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The Chess Game, 2022

mixed media installation

At the center of The Chess Game is the Austrian-born queen of France Marie Antoinette. She appears colorfully and lightly dressed, with a striking hat by her milliner and dressmaker, Rose Bertin, who is likewise represented as a character on the board. Marie Antoinette’s mother, Empress Maria Theresia, joins the ensemble next to her. Further figures include the artist Egon Schiele, shown with a mask protecting him against the Spanish flu; the Habsburg heir to the throne who was assassinated in Sarajevo, Franz Ferdinand, with mustache and hunting rifle; Ferdinand I, king of Lombardy-Venetia in the nineteenth century; Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism; Sigmund Freud; and other historical notables. Appearing in the back of the chessboard is Aribert Heim, a figure of key importance for Boghiguian. Heim — like most of the people depicted here, of Austrian origin — was the camp physician at the Mauthausen concentration camp and known among the prisoners as “Dr. Death”. After the war, he spent several years in Germany before fleeing to Egypt, where he lived undisturbed in a hotel in Cairo until his death. For her solo show in Bregenz, Boghiguian expanded the chess ensemble: nine figures now float above the chessboard, including Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Leo Tolstoi, Rudolf Steiner, Stefan Zweig, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Josephine Baker.

Anna Boghiguian, The Chess Game, 2022, installation view Kunsthaus Bregenz 2022, foto: Markus Tretter
Anna Boghiguian, The Chess Game, 2022, installation view KUB in Venice, Scuola di San Pasquale, 2022, foto: Miro Kuzmanovic
Anna Boghiguian, The Chess Game, 2022, installation view KUB in Venice, Scuola di San Pasquale, 2022, foto: Miro Kuzmanovic
Anna Boghiguian, The Chess Game, 2022, installation view KUB in Venice, Scuola di San Pasquale, 2022, foto: Miro Kuzmanovic
Anna Boghiguian, The Chess Game, 2022, installation view KUB in Venice, Scuola di San Pasquale, 2022, foto: Miro Kuzmanovic
Anna Boghiguian, The Chess Game, 2022, installation view KUB in Venice, Scuola di San Pasquale, 2022, foto: Miro Kuzmanovic
Anna Boghiguian, The Chess Game, 2022, installation view KUB in Venice, Scuola di San Pasquale, 2022, foto: Miro Kuzmanovic
Anna Boghiguian, Sigmund Freud, 2022, chess piece from The Chess Game, foto: Markus Tretter
Anna Boghiguian, Marie Antoinette, 2022, chess piece from The Chess Game, foto: Markus Tretter
Anna Boghiguian, Ludwig Wittgenstein, 2022, chess piece from The Chess Game, foto: Markus Tretter

Mixed media installation
Installation views: Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2022 and KUB in venice, Scuola di San Pasquale, 2022
Fotos: Markus Tretter and Miro Kuzmanovi
Text by Kunsthaus Bregenz 2022

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Anna Boghiguian

Anna Boghiguian was born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1946 and has Armenian roots. She studied political and social science at the American University of Cairo and holds a BFA in fine arts and music from the Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Since the early 1970s, her art has emerged from various movements around the globe, translating a nomadic experience and gaze into painting and installation, collages and books. As a traveling artist, she tells of how people and ideas, relationships and goods vary and evolve, sometimes bright and fluid, sometimes bound in inequality and oppression. Boghiguian's broad insight into literature and worlds of thought makes her art a profound source of contemplation. In 2015 Boghiguian received the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale. Her work has been featured in major solo exhibitions around the world, most recently at SMAK, Gent (2020), Tate St. Ives (2019), the New Museum (2018) and the Museum der Moderne, Salzburg (2018) and in numerous international group shows including the 22nd Sydney Biennale (2020), Castello di Rivoli, Torino (2019), the Museum of Modern Art, New York City (2017) and the dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel (2012).



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