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Marika Schmiedt’s Exhibition at Construction Site in Linz, Austria – Posters Ripped Down, the Artist Threatened and Attacked at Opening by Outraged Hungarian Nationalist and her Austrian Husband

April 19, 2013

via  Jasmina Tumbas

 

Marika Schmiedt, one of the most politically engaged Roma activist artists in Austria (and Europe), has been censored, threatened, and attacked for her politically controversial artworks, which expose and critique various forms of racism, nationalism and fascism in Europe. By linking the history of the persecution and killings of Roma and Sinti to the current forms of systematic and violent discrimination and murder of Roma and Sinti in Europe and worldwide, Schmiedt’s work has hit a nerve in the neo-fascist atmosphere of European politics, enraging nationalists from various countries, as well as politicians, intellectuals, and activists who find her work too confrontational.

On Sunday, April 14, 2013, at the opening of Marika Schmiedt’s exhibition, “Thoughts are free”, a Hungarian nationalist and her Austrian husband attacked Schmiedt, tore her cell phone out of her hands, and began to tear down her posters on the construction site fence. One of the organizers of the exhibition and Schmiedt stopped the attack. The Hungarian woman called Schmiedt a racist and threatened to sue the artist for her purported defamation of the Hungarian nation.

Those of us, who read daily about Hungary’s outrageous violations of human rights, censorship of the media and the cultural sector, welcome Schmiedt’s poignant and loud critique of these political developments. Since the EU continually fails to address the rampant hatred of Roma, anti-Semitism and homophobia in Hungary, Schmiedt’s work bears witness to these developments and offers resistance against complicity and capitulation of civil courage.

Such artistic interventions raise many enemies. The 30 posters were all torn down within two days, leaving only traces of her exhibition. It remains to be seen who was responsible for tearing down all the posters. But one thing is certain: Schmiedt does not shy away from – and does not fear – confrontation;  she incites it. As she has said:

“My work attempts to break this silence and expose the visual culture of racism – and its many languages – and simultaneously counteract the continuing discrimination.”

 

Jasmina Tumbas

 

Images from the exhibition (taken from: http://www.hofkabinett.at/cms/index.php mact=News%2Ccntnt01%2Cdetail%2C0&cntnt01articleid=3&cntnt01origid=15&cntnt01returnid=70 ):

 

At the opening:

opening

 

 

After 2 Days:

after

 

 

After 2 Days and 3 Hours:

after2

 

 

Other graphic works by Marika Schmiedt Marika Schmiedt – ARTBRUT’s photostream on flickr


FILMS by Marika Schmiedt

 

Marika Schmiedt Undesirable Society

Eine lästige Gesellschaft / An Undesirable Society (2001) 

 

Legacy
VERMÄCHTNIS. LEGACY (2010–2011)

 

roma-memento2
Roma Memento. Zukunft ungewiss? / Roma Memento. Uncertain future? (2012)

 

About Marika Schmiedt 

romaintegration-marika-schmiedt

Born in 1966 in Traun, Upper Austria, activist, filmmaker and visual artist. Since 1999 – present: Research with survivors (witnesses) of the persecution of Roma and Sinti (including the Holocaust and the present). Her artistic work focuses on addressing the situation of ethnic Roma before and after 1945. Academic lecturer in youth and adult education.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Truth permalink
    October 30, 2013 12:37 PM

    You cannot fight racism with racism.

    “rampant hatred of Roma, anti-Semitism and homophobia in Hungary”

    Are you serious? This is an outrages, very biased lie with no foundation in reality whatsoever. No more gays are beaten up in Hungary then the average European rate and Roma make it very easy to be hated everywhere they go. Have you heard the Dutch standpoint on Roma’s? I can assure you they are much more racist in their views then Hungarians. France exporting a whole gypsy camp? Why don’t you include Sarkozy in your precious “art” work.

    Marika and Jasmina, you should be ashamed of yourself for propagating biased views and racism towards the good people of Hungary. Are you really that ignorant not to see that all the accusations towards Hungary stem from the fact that they have had balls large enough to tax Big Corps and Banks?

    Is it really that hard to see that you are fueling an propaganda machine which only desire is to distort reality in order to oust one of the best governments in Europe (which is a really bad government for Corps bad great for the country, it’s economy and it’s inhabitants)?

    Art? What art, where? This is even embarrassing for someone who never used Photoshop. Calling this art would be like calling cat food steak tartar.

    Please people, you are grown up individuals with an own mind. Don’t act so childish, the world knows better. You’re leftist views are no longer shared by any majority. The people have woken up to the stench of your hatred, racism and lies towards a proud European nation.

  2. April 25, 2013 1:36 PM

    Yes. I assume that is how Hofstadler “presented” the artworks, and they did not bother to actually LOOK at the work closely (or contact Marika Schmiedt), and THINK about the content, i.e. consider that Schmiedt is actually critiquing various forms of racism… OR, the other option: they actually voted that Schmiedt’s work is “racist” towards Hungarians (an artist judged as “perpetrator” for laying bare the political systems of oppression and discrimination). Hofstadler also had the audacity to accuse Schmiedt of insulting and degrading Roma with her artworks, which may have also influenced the federal office’s decision (Hofstadler and the government supposedly “protecting” Roma from a Roma activist artist).

  3. April 25, 2013 3:33 AM

    UPDATE

    “The legal proceedings submitted by Hofstadler (the woman who damaged and ripped down Schmiedt’s works) were judged by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (in Austria), which decided that Schmiedt’s artworks are “racist” and that they had to be taken down. An order was given to the police. They removed all her posters.”

    “Also, Hofstadler sent images of Schmiedt’s artworks to the Hungarian office of the prime minister, and she hired attorney Dr. Eva Maria Barki, a self-proclaimed defender of Hungary, who is now involving the office of the district attorney in the case.”

    • April 25, 2013 1:10 PM

      Seriously??? The federal office decided they were “racist”???? Wow.

Trackbacks

  1. Ban art that targets far right, says Hungarian ambassador - Index on Censorship | Index on Censorship
  2. Hungarian Ambassador intervenes Against “anti-Hungarian” Art Exhibition in Linz « jasminatumbas

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