Power „Free-Love Party“ into her own film of a recent New York anti-Iraq-war demonstration these similarities appear striking. There is a definite „Look“ to political opposition—regardless of the ideas behind them—and „Style“ helps sell the ideas and create identification with the group sharing those ideas. Meckseper patchworks with radical anti-fashion Urban Chic accessories such as German army-parkas and Birkenstock slippers, and paints and composes with worn denim and Palestininan headscarves (Spiesser Peace, The Angry Brigade and Birkenstock, all 2004). She juxtaposes underwear lace and Palestinian scarves in red/white and black/white patterned backgrounds with glamour girls and praying Muslim demonstrators. Another work on view is a handmade fabric rug constructed of psychedelic patterns, Palestinian scarves and worn denim, which can be read as both a prayer rug and a hippie-love rug. An installation of a shopping window with a display of useless merchandise point to the criticism of consumerism and capitalism which is central to left wing ideology.