Frančeska Kirke entered the art scene in the 1970s, and since the 1990s she has taken a distinctly postmodern approach to painting. Like a finely tuned performance, Kirke’s works contain wittily woven allusions to art from earlier periods, Biblical themes, ancient Greek myths and other heroic legends. By manipulating iconic images of visual culture, she adds new subtexts to them which may be seen as commentary about current events in society, politics and other spheres. Combining classic elements of art and pop culture, Kirke turns these kitsch “weapons” against themselves, ironically playing with the kitsch aesthetic. In the painting “Eiropas nolaupīšana,” the artist blends the ancient Greek myth of Zeus abducting the Phoenician princess Europa with the murder scene of a woman in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film “Psycho.” The fact that the woman screaming in horror is Europa rather than the woman stabbed in the shower played by Janet Leigh is indicated by the pearl necklace, a gift from Zeus destined to bring its recipient nothing but ill fortune. The place where Zeus’s lover was imprisoned, i.e. the island of Crete, or more generally Greece, continues to trouble Europe in the 21st century. In our time, Greece’s economic policies threaten the Eurozone’s financial stability. It’s enough to make you scream!
The Rape of Europa. 2013.