‘Gläserner Mensch’ brings together a body of new works by Dutch artist Wieske Wester (1985) and Russian artist Katerina Sidorova (1991). Both artists share a fascination for the manipulative powers of government and the value of resistance and protest. The title of the exhibition refers to the German term for a fully screened, monitored person, and is used as a metaphor for the unbridled collection of personal data from private persons.
For her new series of large scale paintings Wieske Westerfound inspiration in George Orwell’s dystopian books and essays. Instead of directly referencing for example the role of certain animals in Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’, in which, once in power, they suppress and exploit other animals, she searched for their vulnerability. In that sense her works can be considered portraits that do not necessarily look like the portrayed, but offer an ambiguity, layers of interpretation, characteristics that have to be discovered slowly by ‘reading’ between the lines.
Katerina Sidorova was struck by a video ad published on Youtube by the Kalashnikov military factory promoting ‘The Wall’, a truck-based device designed to stop massive demonstrations. Produced and presented with extreme levels of masculinity, aggression and obscene pride, the ad is meant to showcase the newest technological progress in Russia and deter potential protesters. For this exhibition Sidorova has recreated elements of riot control arms and oppressive architecture, but made out of a fragile material like glass, thus underlining notions of false transparency.