During the preparations for her retrospective at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg in the summer of 2018, Anna Boghiguian created an installation for the Rupertinum’s atrium. Featuring a spectacular sail, it is titled Trade + Birds. Working on the scene, the artist embroidered the historical ship’s sail, which she had purchased in Cairo, the Egyptian capital, with painted fabrics.
The work turns the focus on the global trade in crude materials and the lingering effects of colonialism and raises questions about the fairness of individual countries’ survival strategies in relation to global prosperity. The three birds encircling the sail represent humans’ collective need for freedom of movement and community.
Anna Boghiguian’s interests in politics, philosophy, literature, and music, which she has also pursued on her many travels around the world, have trained her critical eye and mind. In Trade + Birds she portrays drawings of an ear, a motif that recurs in the artist’s books, collages, and installations. The artist distinguishes between the metaphysical ear, in which we hear our inward voice, and the physical ear, which allows us to communicate with the world around us. These ideas are inspired by the writings of the psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961), who argued that humans use their environment to gain a better understanding of their inner world and the unconscious. The latter, in Jung’s definition, is mankind’s collective heritage. Anna Boghiguian encourages us to listen attentively: contemporary politics and corruption are often echoes of ancient history.