Since 2012 conceptual and performance artist Kirsten Wechslberger has turned her focus to her audiences – people who enjoy art as an integral ingredient of rich and fulfilled lives. With several public installations, land art projects, solo and group exhibitions both in Namibia and internationally, both Kirsten’s works in the exhibition ‘Just’ are conceptual and participatory. This time her audiences can enjoy participating in two games titled ‘Human Rights’ and ‘Demarginalise’. Kirsten designed and created both games, while some art elements are added by Sandra Schmidt. Both works aim to create awareness around value judgments and stereotyping. Kirsten notes:
I feel that my games may create awareness about how people think of, attach value to and judge things which are different to themselves. Things are seldom black and white and there are many grey areas in-between when it comes to dealing with people.
With both works Kirsten’s hopes are not to solve problems related to human rights, but she hopes to create awareness of marginalities, of which she has identified around twenty-two impacting dynamics, so that people are able to make informed decisions on how they think and act towards other humans. Although these two works represent more than twenty-two binaries and contrasts such as black and white, man and woman, young and old, Kirsten emphasises that through the processes involved in playing her games audiences will become aware of the grey areas in-between binaries.
Play groups will have the opportunity to reevaluate their perception about marginalities and their value systems, because players may question different attitudes towards the players and game. The essence of the game lies in the stimulation of debate and discussions between the players about topics such as stereotyping, uninformed value judgments and the role of ego.
An artist talk with Kirsten Wechslberger is available here.