exchange", 14 International Fair "Art-Frankfurt",
Curator's Choice presents
ESCAPE: Motherland exchange
The project looks like a silvery-grey tent resembling fortune-tellers'
tents, which were at the Fairs everywhere in the past. A banner-slogan
that read "Motherland Exchange" was fixed above the entrance.
Six video monitors were placed along the perimeter of the tent instead
of windows. The public, walking around the monitors, watched non-stop
interviews with people of different age, sex, and nationality, who
were conversing about what Native Land for them actually was.
The interior of the tent looked absolutely different. The floor
was covered with a rough layer of loose earth, and a luminescent
neon flex was fixed on it making a spiral path. A solemn music was
could come in only one at a time, with their eyes blindfolded, after
getting instructions at the entrance and having paid a symbolic
amount of 1 Euro. As the tent symbolized our common Native Land
(Motherland) -the Vagina, inside the tent a naked woman (Female
artist Liza Morozova) met the visitor. She was accomplishing a psychotherapy
initiation-performance with visitors, and they were finding a new,
inner Motherland. The artist asked visitors to tell her their names,
took their hands and invited them for a journey. Slowly she led
them to the centre of the tent, where they "recovered their
eyesight". Then she gave them a handful of earth in a plastic
bag as a newfound Motherland. After that she led them to the exit.
The project "Motherland exchange" of the Escape group
draws our attention to the concept of Native Land. The Globalization
era, a totality of means of mass communication, transparency of
borders, disappearance of the idea of one particular place of residence
for a person, disappearance of national currencies, etc. bring fourth
the changes in self-identification of a human personality. Today
the Native Land concept has new features, which are different from
traditional, national, and geographic paradigms, but it is rather
turned inside a person. In the way our body serves as a "packaging"
of the inner Native Land, the newfound Land in a plastic bag can
be taken along anywhere, for now "My Native land is Me!"
Though the concept of Motherland is an eternal issue, today it is
of current interest due to the endless flow of refugees from Chechnya
and Kosovo, as well as to the political discussions about the deportation
of Germans from the territory of the former Czechoslovakia, laws
on emigrants and debates on refugees in Germany.
It is this actuality that was sensually and intelligently performed
in the new project of the ESCAPE group, and a crowd of visitors
in front of the tent was, among other factors, a good proof of this.
Sandra Frimmel "Art Journal" # 45, 2003.