Artwork of the month April

Kerstin Kartscher, Die Sabinerin, 2005

Kerstin Kartscher

* 1966 in Nuremberg (DE), lives in London (GB)

Die Sabinerin, 2005

Awning, wood, exmet, chain-link fencing, sheepskin, bedclothes, leather, crown, net, pearls, ink and felt-tip pen

83 x 247 x 116 cm

The rough-and-ready-looking construction consisting of an awning and connected wall elements of exmet entitled Die Sabinerin is, at first glance, reminiscent of a makeshift shelter. On closer inspection, one notices that defensive chain-link fencing has been fastened, almost decoratively, to the outside of this tent-like structure, and that pearls and carefully cut out ornaments adorn the awning fabric. Inside is a small, glittering crown, a sheepskin and bedclothes are laid out ready, and the drawing of a female figure in a lush botanic landscape can be discovered on the side panel of the awning. Who might this dwelling accommodate? Is it a shelter, a covert, a secret hiding-place, a dreamy refuge or perhaps a private space for thinking?

According to Kerstin Kartscher, the drawing refers to the attractive, autonomous character Eve portrayed by Jeanne Moreau, a twentieth-century film diva, in Joseph Losey's 1962 film of the same name. She is holding an oversized wad of money in the form of a fan, which mimics the form of the side panel of the awning. Strong and self-assured, the female figure looks out at the viewer.

The title Die Sabinerin (the Sabine woman) is another reference to strong heroic women – in the myth, the Sabine women abducted by Romulus, the founder of Rome, throw themselves between the warring tribes so as to bring peace. Die Sabinerin invites visitors to explore their own associations. What emotions, what experiences do we associate with such an ambivalent imaginary space – sheltering and yet makeshift, intimate and yet open, protective and yet vulnerable? The artist herself sees her atmospheric assemblage as a "feminine retreat for an independent woman".

Denise Rigaud

<b>Kerstin Kartscher, Die Sabinerin, 2005</b>
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein highlights a work from the permanent collection each month throughout the year. Works from the collection of the Hilti Art Foundation are also included in this series on a regular basis.