two laments (19 cantos)
Two Laments (19 Cantos) is a series of nineteen film projections (19 Cantos), addressing public memory and collective amnesia in the context of the space of a city. While inspired by the events in India, Two Laments is a response to two kinds of globally occurring violence: the rape of women and the colonial subjugation of cities. It proposes time‐based, performative and participatory commemoration of female victims – in opposition to the vertical solidity of monuments of men who died in wars. In addition to 19 short film projections (3-30 min) with sound and text by the artist, Two Laments comprises of a series of drawings and photographs, an upcoming public performance and a large-scale public sculpture with video projection and water scheduled to open in 2020 in Poland. Canto 1 was shown at Weiss' solo exhibitions at the Sanskriti Museums, New Delhi, and in Bolognano, Italy, 2015.
“Weiss asks questions that many feminists or artists would often deem taboo. […] Her work is what Griselda Pollock terms “post-traumatic” in that it contends with events that remain within collective psychic consciousness but are unable to be fully or properly mourned because the extremity of the trauma defies speech.”
– Vanessa Gravenor, Monika Weiss’ Two Laments, in: n.paradoxa, vol. 37, 2016