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Sissi Bilder:





The Sissi Bilder in Mesh are extracted from a larger body of paintings which I produced in 1999. The Sissi Project was about cultural displacement, time, and memory, that which is real and that which is fabricated.


The character who appears in each of the works is the German actress Romy Schneider in her role as Princess Sissi. Princess Sissi was in fact a real Austrian Princess and the role both made and ruined Schneider’s acting career in her homeland. Germans could never see the actress in any other role and therefore she had to go to France, England and Hollywood in order to work and hone her talent. The Sissi films came at a time when Germany was recovering from the degradation of the part they played in the Second World War, thus the saccharine “völkischness?the Sissi movies exuded and their subsequent ongoing popularity, attest to a need they fulfilled in the German populace. On a deeper level the films deal with cultural identity.


The Sissi Bilder consist of multiple layers of images: printed images of Schneider; over which are laminated patterned fabrics from Arab Street and/or Little India; over which are further layers of traditional Chinese paper cut-outs, fabric flowers, ornaments and glittering Christmas lights. The incorporation of so-called kitsch elements, mixed with popular culture and other kinds of memorabilia is a deliberate ploy to make the viewer work to find the meaning of the embedded image.





Lutz Presser

October 2003


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