100308: Charim Galerie

Charim Galerie: Edgar Honetschläger: Bejing Holiday Polemic and fetish Edgar Honetschläger is extremely annoyed when he comments about the relationship between China and the West. How could it be that so many European and North American intellectuals and artists are prepared to collaborate with this - as he clearly puts it – dictatorship? And he does have a point: Chinese art has been unreflectively hyped in the last couple of years. In his current exhibit at the Charim Gallery Honetschläger focuses on the Japanese occupation of China. But to be honest - he had fallen in love: with a woman 66 years older than himself. Soong Mei-Ling (1997 – 2003), the wife of Chiang Kai-Shek, who was overthrown by Mao and who was a fervent promoter of China in the USA. Honetschläger had a replica made of Soong – in the form of a puppet. Analogous to William Wyler’s film “Roman Holiday, he takes the Soong-puppet on a motorcycle-ride around the city, he reads to her and dances with her; and says good-bye to her in a grotesquely tragic scene. In a final take, Soon Mei-Ling sits on the Tiananmen Square all by herself and is examined with amazement by passers-by. Honetschläger has a foible for fetish – not only his puppet is one: he encases a piece of her dress in a shrine, displays his own masquerade from the film – a blond wig, his Mao suit, a neckerchief. And of course the Soong-Mei-Ling puppet, whose eeriness reminds of Alma Mahler, currently exhibited at the Kokoschka-exhibit in the Belvedere. Chang Kai Shek and his wife Soong Mei-Ling took 800.000 artefacts with them to Taiwan when they fled from China – even today China considers this collection as part of its own national identity. Honetschlägers breakdown of this complex historic episode by reducing it to Soong Mei-Ling’s figure is unconventional. By leaving quite a few details out, the entire story is not less interesting, but more polemic. But one will search for the admonishing finger in vain. CharimGalerie 1010 Vienna, Dorotheergasse 12, until 15.03.08 www.charimgalerie.at

Charim Galerie
1010 Wien, Dorotheergasse 12
Tel: +43 1 512 09 15, Fax: +43 1 512 09 15 50
Email: info@charimgalerie.at
Öffnungszeiten: Di-Fr: 11-18h
Sa: 11-14h

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