Geneviève Favre Petroff: New Video “loukoum” / Vernissage 9.12.11 Luzern

Genevieve Favre Petroff- "loukoum"

9. Dezember 2011, 19 h: Vernissage in der Kunsthalle Luzern:

An der Ausstellungseröffnung “CONNECTIONS” wird Geneviève Favre (CH) ihre Performance “Lokum” präsentieren.
“Connections” marks the beginning of an exhibitions series with Swiss artists, who spent extended time abroad and enter into a dialogue with artists from the respective countries. All artists involved in the exhibition took part in exchange programmes organised by Pro Helvetia and show works that have been inspired by their residencies. The exhibition gives insight into a growing artistic network between Switzerland, South Africa and Egypt while placing the different works in distinctive geographical and social contexts. Thereby, country-specific views are being juxtaposed and deciphered – on one hand South Africa, still struggling with the consequences of the apartheid, on the other hand Egypt, where the rocky path to democracy after the revolutionary riots is just being set foot on.
Chantal Romani dealt intensively with the recent situation in Egypt in a number of travels. In her video installation “Transverse City” she presents various, connected video sequences, which reflect everyday life in Cairo in an endearing manner and thereby reducing the megapolis to a small format. The video loops show small, casual observations of the urban living space and have no intention of mirroring the depicted reality objectively. The beholders attention is drawn to details, movements and moments, while avoiding standardised insights and allowing space for the hidden and invisible. At the same time recordings before the revolution are mixed with current views of the city. Precisely the focus on the unspectacular makes this moving – in both senses of the word – images, which are located at different places on an abstract, painted city map, all the more interesting.
Marianne Halter’s photo series “Diamonds”, developed in South Africa, appears unspectacular at first sight, too: Depicted are black maids in residential district of the financially better off white community on their way home or to work – turning their back to the beholder. The portrayed women almost blend into the neat, deserted setting with blooming trees and whitewashed walls. The video installation “Endstreet” shows tree different stills of a street corner in Downtown Johannesburg. It immediately reminds the beholder of surveillance camera recordings. What happens beyond the eerie scenery, beyond our field of vision, in the flaring light is only suggested by a sound track. Voices, chanting and fragments of sermon texts result in a fascinating composition of coincidence from a foreign, urban place.
Donna Kukama’s video piece The Swing (after Fragonard) was filmed beneath a highly frequented freeway bridge. The artist, dressed in a white gown, is sitting on a swing and lets bank notes rain down on a gathered crowd of people – some of which are reaching diligent for the bills. The artist refers to the famous painting “The swing” by Fragonard (1766) – a work of art that has already been taken up by Yinka Shonibare in 2001 to confront the power relations between the First and Third World. Kukama’s focus, however, is a different one: The video was developed as part of the generously financed Spring Art Festival, which takes place in different parts of Johannesburg. The audience was driven around in organised bus transfers while the reality of the streets passed through was deliberately blanked out. The artist consciously stages her site-specific performance in a lively neighbourhood mainly inhabited by a poor, black population rather than in an art niche. This is to be understood as a critical statement about the blindness of the art scene to acknowledge the still existing discrimination of women in public space and the strong contrast between the races and classes in South Africa.
Simon Gush deals with political ideologies concerning South Africa. Main concerns of his are labour movements. In his video trilogy “Analogues” he draws parallels between religious and political beliefs: “Vacancy” evaluates the relationship between faith and deed, “Plainsong” describes the effects of a crisis of faith and “Distance” the artist imagines how a society without belief would function. The films refer to Ingmar Bergman’s “Trilogy of Believe”, in which alienation from faith is addressed. The films are presented in a setting that mimics a South African branch office of Mercedes Benz, which was the venue for a workers’ protest in 1990.
Amr El Kafrawy, artist and graphic designer at the well- known publishing house Sharouk in Cairo, travelled to Switzerland in search of Egyptian emigrants. He exhibits the draft of his publication, which contains portraits and interviews of Egyptians living in Switzerland. Although some of them have been living here for a long time, they still remain affected by the ongoing riots and uncertain future prospects that their home country is facing after the revolutionary uprising.The Lausanne based artist Geneviève Favre will present her performance “Lokum” at the opening. Her dance performance makes reference to traditional, Arabic music and combines it with elements associated with western pop and mainstream culture. In the course of the Arabic Spring and growing anti-Islamic tendencies the artist calls the contemporary eastern and western customs into question.
We cordially invite you! Beate Engel / Director Kunsthalle Luzern

Press-Report: PARIS MATCH:

Sa mère organisait des spectacles de chœurs mixtes et de théâtre populaire. Enfant déjà, ses parents lui ont aménagé son propre atelier de peinture et, adolescente, elle s’est confrontée au modelage et au dessin d’académie. Mais c’est par la performance – art éphémère qui rassemble aussi bien des éléments de théâtre que d’anthropologie ou de sociologie – que l’artiste vaudoise Geneviève Favre Petroff s’exprime depuis dix ans. … read more : Paris Match 3264 Favre Petroff

Voici un extrait vidéo de Loukoum pour mettre l’eau à la bouche de ceux qui n’ont pu venir à mes dernières représentations:

Avec mes meilleures salutations. Geneviève Favre Petroff