22 February – 3 March 2013
Solo exhibition by Lisa Glauer
Curated with Robert Huber | EGFK
When Lenin was in jail, he was prevented from writing, and thus, communicating with his constituency. However, he knew a trick. If one wrote with milk, it would appear invisible until heated. So he had his wife bring books for him to read and asked the jailer for milk and bread, and shaped an inkwell from the bread, poured milk into it and wrote secretly between the lines of the book. Whenever the jailer came to see what he was doing, he quickly ate the bread. Lenin’s wife took the books, held the pages up to a lamp so the milk would burn and thus become visible. This allowed Lenin to continue to communicate with his followers while in jail. His wife told the story after his death.
Lenin‘s ”voice“ requires milk – in this case, to become “immortal” through communication to others, to be saved from silence and authorial mortality, to be transmitted to a constituency.
In the performative lecture, an alternative interpretation (fictionalisation, artistic intervention) is presented:
Lenin’s wife, Nadezhda Konstantinovna saved texts and thoughts written by her from “mortality” by subsuming them under Lenin’s authorship (illegitimate ghostwriting).Thereby, he female figure is instrumental in insuring the immortality of Lenin‘s thoughts while his mythologized figure absorbed whatever was proffered as aid under his name after his death.
Images of centrifuges and nuclear power plants are painted in milk (invisible ink) and subsequently publicly ironed. The strongly smelling burnt milk results in sepia toned drawing. The smell imprints itself in the olfactory memory of those present. The Images in ironed milk show technical illustrations of nuclear power plants and war apparatus fromt he historical youth magazines „Hob- by“ (FRG) and “Jugend und Technik“ (GDR), as well as contemporary sources. The performance on the (in)visibility of human breastmilk explores myths about gender, breastmilk and technology by looking back to the supposed ”Triumph of Humans over Nature“ (Triumph des Menschen über die Natur“ (oil on canvas, Reuner, 1871) of the seventies when the newly developed techno- logy of nuclear power was seen as remedy for all social problems both in the East and the West – just as today perhaps Nanotechnology.
Photo credit: Lisa Glauer