top of page

The Ghosts of The Past are Present

(Die Gastarbeiter Oper), 2022


The Installation “The Ghosts of The Past are Present “constitutes of a large-scale painting and a wooden sculpture. 



325 cm x 237 cm 

Mixed Media on Linen mounted on Zinc Plates

Framed inside 50 Polished Steel Frames



280 cm x 120 cm

Hand carved and stained Basswood

Stainless Steel 


For the installation at Bundeskunsthalle Bonn, I was thinking about Berthold Brecht’s approach of Epic Theater and the Verfremdungseffect. The installation presents a crowd of protagonists that don’t seem to interact with each other but with the forces of nature that hold them hostage. The scene isintended to be ambiguous. It is uncertain if the moment is fictional, performed or an embodied feeling. It is also inconclusive if the figures are a multiple of the same person or a crowd of different bodies naked, exposed, vulnerable. The cluster of bodies are trapped behind a cage of stainless steel, seemingly captured inside their own tale. The suffering wooden figure that is positioned in front of the cage implies the escape from the metal grid but not without significant physical and emotional damage. The garments worn by the figures are signifiers of industrial uniforms, associated with factory labor.These uniforms match the color of their skin suggesting that these tropes are internalized with their beings. The unnatural color of the bodies objectifies them. The Gestus of the figures take on the physical embodiment of a social commentary. Their bodies have absorbed the toxicity of their environment and turned them into the other. The distortion of the figures underlines the sense of otherness. The transformation is ongoing.


The heavy boulders that are immobilizing the figures are part of a rural landscape which borders on an industrial site. The quasi-romantic depiction of the subaltern references imperialist painting that heavily emerged in the late 19th century. Theimage implies the interaction between a stronger, more forceful power and a weaker, perhaps less autonomous entity.Referencing Brecht, I am interested in Historicization as a toolto draw connections from historical events to similar current events.


“The Ghosts of The Past are Present “

(Die Gastarbeiter Oper), 2022

bottom of page