UNSEEN 2022: Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann

Westergas, Amsterdam, 16 - 18 September 2022 

For UNSEEN 2022, we presented Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann's new body of work Tabak Trafik Project,  from her residency in Secession and Beethoven Hotel, Vienna, in spring 2022. 


Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann’s research and production evolves at the intersection
of several fields which includes domesticity, psychology and feminism, exploring
a range of issues related to the habitus, the circulation of goods and typologies
of gesture. Her artistic practice revolves around the notion of para-architecture
(that which lies alongside or beyond architecture), which she sees as a working
method. Badaut Haussmann uses sculpture, image, text, video and sound, while
favouring installation, the exhibition being her main medium.

For Badaut Haussmann, the residency at the Secession in the spring of 2022
was an opportunity to solidify a research project that the artist had wanted to
undertake in Vienna for some time around a central element of Western culture
and an important facet of Viennese history: the cigarette.

The starting point for this research was a piece of clothing the artist bought at a
flea market in Kyoto (Japan) in 2016 for 200 yen (2 euros): a shirt from the brand
«Karl Helmut» with the logo «Tabak Trafik» as a repeating pattern. For Badaut
Haussmann, the shirt has become a kind of research score; the garment, both
intimate and social, constitutes a kind of narrative readymade, from which a wide
range of stories can be told, whether personal or linked to a wider national and
political history. It was through this shirt, found in Japan, that the artist became
familiar with the Austrian history of the «Tabak Trafik», a national tobacco
distribution network—and press office—whose production was nationalised for
almost 150 years at the TabakFarbik in Linz. The logo on the shirt and on the
streets of Vienna consists of a burning cigarette in a red circle with the name of
the distribution network on.