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Yours, KOW

Anna Boghiguian

, Anna Boghiguian

Apr 29 – Jun 25, 2022

DeutschEnglish

Anna Boghiguian, who was born to Armenian parents in Cairo in 1946, is an artist unlike any other. She studied political science and sociology in Cairo, then art and music in Montreal. For the longest time, the art she started making in the early 1970 was cherished mostly by art-world insiders—then, beginning in 2011, she participated in a growing number of biennials, presented her work at documenta 15, had shows at major museums.

Anna Boghiguian, 1946 in Kairo als Kind armenischer Eltern geboren, ist eine Ausnahmekünstlerin. Sie studierte in Kairo Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften, später Kunst und Musik in Montreal. Ihr Werk beginnt in den frühen 1970er Jahren und gilt lange Zeit als Geheimtipp – seit 2011 mehren sich dann Teilnahmen an Biennalen, sie ist auf der documenta 13, es folgen wichtige Museumsausstellungen.

DeutschEnglish

On the thematic level, Anna Boghiguian’s work revolves around the worldwide wanderings that led her to her subjects; its formal mainstay are the artists’ books—she has now published over seventy of them—in which she records her peregrinations. Their spontaneous and widely associative idiom also informs work her in painting and installation art, as exemplified by the two sprawling installations on view at KOW.

Im Mittelpunkt ihrer Arbeit stehen inhaltlich die nomadischen Bewegungen der Künstlerin, die sie rund um den Globus und zu ihren Themen führen, und formal die Künstlerbücher, die bei diesen Bewegungen entstehen und von denen über 70 veröffentlicht wurden. Die spontane, weit assoziierende Sprache dieser Bücher prägt auch das malerische und installative Werk Anna Boghiguians. Die beiden raumgreifenden Installationen, die KOW zeigt, sind beispielhaft dafür.

The artist interweaves local manifestations and global flows of commodities, market, and capital, of humans, ideas, and regimes, of powers and counterpowers, threading unsuspected narrative interconnections between moments in time, places, and actors—some central, others peripheral—that resonate with each other across history. In so doing, she reads world affairs against the grain. It is a subjective perspective that picks up on details, that gathers and networks, but also isolates. Here are bodies and fates cast aside by the grand wheel of events that caught her eyes. Here are writings, some private, some from literary sources, that point ways through time and to today’s concerns. Here are materials such as tin or silk that spark clashes over resources, whose production and trade structure the human globe. Here are instants—individual constellations of figures and themes—frozen in vividly expressive lines, colors, forms, and gestures.

Anna Boghiguian presents her first exhibition at KOW, scheduled to open for the 2022 Gallery Weekend Berlin.

On display on the ground floor is the installation A Tin Drum That Has Forgotten Its Own Rhythm (2019). Its point of departure is the industrial history and culture of Cornwall in England’s far southwest. It is a history of decline. The last tin mine in Cornwall—which at one point was one of the world’s leading mining districts—was shuttered in 1998. The installation, created for Tate St Ives, features an ensemble of figures cut from steel sheets and galvanized with tin, nickel, and copper, a process used to make the cans in which the sardines caught off Cornwall’s coasts were sold. Glimpses of local tradition, of the practices of daily life and labor, appear in the figures, complemented by drawings. A drums sit motionless, recalling the rhythm of a vanished era.

The installation The Silk Road in the upstairs gallery was created in Japan (2021). It looks back on the history of the Silk Road, which connected Japan and Egypt as well and served not only commerce, but also the transmigration of spiritual ideas and cultural influences. In paintings, drawings, and a map, Boghiguian visualizes the dark side of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Japan’s growing prosperity, which was made possible in no small part by the hard and often invisible labor of the girls and women who toiled in the garment factories. The inventor of their looms, Toyoda Sakichi, founded a dynasty that later built the carmaker Toyota, now a global brand. Boghiguian weaves together these stories in which the fates of the individuals who pass through history are inseparably bound, for better and for worse, to their nation’s.

Im Mittelpunkt ihrer Arbeit stehen inhaltlich die nomadischen Bewegungen der Künstlerin, die sie rund um den Globus und zu ihren Themen führen, und formal die Künstlerbücher, die bei diesen Bewegungen entstehen und von denen über 70 veröffentlicht wurden. Die spontane, weit assoziierende Sprache dieser Bücher prägt auch das malerische und installative Werk Anna Boghiguians. Die beiden raumgreifenden Installationen, die KOW zeigt, sind beispielhaft dafür.

Die Künstlerin verwebt lokale Momente und globale Ströme von Waren, Märkten und Kapital, von Menschen, Ideen und Regimen, von Mächten und Gegenmächten. Sie legt dabei ungekannte narrative Fäden zwischen Zeiten, Orte und Akteure, die – mal zentral, mal peripher gelegen – sich historisch verbinden lassen. Und so liest sie das Weltgeschehen quer. Es ist eine subjektive Sicht, die aufgreift, sammelt und vernetzt, aber auch vereinzelt. Da sind Körper und Schicksale, die aus dem großen Rad der Ereignisse in die Wahrnehmung fallen. Da sind Schriften, mal privat, mal aus literarischen Quellen, die durch die Zeit ins Aktuelle führen. Da sind Materialien wie Zinn oder Seide, an denen sich die Kämpfe um Ressourcen entfachen, deren Produktion und Handel den menschlichen Erdball strukturieren. Da sind Augenblicke – einzelne Konstellationen von Figuren und Themen – eingefroren zu lebendigem Ausdruck in Strich, Farbe, Form und Geste.

Zum Gallery Weekend 2022 zeigt Anna Boghiguian ihre erste Ausstellung bei KOW.

Im Erdgeschoss ist die Installation A Tin Drum That Has Forgotten Its Own Rhythm zu sehen (2019). Sie geht aus von der industriellen Geschichte und Kultur Cornwalls im Südwesten Englands. Es ist eine Geschichte des Abstiegs. Einst war der Zinnbergbau in Cornwall einer der aktivsten der Welt – 1998 schloss die letzte Mine. In der für Tate St Ives entstandenen Installation stehen aus Stahlblech ausgeschnittene Figuren im Raum, die mit Zinn, Nickel und Kupfer galvanisiert sind. Ein Verfahren, mit dem die Konservendosen gefertigt wurden, in die man vor der Küste gefischte Sardinen verpackte. Traditionen der Arbeits- und Lebenswelt Cornwalls tauchen in den Figuren auf, die Zeichnungen ergänzen. Eine unbewegte Trommel erinnert an den Rhythmus einer verschwundenen Zeit.

Die Installation The Silk Road im Obergeschoss entstand in Japan (2021). Sie blickt zurück auf die Geschichte der Seidenstraße, die auch Japan und Ägypten miteinander verband, und die neben ihrer Funktion für den Handel ebenso geistige und kulturelle Ströme transportierte. In Gemälden, Zeichnungen und einer Karte erzählt Boghiguian von den Schattenseiten des wirtschaftlichen Aufschwungs im Japan des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts, der nicht zuletzt von der harten, oft unsichtbaren Arbeit der Mädchen und Frauen getragen wurde, die in den Textilfabriken an den Webstühlen saßen. Deren Erfinder Toyoda Sakichi begründete eine Dynastie, die später die Weltmarke des Autobauers Toyota aufbaute. Boghiguian verwebt diese Erzählungen, in denen das Schicksal Einzelner mit dem Schicksal einer Nation verbunden ist, mal zum Wohl und mal zum Weh der Menschen, die durch die Geschichte gehen.

Anna Boghiguian, The Silk Road, 2020–2021, 12 cut outs on Khadi Rag paper 400g, pencil, encaustic (bee wax and pigment), silk thread, wax, pigment, wood acrylic mirror plates, acrylic on foil, 24 drawings on paper (29.5 x 41.5 cm each), dimensions variable, exhibition view KOW 2022, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Silk Road, 2020–2021, 12 cut outs on Khadi Rag paper 400g, pencil, encaustic (bee wax and pigment), silk thread, wax, pigment, wood acrylic mirror plates, acrylic on foil, 24 drawings on paper (29.5 x 41.5 cm each), dimensions variable, exhibition view KOW 2022, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Silk Road, 2020–2021, 12 cut outs on Khadi Rag paper 400g, pencil, encaustic (bee wax and pigment), silk thread, wax, pigment, wood acrylic mirror plates, acrylic on foil, 24 drawings on paper (29.5 x 41.5 cm each), dimensions variable, exhibition view KOW 2022, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Silk Road, 2020–2021, 12 cut outs on Khadi Rag paper 400g, pencil, encaustic (bee wax and pigment), silk thread, wax, pigment, wood acrylic mirror plates, acrylic on foil, 24 drawings on paper (29.5 x 41.5 cm each), dimensions variable, exhibition view KOW 2022, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Silk Road, 2020–2021, 12 cut outs on Khadi Rag paper 400g, pencil, encaustic (bee wax and pigment), silk thread, wax, pigment, wood acrylic mirror plates, acrylic on foil, 24 drawings on paper (29.5 x 41.5 cm each), dimensions variable, exhibition view KOW 2022, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Silk Road, 2020–2021, 12 cut outs on Khadi Rag paper 400g, pencil, encaustic (bee wax and pigment), silk thread, wax, pigment, wood acrylic mirror plates, acrylic on foil, 24 drawings on paper (29.5 x 41.5 cm each), dimensions variable, exhibition view KOW 2022, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Silk Road, 2020–2021, 12 cut outs on Khadi Rag paper 400g, pencil, encaustic (bee wax and pigment), silk thread, wax, pigment, wood acrylic mirror plates, acrylic on foil, 24 drawings on paper (29.5 x 41.5 cm each), dimensions variable, exhibition view KOW 2022, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Silk Road, 2020–2021, 12 cut outs on Khadi Rag paper 400g, pencil, encaustic (bee wax and pigment), silk thread, wax, pigment, wood acrylic mirror plates, acrylic on foil, 24 drawings on paper (29.5 x 41.5 cm each), dimensions variable, exhibition view KOW 2022, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Silk Road, 2020–2021, 12 cut outs on Khadi Rag paper 400g, pencil, encaustic (bee wax and pigment), silk thread, wax, pigment, wood acrylic mirror plates, acrylic on foil, 24 drawings on paper (29.5 x 41.5 cm each), dimensions variable, exhibition view KOW 2022, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Silk Road, 2020–2021, 12 cut outs on Khadi Rag paper 400g, pencil, encaustic (bee wax and pigment), silk thread, wax, pigment, wood acrylic mirror plates, acrylic on foil, 24 drawings on paper (29.5 x 41.5 cm each), dimensions variable, exhibition view KOW 2022, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Silk Road, 2020–2021, 12 cut outs on Khadi Rag paper 400g, pencil, encaustic (bee wax and pigment), silk thread, wax, pigment, wood acrylic mirror plates, acrylic on foil, 24 drawings on paper (29.5 x 41.5 cm each), dimensions variable, exhibition view KOW 2022, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Silk Road, 2020–2021, 12 cut outs on Khadi Rag paper 400g, pencil, encaustic (bee wax and pigment), silk thread, wax, pigment, wood acrylic mirror plates, acrylic on foil, 24 drawings on paper (29.5 x 41.5 cm each), dimensions variable, exhibition view KOW 2022, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Silk Road, 2020–2021, 12 cut outs on Khadi Rag paper 400g, pencil, encaustic (bee wax and pigment), silk thread, wax, pigment, wood acrylic mirror plates, acrylic on foil, 24 drawings on paper (29.5 x 41.5 cm each), dimensions variable, exhibition view KOW 2022, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Silk Road, 2020–2021, 12 cut outs on Khadi Rag paper 400g, pencil, encaustic (bee wax and pigment), silk thread, wax, pigment, wood acrylic mirror plates, acrylic on foil, 24 drawings on paper (29.5 x 41.5 cm each), dimensions variable, exhibition view KOW 2022, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Silk Road, 2020–2021, 12 cut outs on Khadi Rag paper 400g, pencil, encaustic (bee wax and pigment), silk thread, wax, pigment, wood acrylic mirror plates, acrylic on foil, 24 drawings on paper (29.5 x 41.5 cm each), dimensions variable, exhibition view KOW 2022, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Silk Road, 2020–2021, 12 cut outs on Khadi Rag paper 400g, pencil, encaustic (bee wax and pigment), silk thread, wax, pigment, wood acrylic mirror plates, acrylic on foil, 24 drawings on paper (29.5 x 41.5 cm each), dimensions variable, exhibition view KOW 2022, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Silk Road, 2020–2021, 12 cut outs on Khadi Rag paper 400g, pencil, encaustic (bee wax and pigment), silk thread, wax, pigment, wood acrylic mirror plates, acrylic on foil, 24 drawings on paper (29.5 x 41.5 cm each), dimensions variable, exhibition view KOW 2022, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Silk Road, 2020–2021, 12 cut outs on Khadi Rag paper 400g, pencil, encaustic (bee wax and pigment), silk thread, wax, pigment, wood acrylic mirror plates, acrylic on foil, 24 drawings on paper (29.5 x 41.5 cm each), dimensions variable, exhibition view KOW 2022, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Silk Road, 2020–2021, 12 cut outs on Khadi Rag paper 400g, pencil, encaustic (bee wax and pigment), silk thread, wax, pigment, wood acrylic mirror plates, acrylic on foil, 24 drawings on paper (29.5 x 41.5 cm each), dimensions variable, exhibition view KOW 2022, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, A Tin Drum That Has Forgotten Its Own Rhythm, 2019, mixed media installation, 11 parts, tin, brass, steel, drum, ladder, dimensions variable, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Drummers, A Tin Drum That Has Forgotten Its Own Rhythm, 2019, mixed media installation, 11 parts, tin, brass, steel, drum, ladder, dimensions variable, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Drummers, A Tin Drum That Has Forgotten Its Own Rhythm, 2019, mixed media installation, 11 parts, tin, brass, steel, drum, ladder, dimensions variable, detail, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Drummers, A Tin Drum That Has Forgotten Its Own Rhythm, 2019, mixed media installation, 11 parts, tin, brass, steel, drum, ladder, dimensions variable, detail, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Drummers, A Tin Drum That Has Forgotten Its Own Rhythm, 2019, mixed media installation, 11 parts, tin, brass, steel, drum, ladder, dimensions variable, detail, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Drummers, A Tin Drum That Has Forgotten Its Own Rhythm, 2019, mixed media installation, 11 parts, tin, brass, steel, drum, ladder, dimensions variable, detail, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, The Drummers, A Tin Drum That Has Forgotten Its Own Rhythm, 2019, mixed media installation, 11 parts, tin, brass, steel, drum, ladder, dimensions variable, detail, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, Miners, A Tin Drum That Has Forgotten Its Own Rhythm, 2019, mixed media installation, 11 parts, tin, brass, steel, drum, ladder, dimensions variable, detail, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, Miners, A Tin Drum That Has Forgotten Its Own Rhythm, 2019, mixed media installation, 11 parts, tin, brass, steel, drum, ladder, dimensions variable, detail, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, Miners, A Tin Drum That Has Forgotten Its Own Rhythm, 2019, mixed media installation, 11 parts, tin, brass, steel, drum, ladder, dimensions variable, detail, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, Miners, A Tin Drum That Has Forgotten Its Own Rhythm, 2019, mixed media installation, 11 parts, tin, brass, steel, drum, ladder, dimensions variable, detail, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, Miners, A Tin Drum That Has Forgotten Its Own Rhythm, 2019, mixed media installation, 11 parts, tin, brass, steel, drum, ladder, dimensions variable, detail, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, Miners, A Tin Drum That Has Forgotten Its Own Rhythm, 2019, mixed media installation, 11 parts, tin, brass, steel, drum, ladder, dimensions variable, detail, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, Miners, A Tin Drum That Has Forgotten Its Own Rhythm, 2019, mixed media installation, 11 parts, tin, brass, steel, drum, ladder, dimensions variable, detail, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, Miners, A Tin Drum That Has Forgotten Its Own Rhythm, 2019, mixed media installation, 11 parts, tin, brass, steel, drum, ladder, dimensions variable, detail, photo: Ladislav Zajac
Anna Boghiguian, Miners, A Tin Drum That Has Forgotten Its Own Rhythm, 2019, mixed media installation, 11 parts, tin, brass, steel, drum, ladder, dimensions variable, detail, photo: Ladislav Zajac

The Silk Road, 2020–2021
12 cut outs on Khadi Rag paper 400g, pencil, encaustic (bee wax and pigment), silk thread, wax, pigment, wood
acrylic mirror plates, acrylic on foil
24 drawings on paper (29.5 x 41.5 cm each)
dimensions variable

A Tin Drum That Has Forgotten Its Own Rhythm, 2019
mixed media installation, 11 parts, tin, brass, steel, drum, ladder
dimensions variable

text: Alexander Koch
photos: Ladislav Zajac

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Current

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2022

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2021

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Downstairs: Forced Love

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2020

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Downstairs: Two recent films

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Online exhibition: The Illusion of a Crowd

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Feb 29 – Apr 30, 2020

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TOASTED ANGELS, SOUNDS OF STEEL

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2019

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2018

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Double Bodies

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2017

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2016

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2015

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2014

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2013

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2012

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2011

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2010

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2009

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, The Cabinet of Ramon Haze, Mario Pfeifer, Tina Schulz, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Tobias Zielony, Peggy Buth, Famed, Markus Dressen, Andreas Grahl, Henriette Grahnert, Eiko Grimmberg/ Arthur Zalewski, Mark Hamilton, Ramon Haze, Oliver Kossack, Claudia Annette Maier, Ulrich Polster, Julius Popp, schau-vogel-schau (Marcel Bühler, Alexander Koch), Julia Schmidt, Tilo Schulz, spector cut+paste, Christoph Weber
Oct 17 – Nov 21, 2009

Antirepresentationalism 1: Politics of Redescription. Conceptual and Socially oriented Art in Leipzig 1997–2009

, The Cabinet of Ramon Haze, Mario Pfeifer, Tina Schulz, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Tobias Zielony, Peggy Buth, Jan Caspers/ Anne König/ Jan Wenzel, Chat, Markus Dressen, Famed, Till Gathmann, Lina Grumm, Andreas Grahl, Henriette Grahnert, Mark Hamilton, Bertram Haude, Oliver Kossack, Andrea Legiehn, Thomas Lüer, Claudia Annette Maier, Ulrich Polster, Julius Popp, schau-vogel-schau, Julia Schmidt, Tilo Schulz, spector cut+paste, Christoph Weber, Arthur Zalewski
Sep 4 – Oct 10, 2009

KOW ISSUE 5: Spirituality and Anti-Universalism

, Chris Martin
May 1 – May 30, 2009

KOW ISSUE 4: THE SOCIAL USE OF SIGNS (OBLIGATION TO EXPRESS)

, Tina Schulz
Apr 3 – Apr 27, 2009

KOW ISSUE 3: Detroits' Post-Fordism

, Michael E. Smith
Mar 27 – Mar 29, 2009

KOW ISSUE 1: Participatory Minimalism

, Franz Erhard Walther
Feb 27 – Mar 21, 2009

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