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Walter Steinacherk / Souvenirs

21 February 2008 > 02 March 2008

First: Why cockta? And second: why josip broz?

Growing up in social-demokratic country in the seventies, I experienced 30 years of transformation into todays kapitalistic austria, part of eu, host of g8 and busy deconstructing all remains of its socialism. What I personally experience is mostly an increase of speed in all parts of life: work, sozial life and even leisure. The result, again the very personal one, is pressure on all relationships, including family, friends, colleges and curators. Overall I can summon that I live under increasing economic pressure, and I doubt the benefit of it.

Thats where my fascination for this soft drink comes into place. Products created by an idea of opposition, or less powerfully said, substitution to icons of kapitalism are interesting intersections. They were made, acknowling the need for leisure and lust, still within the system created by ambivalent idealism. Thus a product like cockta could only be created in a place like yugoslawia, with its communist policy and dalmatian coast.

The dalmatian coast leads me to our second question, about the remaining fascination for the »international« father figure josip broz tito. In the beginning it was just a stumbeling across the icon, marking a specific tourist route, through the former yugoslav countries; Cafe tito/sarajevo, buttons sold on the streets of belgrad, zagreb and ljubljana … but when starting with this series of portraits the value of the item soon exceeded the souvenir. More and more I was fascinated by the father qualities that the whole body, josip broz tito, resembled. Following his documented path through the decades, the face and the body display a life of struggle between the great political blocks, between ideals and the leisure of lust, between belgrad politics and the mentioned dalmatian coast.

Summing it up, this 4 months of painting I spent with icons that resemble an illusion. The illusion that we could spend joyous lifes with the sweet sugar of solidarity, sweet sugar and solidarity.

More information:
Mag. Walter Steinacher
Sponsor is Droga – Kolinska!

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