Ydessa Hendeles. Death to Pigs
Ydessa Hendeles, From her wooden sleep…, 2013, Installationsansicht:The Milliner’s Daughter, 2017, The Power Plant, Toronto © Ydessa Hendeles, Courtesy die Künstlerin, Foto: Robert Keziere
Friday - Sunday: 11:00-19:00
Death to Pigs is the first institutional retrospective of Canadian artist Ydessa Hendeles in Europe. Hendeles interweaves personal experience with narrated and interpreted elements. In her complex room installations, she places art, historical artifacts, photography and audiovisual media in myriad interrelationships with one another. Her compositions can be read as provocative, psychologically charged meditations on human nature.
Spread across both halls of Kunsthalle Wien at its Museumsquartier location, the exhibition draws on several of the artist’s main areas of work from the past decade, showcasing them in the form of a multi-layered narrative. The central work, Death to Pigs, is a multi-part installation that discusses stigmatization and escalating violence on a metaphorical level. The title references the infamous Manson Family murders of the summer of 1969, when the killers tagged their crime scenes with the words “Death to Pigs.” From her wooden sleep… is the title of another spatial installation: an arrangement of roughly 150 life-size vintage, wooden, dolls.
The installations come across as dense, overlapping layers of precisely researched cultural-historical contents and autobiographical references. Recent works are also on show as well.
Hendeles’ œuvre is closely linked to her own biography as the daughter of Holocaust survivors. In a world marked by expulsion, uprooting, and trauma, her work is as much about historical events as recent, global developments.