Traces and Masks of Refugees

People flee from war, persecution, and poverty and search for a way to reach an unfamiliar land to start a new life there. What human stories are behind the media reports about these escapes?

‘Traces and Masks of Refugees’ intends to bypass the widely-circulated (refugee) statistics and facts, to bypass the media-related furore and political debates, and instead to use individual artworks to tell personal stories.

Austria has repeatedly been a destination for refugees who were received as persecuted individuals and rejected as ‘aliens’. The iconographies of flight changed as a function of the respective point of view.

Changing identities of an individual, their masks, and the mental bridges between ‘here’ and ‘back there’ become the subject of artistic creation: memories, phantasms, traces and documents.

The ‘Traces and Masks of Refugees’ exhibition and this accompanying publication present works by artists, most of them living in Austria, who explore the issues of fleeing, migration and prejudice, who process their own experience of flight in different ways or refuse to accept it as a label of identification.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition at State Gallery of Lower Austria / Landesgalerie Niederösterreich, Krems, 12 September 2020 – 26 September 2021.

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