Dialogue of the Object / Komische Fragmente since 2018
ongoing project in cooporation with Jinran Ha artistic approach in the framework of the N*A*I*L*S research website via QR codes, performative reading shown and performed at Lothringer 13 Halle Munich / Galerija Škuc Ljubljana / Prater Galerie @ACUD Galerie Berlin
Two works by Jinran Ha & Johanna Käthe Michel unravel tensions and emancipatory potentials within a particular economy tied to feminised care-work and “migrant” working-places: that of the nail studio. Both works were developed in the context of the 2018 transdisciplinary research project and publication ‘N*A*I*L*S Hacks*Facts*Fictions’.
In Dialogue of the Objects / Komische Fragmente (2018-), industrially produced objects used in nail studios are given the ability to talk. Via a digital interface, they chat with each other in Vietnamese, English, and German. The conversation develops into a negotiation of apparently “innocently” voiced racist and sexist stereotypes. The artists draw on UdSSR writer Viktor Viktorovich Tretiakov’s proposal that the perspective of industrial objects, rather than people, may offer clearer insights into social conditions. At the same time, since the nail studio represents an established business model that enabled former contract workers to survive in Germany after 1990, the work points towards economies of mutual support at work in an often hostile urban context.
Text by Sonja Hornung
Technical consulting and programming by Matej Lazar; co-produced by the City of Women, Goethe-Institut Ljubljana, District Berlin.