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Opening exhibition Petra Johanna Barfs & Lana Mesič

exhibition: 17 / 09 / 2020 - 18 / 10 / 2020
Location: Goethe-Institut

The opening of the double exhibition of Petra Johanna Barfs (DE) and Lana will take place on Thursday 17 September Mesić (NL) at the Goethe-Institut in Rotterdam.

Behind every portrait there is a story that sometimes, not always, becomes clear through clues in the image. This applies in particular to the very diverse portrait series by Petra Johanna Barfs and Lana Mesić that are central to this double exhibition. The women in Barfs' portraits wear traditional costumes from the German and Dutch Rhine region, the prints are treated with fluorescent paint. Lana Mesic's small embroideries show men, sometimes fully developed, sometimes only partially finished. What stories do these portraits tell?

Lana Mesić has for her series Souls, Ties and a Pair of Carrots interviewed bankers from the City of London. During the time these men reserved for her, she tried to look behind the scenes of the financial sector: How do the bankers work, what do they feel and how do they see themselves and the world after the great banking crisis of 2008? The cross-stitch technique that Lana Mesić chose for her portraits makes the relationship between value and time immediately visible: the more time the artist invested in the finishing, the clearer and more detailed the portrait became. Mesić spent exactly as much time on each of the portraits as the person portrayed had made available to her.

Petra Johanna Barfs As part of her Rhine project, she spent many years studying this most European of all rivers and its history and myths. She made a week-long voyage of discovery in a one-person kayak from Mainz to the mouth of the Rhine, which brought her to Rotterdam in 2018. She incorporated her impressions into the photo series Das Leuchten am Fluss. The images of women in traditional costume are finds from an archive, the fluorescent paint refers to one of the many stories that Petra Johanna Barfs heard during her trip and which moved her deeply. Long after the war, glowing phosphorus from airplane bombs could be found on the banks of the Rhine, an enticing collector's item for children, often burned by the alleged treasures.

More information about the exhibition can be found here.

Reservations are required and can be made until September 16 via mail.

Thursday 17 September 2020, 19 PM

Goethe-Institut Rotterdam, Westersingel 9

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Forest polder fox, Florentijn Hofman, Schiedamseweg, 2020. Photo: Otto Snoek

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