Beate Passow: Monkey Business
Karl Borromäus Murr
In her series of images “Monkey Business” the artist Beate Passow portrays a mysterious fairy - tale world of political dimensions. The black and white images, which upon closer observation turn out to be sophisticated tapestries, question the ruling syst ems, economic structures, and political movements of contemporary Europe.
A Barbary macaque sits on a martial gun barrel in Gibraltar, a powerful bear mounts a bull, a skeleton - like figure strides over destroyed refugee boats on Lampedusa. The strange fi gures that inhabit “Monkey Business” narrate a penetrating mythology of the 21st century. In her narrative approach Passow subverts the established tapestry tradition, not praising rulers and heroes, but directing criticism – at today’s Europe. Once celebr ated as the stronghold of democracy and humanism, it is today marked by a military defensive stance at its borders, by a thoroughly corrupt capitalism, and by increasingly brazen Neo - Nazi movements.