Villa Aurora Grant Recipients | 2023

Jul, Aug

Monika Orpik | Visual Artist

Monika Orpik was born in 1997 in Poland. She’s currently pursuing her MA degree at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg. Orpik’s methodology involves working with specialists across various disciplines e.g. composers, anthropologists and linguists to allow for a space of interaction and exchange of knowledge. Her research focuses on unnamed things, moments undepicted in images, and the collapse of meaning caused by the use of inadequate language. Further she is interested in stories often omitted from mainstream historical records and the misuse of classification processes that impacts the narrative gaps. In her work she investigates methods used to describe experiences often named as those unspeakable or unspoken within the subject of war, violence and trauma. She incorporates photography, book making, text and sound in her work.

Monika Orpik is Villa Aurora Fellow of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation.


Project Description

The world famous novelist swimming across a little river while wearing a dress. The story of Lion Feuchtwanger escaping the Camp des Milles dressed as a woman, was a catalyst into researching more on the way his wife’s Marta history has been told. If it wasn’t for Marta, the legacy of Feuchtwanger might now have been preserved. Thanks to her the house, together with the 30,000 volumes by now contained in Lion Feuchtwanger’s (third) personal library was transferred to the University of Southern California. She’s also very rarely mentioned in relation to her heroic socialising during her husband’s writing periods. It was her who teamed up with Bertolt Brecht, Heinrich Mann (who certainly were immensely influenced by Lion’s work) and other to undertake exploratory excursions or very long discussions about culture and politics. In the essay film But, that’s Marta! (working title), Orpik wants to focus on the story of Marta Feuchtwanger, her importance in relation to the artistic career of her husband within a feminist context and the contrary to the female figure often positioned in the shadow of the successful male partner.