Found Portrait

Root Event

6. Werkleitz Biennale Common Property / Allgemeingut
Found Portrait
Found Portrait

Florian Zeyfang’s work “Found Portrait” consists of 92 detail reproductions of Diego Rivera’s mural “Portrait of America” that are hung like a fragmented panorama according to their original positions in Rivera’s mural. Rivera’s Marxist picture of American history was created in 1933, shortly after the famous mural in the Rockefeller Building was painted over, a picture he did for the New Workers School in New York, which was founded by the chairman of the Communist Party, Jay Lovestone.

Zeyfang’s adaptation of this mural is, on the one hand, a reconstruction of the historical material, as the original panels have to a large extent been destroyed and the whereabouts of all but one remain unknown until today. This one panel is inserted in the panorama picture as a colour reproduction. On the other hand, Zeyfang’s reconstruction highlights individual situations in the picture rather than the overall relations between the figures, something which structured Rivera’s mural. So it is noticeable, for example, what role the assembly line played in the industrial awakening that took place in the United States in the 1930s as an illustration of a Marxist perception of history. Rivera’s illustrations depicted female workers as typified and serialised silhouettes in front of machines. Masses of workers were represented in an ornamental fashion like cobblestones. In Zeyfang’s adaptation, Rivera’s historical logic recedes a bit; instead, the historical players are made visible through the way they are illustrated and through whom history is to be constructed and conveyed.

92 reproductions of Diego Riveras „Portrait of America“

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