Plexiglas, cross stitch with steel wire, wooden box, mixed media
110 x 123 x 20,5 cm – 3 works, each 110 x 41 x 20,5 cm
In our digital, global world it suddenly appears possible that the central concepts of religious discourse can be interpreted or considered in relative terms. At the same time religious radicalisation in the current generation is taking place to an unprecedented degree. Familiar boundaries have been weakened and new ones established.
Ingrid Wurzinger-Leitner`s „paradise cycle“ explores the tensions between religious paradigms and socio-cultural structural conditions within the context of current political global developments. The formal starting point ist he classical structure of Christian „storytelling“, the triptych as the traditionally established element portaying biblical scenes. Paradise ist he dominant motif as well as the psychological determinant of spiritually or materially motivated actions.
A paradise that is opened to everybody is an illusion. In „paradise – Unbefugten ist der Zutritt verboten“ ( paradise –no admission to unauthorised persons) a clear divided line is drawn. Where else can we find salvation, and which way leads to paradise – transcendance or trasit zones? Who has access to it, the martyr with his crown or thorns, ort he one with a belt full of explosives? The „owner“ of the right creed, ort he possessor of the right passport? Just one thing is clear: both the concept „paradise“ as promised by world religions, and the secular „isle of the blessed“, are strongly characterised by various forms of demarcation and exclusion.
Everything else happens in our minds. Paradise as wishful thinking, as a screen where pesonal desires and comparable needs are expressed, is made clear in the central panel of the triptych, „imagine“. John Lennon`s vision of the world free of war and misery, the Christian promise of a next world without suffering, or he Syrian refugees whose objectiveis to find a safe home in the EU, all illustrate an ideal which is based on the same longing for peace and love.
The tragic fate of the tens of thousands who have drowned crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe has been marked by a powerful symbol in the drowned body of little Aylan Kurdi, which was washed ashore off the Turkish coast. Just one victim, making comprehensible the suffering of countless others. „go – went – gone“ leaves to the observer`s imagination: it stands for all those whereabouts are uncertain, in times of war and escape. But it also gives meaning to the many others who have set out in the hope of leaving violence and misery behind.