Masquerade, 2006

Masquerade is based on a photo which I had found in a travel magazine in St.Petersburg. The image shows two people in a carneval scene. They are in ecstasy – they scream, shout, stare. They dance in a stiff, almost ritual way. Blood or red paint is running down their sweaty faces and bodies. The man is wearing a white wig, which for years I had taken to be the body and feathers of a dead chicken, so much did I connect this scene with Afroamerican Religions like Cadomblé or Voodoo, in which chickens heads are snapped of over the heads of the believers, who fall in trance, being ridden by the gods that possess them.

The image is painted on copper, which itself will undergo a slow process of transformation. I can’t predict what the painting will look like in a few years. Unlike Denkmal for Paul Rosbaud the surface of Masquerade hasn’t been varnished, which means that the parts that aren’t covered with paint will oxidize and eventually become green.

I like the idea of these different tempi: the background that changes very slowly in real time, while the scene in the mind of the spectator must be a quickly moving one; and finally the time that has elapsed since the photo was taken somewhere in the world.


My very gestures, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, AT, 2008
Maskharat, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Stuttgart, DE, 2006
Hemma Schmutz, Caroline Schneider (Ed.), Antje Majewski: My Very Gestures, Salzburger Kunstverein und Sternberg Press, Salzburg, Berlin, New York, 2008