Hlali Painting Paradise
© VG BILD-KUNST, 2019i

In Focus: Barbara Hlali

Barbara Hlali’s animated films revolve around the enduring up-to-date subject of war, fleeing, and expulsion, whereby the possibility of resistance and liberation are always considered as well. In Painting Paradise (2008), the artist paints over a television screen showing street scenes from Baghdad. Soldiers are transformed into civilians and the war-scarred city into a vacation paradise with a beach and palm trees. Barbara Hlali’s gestures transforms the media images of the conflict in the region that have been repeated for years into a vision of peace.

In Desert Eagle (2009), the artist grabs not brushes but a more drastic tool and saws a Desert Eagle handgun with an angle grinder. From it she forms a bird’s body, and its wings quickly start moving above a desert landscape und finally disappear on the horizon.

Striving for freedom is also the theme of the video Revolution Contra Revolution (2009), in which a man dressed in black repeatedly runs into a freshly painted white wall and leaves prints of his body behind. The artist employs animation to create from his traces a crowd of people protesting that gradually appears to occupy the whole white wall. In the end, everything merges in white, the color of peace.

In Schwester Gretel Nr. 2: Flucht (2012), Barbara Hlali investigates a family story whose clues she discovers in her grandmother’s photographs and descriptions of her own experiences during World War II.


Painting Paradise (2008), 5 min.
Desert Eagle (2009), 2 min.
Revolution Contra Revolution (2009) 3 min.
Schwester Gretel Nr. 2 – Flucht (2012), 23 min.

Curated by

Darija Šimunović

The Video Lounge is supported by

Ähnliche Veranstaltungen