A new solo exhibition from 2014 Georges Mora Fellow Inez de Vega will take place across all three gallery spaces of the Alliance Française heritage-listed mansion in St Kilda from mid September 2016. In The Gifted Child, Inez will present 6 poster images, a video and a work of sound art, as her response to the 1930s propaganda films of Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl.
"As a person of Jewish heritage, the beauty of Riefentahl’s art in contrast to her dark politics holds particular curiosity for me," Inez writes. "Whilst I find that Leni’s genius with lighting, composition and her innovative use of camera angles sometimes takes my breath away, it causes me to wonder at what point is the artist’s politics so immoral that we are left with no choice but to dismiss her work as irreconcilably soiled? I became all tangled up inside my own logic trying to figure this out."
"This exhibition grew out of the video (‘Olympia’, 2014) and the posters (‘On Leni Riefenstahl’ Nos. 1 to 6, 2014-2015) that I made ‘colonising’ Leni’s films. Projecting her film stills onto the wall of my apartment, I had myself photographed performing with her images. In doing so I began to feel that Leni was both a perpetrator and a victim for her art— she perpetrated the lie of the supremacy of the Aryan race and demonstrated an indifference to those being exterminated by the Nazis. However, she was also a victim of Hitler’s maniacal ideas, and the time and place of her birth. After all, at some level, she was just like me— an artist trying to make a living and have my work recognised. For Leni, clearly a gifted artist, the prospect of fame and an unlimited budget must have been dazzling."
For more information, visit the Alliance Française website.
The Gifted Child
14th September – 14th October 2016
Alliance Française de Melbourne
51 Grey Street, St Kilda, Victoria
This exhibition contains nudity which may offend some people.