Private View - Silent Weapon
Two prints, framed, each 60x40; four prints, acrylic glass, each 30x40cm; found images, framed, each 21x29; book page, plastic submarine, straws
"Private View - Silent Weapon" shows the rise of the foundation and art collection TBA21 (Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary) along with the simultaneous production of submarines by the German company ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. The foundation emerged in 2002 and is a financial sideproduct of a holding owned by Francesca Habsburg (born Thyssen-Bornemisza) who inherited a fortune built up by the Thyssen family through the Thyssen AG, the head organization of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. Full financial transparency about the holding or the foundation is not available to the general public, but the trackable, yet intransparent financial channels between TBA21 and ThyssenKrupp suggest a deep entangelement of war, wealth and contemporary art. "Private View - Silent Weapon" is a display that decodes the signs of this entangelement. The installation’s starting point resembles Hans Haacke’s “The Chocolate Master”: the collaboration history of the art foundation is confronted with business data about the submarine type 214, made by ThyssenKrupp and currently sold to Turkey, Greece, Portugal and South Korea. Advertising slogans promoting the undetectability of the submarine are accompanied by the exhibitions list of ThyssenKrupp on international military expos. Quotes from Francesca Habsburg about the newly established “Ocean Space” in Venice, as well the foundation’s engagement in climate issues are part of the installation as well as two found images from an interior magazine, in which Francesca Habsburg has presented her home and parts of her art collection as part of her interior. Crutially, the installation includes the first page of Elfriede Jelinek’s play “Rechnitz (Der Würgeengel)”. The play is based on the massacre of jewish forced laborers in the castle of Rechnitz, in which Margit von Batthyany (born Thyssen-Bornemisza), the aunt of Francesca Habsburg, took part.