Lust & Empire: The Discreet Rule of Malaysia in Austria

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Filed under: Art Pranks

Submitted by Marcy LaViollette:

Wong Hoy Cheong's Re-Looking Art Exhibit

Wong Hoy Cheong\"™s Re-Looking Art ExhibitHow differently would people view colonialism if the roles were reversed? Wong Hoy Cheong’s art piece “Re: Looking,” exhibited at the Venice Biennial in June 2003 among other international venues, asks this question under the guise of a documentary detailing the fictional history of Malaysia’s colonialization of Austria.

The deadpan detail may confuse viewers who doubt their historical knowledge. Interviewees include an Austrian migrant seeking a better future in Malaysia, a Malaysian sociologist explaining the Austrian fascination with death, and an Austrian whose father died fighting in the war.

Even the room where the video is screened has been transformed into the living room of a colonialized Malaysian home, containing fake visual histories including paintings, photographs, and display cases which show memorabilia of exotic items from the homeland.

View the artist Wong Hoy Cheong’s Web site and read more at Universe in Universe Worlds of Art, which includes an interview with the artist.

Photograph: Universe in Universe