Zitadelle – ZAK Zentrum für Aktuelle Kunst


Koloniale Fragmente (Colonial Fragments)

The search for aesthetic appeal and intellectual stimulation characterises Martin von Ostrowski’s distinct passion for collecting. At flea markets and online auctions, he finds not only curiosities, decorative objects, and kitsch, but also special historical treasures. His studio looks like a cabinet of curiosities and the banal, artistic, kitsch, and above all — in the words of Susan Sonntag — an appropriate portion of camp, which is often part of a queer (self)presentation strategy. In a new series of works a bundle of historical photographs, the painter and performance artist turns his attention to German colonial history. The photographs show typical scenes of a Eurocentric view of domination of subjugated local population groups from Africa and the Pacific region. Martin von Ostrowski’s interest in this visual material focuses on deciphering the colonial gaze and also places these images, which are defined by political, racist, and sexist aspects, in a relationship to (pop) cultural objects that served to transmit colonial ideas until well into the twentieth century.

Opening: 11.06.2021

Koloniale Fragmente (Colonial Fragments)
Martin von Ostrowski, Koloniale Fragmente (detail), 2020, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

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Zitadelle – ZAK Zentrum für Aktuelle Kunst