Marc Erwin Babej
The photography-based work of Marc Erwin Babej (Germany and USA, b. 1970) inquires into the interplay of ideology, rhetoric and aesthetics in the manufacture of societal narratives.
The work is rooted in rigorous research and informed by collaboration with eminent scholars. It looks beyond depiction of marginalization — to investigation of its root causes: the material and psychological motives behind the construction of “majority” narratives, and the institutions by which such narratives are propagated.
Throughout the work, images are combined with text elements, often derived from primary sources. The search for synergies between images and text also led to the development of Aspective Realism, a contemporary visual language considered the resurrection of ancient Egyptian art — and with it, the integration of images, symbols and text.
Though political in nature, the work eschews conventions of “political art,“ such as the artist’s activism and protest. Instead, the themes themselves take center stage. Their complexities are not discarded in the interest of convincing viewers, but laid bare for their contemplation. The object is not what viewers should think, but that they think.