"after you, recent works"
One of the key images/objects that is repetitively used by Rahbar and which forms “the main” body of her work has been an object that has been around for the last 4,000 years. The flag, one of the oldest recognizable symbols of nationalism and belonging in her spirited hands, becomes a foundation for woven paintings, a base upon which to place the accumulated denotations that she rummages through remnants of the exodus where once refined textile and embroideries end up- the flea markets and remote accessory depositories. Her dramatic photographic work, Love arrived & how red, could be read, reasonably and by assumption, in the title’s reference to traditional societies’ horrific expectation of a virgin bride, but this would be a symbolic reading of such a rich, convoluted series of performed contacts between the two protagonists. This bewildering set of works, with its nationalist coding and symbolism, allows the audience to be captivated by the dominance of the genre of information which structures the restricted field of patriotism. Connecting modernity to militaristic agency and the violated, cracked, conflictive ambivalence between the genders, it mesmerises us with the duality of belonging that consistently works within the vectors that modulate between the banality of evil and the erasure of life.
Text: Shaheen Merali
Nives Widauer (born in Basle, currently living both in Vienna and Basle) has over her career developed her own poetic language when it comes to media, video and photography, which she utilises in her installation's performances, written works and objects. Among one of the points of origin of her sensitive picture language originates in Found Footages from different origins. These works are integral to her own audiovisual "cosmos" Widauer as she strives to de-contextualise the footage in order to find unification between dream and reality. A guiding theme of her work, the concept of the merging of dreams and reality is also juxtaposed with her interest in science as well as her fascination with the understanding of the cohesion of life's elements.
Her changes of perspective, moving from an interior to an exterior vantage point, as well as the deliberate shift from the "position of the author" are characteristics of her work. Since the early 90's, the transition of fine art, literature and theatre are significant to Nives Widauer concerning the developing of new projects and new works.
Text: Irene Müller