Frankfurterstrasse 3, Rüsselsheim
9 march to 2 april
Curator Dr. Karin Mairitsch:
"TATORTE" is designed as a contribution to the thematic focus "Red Line against violence against women and girls". The exhibition leads to the starting points and hot spots of domestic violence. It aims to raise awareness of the horror and horror that women and girls have to endure every day. TATORTE wants to hurt. TATORTE wants to oppress, TATORTE wants to show. In this respect, it is understandable when Barbara Hennig Marques, Sam Khayari and Conny Kunert draw attention to the repressed with their artistic confrontations: worldwide, every fifth woman experiences domestic violence at some point in her life. Every three minutes a woman is raped in Germany, every third day a woman dies in Germany due to domestic violence. 363 women were victims of domestic violence in the Groß-Gerau area in 2020, and 126 in Rüsselsheim am Main, and the trend is rising. And the dark field is large. Eleven times as large. Because only a few women have the courage to file a complaint, to turn to the police or to counseling centers.
Against this background, the question of where crime scenes can be found and how they take effect is one that takes on historical as well as local, social as well as individual physical and psychological dimensions. What is done to women and girls is based on a traditional role attribution that very clearly assigns power and powerlessness relationships, and results in a life-long accompanying story of suffering, the drawing of which can be read emotionally and/or physically. The places of the actual events, where beating, killing, raping, blackmailing and threatening take place, are often places of the private. The places of suffering are the body and the psyche of the woman. The places of silence are those where third parties witness the events in some way, but do not intervene. The traction as the starting point of violence and the abuse of power that accompanies it is overwhelmingly male.
"TATORTE" are accordingly multifaceted and, in the artistic confrontation, are not to be understood merely as a localization of the crime directly committed. The selection of exhibits and their spatial staging takes up this complexity in an attempt to pin down the act of violence and its consequences, approaching it subtly as well as narratively and mediatingly.
The exhibition is curated by Dr. Karin Mairitsch, operations manager of the Eigenbetrieb Kultur123 Stadt Rüsselsheim, who stages freiraum f3 as an unadorned and worn-out place far removed from any high culture. Cold neon light, a worn carpeting, the torn wallpaper, a broken upholstered chair, conditionally cleaned shop windows pasted with the clues to the exhibition title imitating a barrier tape, barely illuminated exhibits. We find ourselves in a gloomy, intimate, almost "dirty" space that is "as raw as violence" (quote Mairitsch). For Mairitsch, such a message must be conveyed as unaffected and authentic as life itself.
The artists' artistic strategies are no less unsparing:
The Swiss artist Barbara Hennig Marques takes the official and unofficial police data of the city of Rüsselsheim as her starting point and turns the abstractly statistical, these numbers without compassion, into a visible and comprehensible event. Together with the artist and photographer Sam Khayari from Rüsselsheim, she shows a large-scale reference, realized as a photo wallpaper, to her performance "In Memoriam Pippa", which she performed in Rüsselsheim's city center on February 14 - the "One Billion Rising" day of action of a worldwide campaign against violence against women and girls. In the shop window along the passageway are two other views of the bride as she strides through the city. Khayari chooses a black-and-white, sharp and merciless aesthetic for the photographic reception, reminiscent of war photography, surrendering the event immobilized in the image to the outrageous dynamics of a vast imagination.
With this performance, Hennig Marques commemorated, on behalf of the suffering of all women, the Italian artist Pippa Bacca, who was raped and killed in 2008 while dressed as a bride on a peace march from Rome to Palestine. The bride's dress is on display as an artifact in the exhibition. On the front is the number "126" in red - the official number of victims of domestic violence in 2020 in Russelsheim am Main. On the back, in black, the number of unreported cases, which is eleven times higher. All around the word "violence". In addition to the allusion to Pippa, the artist also makes use of the symbolism of an intimate and long-lasting bond with the wedding dress. These heart-soaked bonds between people, according to the underlying message, are often the supposedly legitimizing framework for the subsequent exercise of power in the form of domestic violence. In addition, Hennig Marques marks the two-facedness of statistical data in the form of wall inscriptions, as we know them from graffiti. In handwritten red on a white wall, she publishes official police case figures. Right next to it, in illumination to it, on fiberboard and worn, half-torn wallpaper, in black the many times higher number of unreported cases as suspected truth, which takes place behind closed doors in private.
Finally, Hennig Marques shows two other works: on the one hand "FLAT WHITE", the sculpture made of red glittering high heels, pantyhose, wool and glitter, which places the red high heels, commonly regarded as a symbol of erotic fantasies, in the context of disconcertingly deformed leg replicas and then also suggests via the title that this would be a special preparation form of a cappuccino and thereby immediately makes one think of the perfidious import of colored women. Finally, the video "Pain", which oscillates in the play of words between "pain" and "Pain" (French for bread) and shows how a woman in sexualizing habitus takes hold of a loaf of bread and in the process also inflicts lacerations on her own hand.”