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Anna Kania Saj

Everything for sale?

Works of Rose and Gisbert Stach has distinct socially minded overtones. Problems of the present time are reflected in their installations, objects, jewellery, photos and video projections.
Rose alludes in her work to everyday objects, showing contexts of their new interpretation, whereas Gisbert adds and develops those contexts in his conceptually well-designed jewellery, and at the same time, he questions them. Using disparate means of artistic expression, both Rose and Gisbert show their objection to today’s reality and try to influence it by stressing the possibility of changing meanings in used objects. Such endeavours help them relate to urgent current problems like exploitation of the so-called “third world countries“, and talk about the fate of emigrants, a progressive decline in values, and about omnipresent consumerism.
Installations of Rose Stach are based on paradoxical combinations of objects. For example, the work titled “Vuoi Comprare“ shows colourful bags with overprints of logos of luxury companies in front of a gold mosaic which depicts Sicily. The handles are made of hair instead of a traditional material (for example string). They remind African ornaments and the bags may suggest their expensive contents.
This way, she creates an object of desire for many people, enabling them to move, so to speak, to a better world. At the same time, the artist points out that those objects may be made by exploited workers toiling for starvation-level wages. On the other hand, she emphasizes that imitations of those things, which entice with their fake luxury, can be bought from emigrants standing on the streets of Italy, who often risk their lives to get to the continent through Sicily. They try to sell the things on the streets asking “Vu’ cumpra?“ twisted “Vuoi comprare“ which means: “Would you like to buy anything, sir?“.
The artist has as well exhibited photographed people from the whole world, who – in the era of globalisation – also deal with the same problem of too many goods available for consumption. The photographs from the series “SOCIETE GENERALE“ show people becoming a part of this landscape full of glamour and goods.
Rose Stach presents also another series of photographs with neon lights and signboards from the series “Parallel world“. The artist adds texts to them and, in the process, changes their meaning. She builds in this way a kind of her second reality, assuming a role of a tourist, a consumer of attractive places.
And videoinstallation “Back off from here“ which can be understood as the point of her whole work, where – just like in a kaleidoscope – the richness of the presented world is reflected. It is the world which the artist is sceptical about.
It can be said that the significance of Rose’s work is somehow enhanced by that of Gisbert’s. The artist more often raises the problem of debasement of values. He – unlike Rose – is more interested in the world of objects and how they are perceived by consumers. He places his own made jewellery in unconventional places like a tree stump and thus challenges its sense. He uses the materials to play with their purpose.
Gisbert tries to give them a new meaning. He puts ornaments into pizza pie or glass containers, sets expensive stones in factory-made cosmetics and serves them on paper trays. He also makes allusive pendants with sexual subtexts. All of these are objects which can be interpreted in different ways.  Gisbert plays not only with our receiving habits of reading references but also with sense, value and destiny of those things whose purpose is neither to decorate nor to move the sensitivity of an audience. A symbolic expression of the world being overloaded with this glamour and ornaments is a film from a performance where a woman bends and falls down under the load of necklaces which she has put on.
In fact, Gisbert’s objects don’t simply apply to the world of consumerism but discretely undermine their sense of serving the glamour and fulfilling vain needs.
Anna Kania Saj

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