In Shanghai Anita Gratzer shows a body of work that articulates her memory of lost stories, interest in Eastern traditions and forges links between them and the world as it is experienced today. Mourning the narratives she finds, Anita Gratzer first preserves in the process of her work the printed fragments of antique books by transferring them into new conditions. Constructing clothes and sculptures out of this historical artefacts of a gone-by era she deals with hermetic narratives and analogue materiality at the same time.
Worn by the protagonists of her photographic work, these kind of clothes cover up the relation between the bodies and their symbolic representation by connecting the layers of historical materiality and contemporary personality. Anita Gratzer herself has experienced South-East Asia multiple times in the last decade and worked in Japan, Korea and China at different residencies. The dichotomies of order and modernity, creation and tradition draw her awareness to the constant transformations undergone by those societies. Learning about Asian cultures she delved deep into segments of the past, always keeping the human body at the center of her attention. In this focus, clothes as a symbol of culture, history, and tradition, as well as an expression of personal taste and individual sense of identity are a main concern in Anita Gratzer’s work.
The exhibition was set about a half year after I left my Shanghai residency, therefor I could also show some of the portraits I did back then. The other part was selection of my earlier work from Japan.