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Wild Wood

Susi Jirkuff

Following her exhibition Wild Wood (Secession 2013), Susi Jirkuff takes up and extends the critical question as to how present-day social conditions continue to affect self-determined living, participation in society and personal advancement in her artist book for which she has made a new series of drawings.

Together with quotations, among others from Friedrich Engels's work The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845), these frame a graphic novel.

The origins and transformation of industrial cities are thematised using the example of Manchester, the home town of the band Oasis which was formed there in 1991 and whose members were from the working class. Particular attention has been paid to the effects on the social structures of the population caused by local building methods and the urban planning solution of high-rise housing estates for workers. Ken Loach who, in his films, depicts the English working-class milieu authentically and matter-of-factly, might also have made a film out of the not unlikely fate of the Gallagher brothers and how they earned their living by dealing and small-time criminality. Crucial to the artistic engagement was the observation that the distribution of wealth and the possibilities for upward social mobility––so-called equality of opportunity––was approaching the level it had at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

 

Language: English