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Smog, Smoke & Fortune

Exhibition and performance by artist Saskia Janssen for the Brno House of Art, 2003

inviatation card for exhibition of artist Saskia Janssen at the Brno House of Art, 2003

Smog, Smoke & Fortune press release House of Arts May 16 – June 15, 2003 SASKIA JANSSEN / The Netherlands / Video Installation (Jaroslav Král Gallery) Smog, Smoke & Fortune

Smog, Smoke & Fortune is a portrait of a group of six Ukranian construction workers who had renovated the building and now also help with technical matters in the Brno House of Arts. Ukranians are the largest group of foreign labourers in the Czech republic. Their contribution to the Czech economy is of vital importance, but as a social group, they are a “hidden community”.    The idea was to make the six construction workers the actual subject of this two-part work. The first part was a portrait of them as a group. Six hammocks were hung between the trees in a park to the rear of the exhibition space as well as a supply of food and drink. The men fell asleep in the hammocks for a whole afternoon while people walked their dogs and children played close by. All of this was recorded on video. The second part of the work was more of a psychological portrait of the various individuals in the group. This involved hiring a professional fortune  who was asked to explicitly adress eachman’s position as an immigrant in the Czech Republic. The fortune teller was asked to make a point in his analysis highlighting each mans current situation as a foreigner in the Czech Republic. These one-to-one sessions took place on the roof of the Raiffheisen Bank and were recorded on video.

The presentation in the Brno House of Arts included the videos, props and leftovers from the whole project. included the videos, props and leftovers from the whole project. The project was presented at the Fries Museum/Buro Leeuwarden, Arco Madrid, Art Forum Berlin and Ellen de Bruijne PROJECTS. For each presentation the material was rearranged and was sometimes complemented by large-format b&w prints. Smog, Smoke & Fortune was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art (MMK) in Arnhem in 2006.

overview of exhibition by Saskia Janssen, artist, at The Brno House of Art, 2003

overview of exhibition by Saskia Janssen, artist, at The Brno House of Art, 2003

overview House of Arts, Brno, 2003

overview of exhibition by Saskia Janssen, artist at Ellen de Bruijne PROJECTS, Amsterdam

overview of exhibition by Saskia Janssen, artist, at Ellen de Bruijne PROJECTS, 2003

In groupshow Social Sculpture, at Ellen de Bruijne PROJECTS, 2003

 exhibition by Saskia Janssen, artist, at Ellen de Bruijne PROJECTS, 2003

 

 

 

 

 

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