STRANGE FRUITS 2010

Matrei VonobenKissen legen FOTO MATREI GRUPPE 02

Art in Public Space/ Art as Participative Process / Activist Art

The church as public space. In Matrei, East Tyrol, the parish is a vivid center of social interactivity.
Within a three day workshop I invited the whole village to participate in the process of hand-printing new individually designed cushions. Because the red felt bench cushions, as the only contemporary interior element in the baroque church, demanded a new design. The outcome of the workshop is installed in the spiritual and all day life.
The fruits of  Tyrol and Palestine were the decorating motives. And slogans like „Hello Palestine!“,  „Made in Tyrol“, „Strange Fruits“, „Nabila Irshaid“ in Latin and Arab Writing and „From Matrei with Love“.
While printing we worked out parallels between Tyrol and Palestine: tradition, tourism, agriculture.
In contrast to Tyrol which can export products, Palestinian products are restricted to go out.
International trade routes in focus.

Which significance does international politics have in Tyrol?
Are the locals aware of their involvement in global process?
Is personal commitment worth acting different?
Art as process, the art of participation going public.
As achievement so far the church shop will offer Fair Trade products made in Palestine.
The church library will display a broad range of fiction and documentaries about Palestine/Israel and a selection of contemporary books as well.

The title STRANGE FRUITS refers to the poem „STRANGE FRUIT“ composed by Abel Meeropol, describing a lynching of two black men in the south of USA in 1936. Billie Holliday created a touching song from this source.