03.09.11 – 18.11.11
Galerie IG BILDENDE KUNST- Wien, Austria.
Curated by Karin Pernegger and Dagmar Hoss
The provoking question of a mid-nineteenth century slave woman Ain’t I A Woman is not only the title of Anila Rubiku’s installation of a hundred embroidered handkerchiefs, but also stands for the biography of one hundred women—such asSimone de Beauvoire, Judy Chicago, Bertha von Suttner or Elfriede Jelinek—who have influenced our society, politics, arts and sciences up to the present day. Rubiku had the individual handkerchiefs embroidered by Albanian women with a request that they concern themselves with the relevant biography. The artist gave them the biographies to read in order to impact with the women’s subconscious and engender a state of self-reflection and inner translation. While exemplary models are used here to stimulated a self-image, elsewhere Rubiku “translates” word games into ready-made sculptures. She exaggerates associative meanings playfully by using a material estrangement—in Love Difference she shows a mobile clothes rack that has been cut down to knee level and supports (trouser) clothes hangers, each with a letter of the title. Gender roles here take on an ironic charge and the entire functionality of the object is turned upside down. Male dominance is measured by the length of the trousers and the role of the housewife—who hangs the trousers up—is made absurd in order to produce the slogan imperative: love the other. The irritation between subject, object and language also provides the starting point for the work Ad amo, in which gender frictions are suspended somewhere between the meaning of the Italian translation for “fish hook” and Ad amo around 50 hooks. The interpretation bound up in object and text in Rubiku’s work becomes a mirror of the techniques of cultural translation of a present which is characterised by gender and politics.