"Not Dora" Sculptural Intervention

25.3.-15.4. Kaiser-Josef Platz, 9500 Villach

“The title leaves open what the goal of Samyi‘s sculptural installation may be. In any case, the starting point is to set a monument to Dora Kircher, a pioneer of workers‘ and women‘s rights; it is place-specific, as it is situated vis-à-vis of the statue of Emperor Joseph II who is holding in his hand the 1781 Tolerance Patent, which allowed the previously discriminated minorities in the hereditary lands to freely practice their religion. The intended theme is a certain inequality and the Kaiser Joseph-Platz lends itself to talking about social degradation, if only by the means of the different pedestal heights given to the statues of a famous monarch and a rather unknown heroine of the working class. The work involves six paintings by Iranian artists (miniatures of discrimination in Iran) which are displayed inside the installation, along with the sculpture, the audience, the statue of Emperor Joseph, the building of the “Arbeiterkammer” and passers-by. For three weeks, these all co-exist and seek out dialogue to negotiate the discrimination, tolerance and representation of the Other. The artwork made of wood and cement is provocative. “Not Dora” reminds us to traditional fun fairs, where the rare, the new, the unknown, as well as the taboo were put on display through a peephole. The materials and media used are rough and delicate at the same time, like poetry that does not close its eyes to reality. The goal can have no name and no headline. Prejudice, hatred and violence are the dramaturgy of a development that can only be answered effectively with a new enlightenment. This must be individual and independent. No preconceived idea should limit them. This also applies to the outcome of this project.”
Alex Samyi

Alex Samyi is artist, curator and director of the Museum am Bach.
His focus is on art-based research on social models.