Roee Rosen
Kafka for Kids & Other Troubling Tales


Immoderation is surely the appropriate term to describe the wild ride through the history of culture taken by the artist Roee Rosen (*1963). For his drawings, paintings and films he borrows from classics of literary history, illustrating them anew or letting familiar figures appear in his works. With Kafka for Kids & Other Troubling Tales, the Kunstmuseum Luzern is devoting a first comprehensive solo exhibition to Roee Rosen presenting films, gouaches, paintings, drawings and photographs dating from the last three decades. The focal point is Rosen’s latest group of works, Kafka for Kids. In one film, the artist interprets Franz Kafka’s famous story about Gregor Samsa’s transformation into an insect as a musical comedy. It soon transpires that the story is only supposedly aimed at children and is actually an existential self-questioning that ends in a forensic examination of the shockingly unequal treatment of Israeli and Palestinian youths in the Occupied Territories.

Hilarious, a parody of American stand-up comedy, shows “Rosie Rosen” telling failed jokes and deconstructing racist and misogynous stereotypes. The Dust Channel takes on the form of an opera libretto and is set in a bourgeois household where cleanliness is the prime directive. While the Dyson DC07 vacuum cleaner is being lauded as a symbol of absolute purity, news images from an Israeli internment camp for migrants appear briefly, disrupting the deceptive order. Vladimir’s Night, a series of gouaches painted in 2014, could not be timelier: with this album the fictional poet Maxim Komar-Myshkin takes revenge on the terror regime of the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

curated by Sergio Edelsztein, Fanni Fetzer

supported by Landis & Gyr, Fondation Jan Michalski, Artis

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