Coats, dummies, approx. 160 cm height each,
oil and acrylics, electronics;
Engineering: Per Biorn
Entering the dark room, one encounters sculptural images of Greek statues, painted on ten overcoats displayed on tailor’s dummies. Touching a particular coat will activate an individual audio-message, «greeting» the viewer with comments addressing racism, homophobia and gender inequity, such as: «Take your dirty fucking white hands off me. I hate fucking white people, spreading your misery all over the goddamn world and telling us it’s good for us». The «low» greetings contrast with the beautifully rendered «high» Greek images, forcing the viewer into a difficult and uncomfortable situation. The paintings, on Salvation Army coats, are inspired by classical sculptures such as «Diadumenus», a Roman copy from Delos, after the original by Polyclitus, or a rear view of the «Aphrodite of Knidos» by Praxiteles. I am interested in art history. For me it is the only true history. Combining artifacts from our everyday life with art history images, I question what is true. These coats are modern sculptures from our day. I combine them with Greek classical images which for us are worn out. Worn-out coats have real personal history, so they are more real.
Irina Nakhova, 1995