Artist Talk - Elisabeth Gschiel and Resa Pernthaller
SUGAR. Industrial Heritage and Colonialism
< rotor >, Graz, AT
24. 11. 2021

Artist talk in the frame of the exhibition SUGAR. Industrial Heritage and Colonialism with Elisabeth Gschiel and Resa Pernthaller.

On this evening, the exhibition contributions by two artists based in Graz will be presented and discussed.

It is hardly known that there was a sugar factory in Graz as well. Based on historical documents on the former Imperial and Royal Privileged Sugar Refinery in Graz Geidorf (1821 – 1881), Elisabeth Gschiel developed an architectural plan and weaves the threads of the past into the present.

The artist has also realized two sewing works on paper showing botanical illustrations of the sugar beet and sugar cane. Thus she refers to the burgeoning competition between the two plants mainly used for sugar production in the 19th century.

The second work discussed in the exhibition leads back in time immediately after World War II. In Fohnsdorf, Upper Styria, Hans Pernthaller, grandfather of the artist Resa Pernthaller, was running a molasses factory. As there was no white sugar for sale at that time, the molasses initially sold like hot cakes.

In her approach to this part of her family history, Resa Pernthaller began to grow sugar beet herself. She photographed the harvested specimens and thus captured their variety of forms in hand-coloured sheets. Additionally, a display case contains a selection of documents on the brief history of Fohnsdorf’s molasses production.

More about the exhibition here.