Mai, 24 – July, 28 2019
Opening: Thursday, May, 23 2019, 19:00 Uhr
Women make up a large proportion of migrant workers, yet their stories are largely left out of the official histories and archives.GUESTures, a solo exhibition by Margareta Kern critically questions historical and gendered constructions of the figure of ‘guest-worker’, opening up themes of migration, precarisation of work and visibility of women’s labour.
Displayed as an installation of connected works, the exhibition contains personal photographs, interview excerpts and lettersfrom the women the artist met and interviewed in Berlin, who arrived from Yugoslavia in the late 1960s to work in factories making televisions and radios. Central to the exhibition is a two-channel video installation, that posits two performances next to each other. On one screen we see an actress re-enacting the stories of three women, while on the second screen we see the artist hand-drawing objects that appear in each woman’s narration. Archive footage of television circuit boards assembled in a Siemens factory splices through the performances on screen, as does the news report of Tito's visit to Germany in 1978. Thus, there is a constant doubling-up at play: of memories and narratives, of time, of home, and of the image.
GUESTures opens up questions about the role of Museums in archiving migration, its mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion and its potentiality as a counter-archive.
Margareta Kern is a visual artist whose work responds to new systems of techno-military power, often drawing on her personal history shaped by migration. Her multi-layered work incorporates film, photography, installation, drawing and performance-lecture. Originally from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kern has been based in the UK since 1992. She graduated in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College and in Visual Anthropology from University College London. Her work has been exhibited extensively and she is a recipient of several project grants and awards. She is a lecturer at Falmouth University, and currently an artist-in-residence at Birkbeck School of Law. www.margaretakern.com