Artist Statement

Ines Doujak

Installation view: Ines Doujak, Landraub, since 2018

7 QUESTIONS WITH THE ARTIST INES DOUJAK

In three short videos (in German), the Austrian artist Ines Doujak answers questions about her exhibition Landscape Painting in the KUNST HAUS WIEN Garage. The presentation is divided into an expansive installation in the interior, which uses a nature archive to question the classification and nomenclature of botany, and an intervention in the courtyard on the subject of "land theft".



WHAT IS YOUR EXHIBITION "LANDSCAPE PAINTING" ABOUT?

"The exhibition entitled Landscape Painting is divided into two parts. One is an outdoor work where it is about land grabbing. (...) and inside you see a small part of a collection with substances, seeds, soil, fruits, dried clay and so on that I inherited from a friend."

WHAT DO VISITORS EXPERIENCE IN YOUR INSTALLATION IN THE COURTYARD?

"(...) Is the point of the outdoor work specifically to see that the practice of land grabbing is a historical one. The examples go over a period of 700 years and I think it is one of the burning issues of the present (...)"

WHAT DO VISITORS EXPERIENCE IN YOUR INSTALLATION IN THE GARAGE?

"The interior is both a celebration of life (...) it's a commemoration of my friend, but it's also a commemoration of all these extraordinary lives that I'm describing (...) and who have also provided their names for the renaming of the substances that are on display in vessels."



WHAT MATERIALS DID YOU USE FOR YOUR ARTISTIC WORK AND WHERE DID THIS NATURAL ARCHIVE COME FROM?

"This archive comes from a friend who died, a gardener. (...) And he collected things in a relatively undisciplined way over a period of 40 years. Flowers, leaves, seeds, roots, substances of all kinds, soils and so on."

WHY DID YOU RENAME THE MATERIALS WITH NAMES OF REVOLUTIONARY WOMEN?

"The renaming had two origins, so to speak. On the one hand, in the process of the transfer from him to my studio, there was a fire in my studio, so the names disappeared (...) and I was also not interested in the form of preparing this as a natural exhibition collection in a precisely scientific way (...) I thought I would dedicate this exhibition not only to my friend, but also to all these women who actually did something that went beyond their own well-being."



HOW IS THE THEME OF "LAND THEFT" ADDRESSED IN YOUR INSTALLATION IN THE COURTYARD?

"The background of the posters are apples. They are old engravings, hand-coloured (...) it is a reference to the fact that land grabbing is always about monocultures, that is, about maximum exploitation of the land, but it is also, so to speak, a reference to the expulsion from paradise."

HOW TOPICAL IS LAND GRABBING TODAY?

"The issue of 'land grabbing' today is still, well today you can't say is more topical than ever. In recent years there has been an acceleration. (...) I believe that it will be one of those issues that will occupy us massively in the future with the climate catastrophe."

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