The exhibition project OFF YOUR SHOES links the topics of migration and loss to the history of labour and protest in Tunisia and Austria – with shoes being a common theme.

OFF YOUR SHOES applies when refugees board a boat, but also in the exhibition space – which servers Belhassen Handous as an extended living space during his residency. Only then visitors can immerse themselves in the collectively created exhibition, listen to audio stories, wander through border landscapes, listen to the seawater and stumble over shoes, again and again.

Foto Credits: Joanna Pianka

——- For the exhibition OFF YOUR SHOES, Belhassen Handous works with analogue photos and found footage from the internet that he manipulated through the use of bacteria cultures. In his video piece „We stopped eating fish…Now, the fish feasts on our bodies!“ (2023), he combines a refugee´s testimony with these photos from the internet, images of the Mediterranean Sea and the rhythm of its waves.

——- In the exhibition Joanna Pianka shows a new series of photographs that are integrated into the exhibition architecture as light installations. The continuous motif: shoes found in public space. The spectators are confronted with following questions: In what kind of situation do the wearers leave their own shoes behind? And what stories do the shoes tell us?

——- Tomash Schoiswohl compiles audio stories that, on the one hand, address aspects of current EU migration policy, and on the other hand, retrace historical events such as the uprising of the shoemakers in the early 18th century, the construction of the „Linienwall“ in the suburbs of Vienna or the execution of „Jacob Bock“ from Angola in the form of fictional dialogues. In doing so, he shows the inevitable connection between politics and protest.

The exhibiton project is curated by Christine Bruckbauer and Aline Lenzhofer and it takes place between 17/11/2023 and 13/01/2024. It is supported by La Boîte Kilani Group, Austrian Federal Ministry of Art, Culture, Civil Service and Sports, City of Vienna Culture, Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affair and the City of Vienna District Funding Leopoldstadt.