31.3 — 3.6.2001
Luxembourg, les Luxembourgeois
artist(s): Sylvie Blocher, Sanja Ivekovic, Silvio Wolf
curator(s): Enrico Lunghi
The Casino Luxembourg takes part in the exhibition Luxembourg, les Luxembourgeois organised by the Musée d'Histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg, with three projects realised by Sylvie Blocher, Sanja Ivekovic and Silvio Wolf in different public places in the city of Luxembourg. The projects cast an outside look at the social, historical and cultural life of the people of Luxembourg.
Sylvie Blocher (France) has realised Men in Pink, a video film projected in the Centre Aldringen, a very busy public underground passage of the city centre. The video displays male homosexual choir singers performing two songs broadcast in loop: the Internationale (the singers are dressed in dark, banker-like suits) and Heigh Ho, the famous air sung by the seven dwarfs on their way back home from work in Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (this time the singers are wearing (pink) nylon stockings like those worn by bank robbers). The Internationale, the former official socialist and communist anthem, symbolises the fight of thousands of men and women for a better world; Heigh Ho with its almost military rhythm stands for an ideal and merry world in which work is seen as the only way to happiness. As an allusion to globalisation and the new capitalist economy of which Luxembourg is one of the strongholds, as well as to the "disneyfication" of everyday life, the performance is an ironical reminder of the hidden face of reality. The hurried passer-by or the curious visitor is inevitably confronted with the idyllic spirit of a world in which the real powers remain veiled.
When Sanja Ivekovic (Zagreb, 1949) participated in Manifesta 2, the second edition of the European Biennial of Contemporary art (Luxembourg, 1998), she showed a particular interest in the history and the situation of women in Luxembourg and Croatia. She felt especially interested in the personal story of some women she had met in a home for battered women and whom she eventually included in her project. For the exhibition Luxembourg, les Luxembourgeois, Sanja Ivekovic has realised a life-size copy of the Gëlle Fra [Woman in Gold], a monument dedicated to the victims of World War I and at the same time one of the country's strong symbols. Sanja Ivekovic's copy shows a pregnant woman; it should be seen as a complement to the original as it pays homage to all the women who, since the mists of times, and despite their strength and courage, have to bear the physical and mental sufferings of war.
Silvio Wolf's (Milan, 1952) project Gli angeli del tempo [The Angels of Time] evokes the passing of time, the (pretended) innocence of childhood, the themes of fate/destiny and power. Some forty photographs (enlarged to 2 x 1 m) showing the Grand Duke Jean as a child with his brothers and sisters at the beginning of the 1920s, are scattered about a terrace - now laid out as an Italian garden - of the ancient fortress. The terrace, dominated by the national flag, is situated halfway down between the upper city and the Pétrusse valley which it overhangs. To draw the walkers' attention - for whom, a priori, the photographs are not immediately visible -, sound tracks have been placed high up on the battlements and diffuse the laughters and cries of children playing. Puzzled, the passers-by will run their eyes over the ramparts and discover the photographs of children whose destiny has been very special.
The project of Sanja Ivekovic was realised with the help of société Prefalux and Schroeder & Associés SA, Luxembourg.
In Partnership with Musée d'Histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg and the city of Luxembourg.
Sanja Ivekovic, Lady Rosa of Luxembourg, 2001. © Christian Mosar.