The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2016 was awarded to Vera Drebusch.
Members of the three-person jury were Dr. Inke Arns (Director of HMKV Hartware Medienkunstverein, Dortmund), Thomas Thiel (former Director of Kunstverein Bielefeld) and Céline Berger (artist and NRW Media Art Scholarship Holder 2015, Cologne). The jury selected the scholarship holders from 43 applications.
The artist Vera Drebusch, who was born in Herdecke in 1986 and lives in Cologne, deals with contemporary history in her photographic, text and media works and updates them in the form of personal memories. In the photographic work Route (2014), for example, Vera Drebusch addresses the expulsion of her grandmother after the Second World War. The artist cycled the 300 km route from Poland via Czechoslovakia to Germany and projects this route as a Google map on her décolleté: her grandmother’s escape route appears as blue veins on her own skin. Hostage Radio (2014) was created during a stay in Colombia in 2013. Every Saturday, Colombia’s largest radio station broadcasts messages from family members of the many hijacked people to the kidnapped in the jungle from midnight until 6:00 the next day. The installation is made up of a radio station and a world receiver from which a text written and spoken by Vera Drebusch can be heard – and all this is placed in front of a piece of Levanto Rosso (blood marble) illuminated from behind. Vera Drebusch also works with the methods of condensation and visualisation in other projects. Her new project, to be realised within the scholarship of the state of NRW for a female media artist in 2016, is entitled Die Höhle des Löwen (Lion´s Cave).
Lion´s Cave, Mixed Media Installation (Diaprojektion, in Stahl gerahmte Bilder, 50 x 70cm), 1987/2006/2016: In an autobiographical work, Vera Drebusch traces her relationship with a childhood friend. The two grew up together, almost like siblings, but he later followed a completely different path. For eleven years he was a member of the far-right scene; he served two prison sentences and was recently able to leave the scene. The photos from the past thirty years have been thoroughly edited, his face as well as the tattoos all over his body have been retouched and erased for the sake of anonymity. The attempt at rapprochement is documented through quotes that have been handwritten and projected as a slide show directly onto the wall. The gallery of St. Peter serves as an exhibition space. (Mario Müller)
Vera Drebusch (1986 in Herdecke) lives and works in Hamburg, graduated in photography in Dortmund and followed this up with studies at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá and as a guest at the Bremen University of the Arts and the Kassel University of the Arts. In 2013, she founded the exhibition space GOLD+BETON at Cologne’s Ebertplatz. From 2015 to 2019, she took on teaching positions at the Institute for Art and Art Theory at the University of Cologne and at the Faculty of Cultural Studies at the University of Paderborn. She curated exhibitions in Germany and abroad for the Westdeutscher Künstlerbund.