Owned by
others

Projects

Contributing artists examine Museum Island and its geographies in a critical dialogue with their own localities worldwide. Interventions in public space, performances, and walks as well as a boat trip comprise the program for fall and winter 2020–21.

An-Bau

Adam Kraft

Installation/intervention
2019
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Adam Kraft’s artistic practice involves the dualism of changing reality while disappearing. His installations infiltrate public spaces by repurposing the forgotten fifth corner of the room, outfitting it into a homely and safe refuge. Adam’s gift to his audience (no matter how small) is to open up livable possibilities against the background of neoliberal capitalist urban development. His „an-architectures“ foster urban myths and imaginaries of real-life miniature Utopias.

For Owned by Others, Adam will expand on the documentation and dissemination of his already vanished undertaking An-Bau—the unruly hinterland of a faux facade. Over the course of several months the artist scavenged scrap material in the streets to construct a secret refuge within the scaffolding surrounding the original site of the Berliner Bauakademie. The original building by Karl Friedrich Schinkel had been erected in 1836 and was destroyed in 1945. It presaged the principles of modern architecture by adhering to strict functionality and is destined to be reconstructed in the coming years. As if longing for “authentic” renewal, an advertisement for the reconstruction fitted the former site of the building with a giant poster mimicking the building’s facade between 2004 and 2019.

Starting from the clandestine architecture of his bird’s nest behind the „Baumaske“ Adam investigated the potential of the unruly in the very „heartland“ of Berlin, e.g. by starting an inventory of the local flora and fauna. The durational intervention, which is documented here, also raises questions on authenticity, historicity, and social usage of prestigious sites in the metropolis. Berlin’s pursuit to remold its fractured past into continuity is subverted by an invitation which offers space to live, to study, and to contemplate—for all the world to see yet out of sight.

 

Faux facade and builders' shed at Bauakademie, 2019
builders' shed, scaffolding, 2019
the image of a key is a key
refurbished "An-Bau"
floor hatch
hand pulley block

Aparición

Regina José Galindo

Performance
Nov 25, 2020 – ongoing
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Every third day, a woman is murdered by her partner or ex-partner in Germany. The performative piece “Aparición” by Regina José Galindo draws attention to this distressing number by installing a series of temporary memorials on Museum Island Berlin.

The first translation of the Latin word monumentum is “reminder,” something useful and well-meaning we leave behind to make life easier, something different for sure than the monuments that clutter cities worldwide. In Regina José Galindo’s artistic work, the female body—vulnerable, scarred, but alive and combative—typically portrays how systems of oppression and violence are ingrained in our societies. Her performances depict injury, assault, and defenselessness, making visible what routinely happens in the un-surveilled crime scenes of war zones, human trafficking, or domestic space.

 

The imposing architecture of Museum Island, in contrast, evokes the Prussian will to reign, its monumental character serves to show unrivalled, certainly masculine greatness. As a juxtaposition, the performance Aparición creates a poetic and measured scene that questions what, really, is worth remembering. Despite the high numbers the German penal law still fails to acknowledge femicide as a separate criminal offense. Instead, very often intimate partner violence leading to death is ruled as “manslaughter” (Totschlag) instead of (first-degree) murder. To kill a partner who makes choices for herself is still not generally understood as a sufficiently reprehensible motive.

The work by Regina remembers the murdered women of the past, present and future – every three days as a living sculpture. The initiative started on November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and will be continuing throughout December.

Cinema Lada

Raul Walch, Robel Temesgen

Screening
Feb 2021
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Cinema Lada began as an open-air cinema at the Modern Art Museum, Addis Ababa, in 2015. It made a second appearance during the festival in the immediate vicinity of Hamburger Bahnhof and will continue its journey afterwards.

The Lada, a thirty-year-old car model known widely as the vehicle of blue and white taxis, dominates the streets of Addis Ababa, one of the most populated cities in Africa. In Germany, the Lada is a rare sight. The Lada Zhiguli recalls a specific time in the history of Germany as it does in Ethiopia, a shared history across the two continents. Socialist Ethiopia was in close contact with Eastern Bloc countries, especially the USSR and East Germany. Large monuments still stand in Addis Ababa as a testimony of this time, such as an oversized Karl Marx bust from Germany in front of Addis Ababa University. The Lada could be seen as the last living monument of that past though Toyota models are slowly displacing the fleet.

Cinema Lada will be an ambassador and an installation at the same time, bringing together African and European artists. The film program for Cinema Lada features works from a variety of international artists connected in that the artist features as the performer: an actor in the public domain and an interventionist in their own film confronting different realities and challenging the norms of public space.

Untitled (Anonymous Visitor)

Jeewi Lee, Aliou Diack

In the natural world, everything belongs to a place and at the same time moves across constantly changing perimeters. Every living being and every particle also leave traces on their way. In their individual works, artists Jeewi Lee and Aliou “Badou” Diack share an interest in natural materials and their transformation through the artistic process. Aliou’s large-scale paintings use traditional medicine as pigments; Jeewi’s tactile installations and prints are visibly made from the earth. Despite their concreteness, both artists’ works convey liberation through form. When the two found themselves in unexpected confinement together in Casablanca, Morocco, between March and July 2020 due to COVID-19, they reflected not only on the web of movements around them but also on the personal nodes that give structure and flexibility to their personal lives in Berlin and Dakar, Senegal.

For their contribution to Owned by Others, the two have turned to the migratory birds passing by their confinement home in Casablanca. The coast of Morocco is a place of transit for many bird species, migrating between the European continent and western Africa, as it lies near the main migration route through the Strait of Gibraltar. Some avian species connect the cities of Dakar and Berlin; a couple of them would even be inclined to spend the Northern Hemisphere’s summer on Museum Island if humans hadn’t drained this former swamp, shaping the habitat according to modern European desires for pleasure gardens and museum spaces. Jeewi and Aliou’s collaboration combines archival and sculptural work as well as interviews with scientists and other experts. To resurrect the presence of birds like the osprey or the purple heron on Museum Island, they use taxidermies from Berlin’s Museum of Natural History to produce bronze sculptures with traces of an osprey’s foot in Dakar. Their work in public space, finally, places those footsteps back on the island, conjuring new possibilities of coexistence for a post-urban future. Crossing borders and barriers between Berlin and Dakar easily on their line of flight, migratory birds remind us of how freedom of movement, regardless of COVID-19, is compromised for too many people at too many times.

The artists would like to thank their collaborators.

Ornithological expert:
Colonel Abdoulaye Ndiaye
Osprey footprint:
Robert Stein, Museum for Natural History Berlin
Print replica:
Isabelle Irrgang, Bildgießerei Hermann Noack Berlin
Processing & production of the bronzes:
Bruno Mandembé, Dakar

Sonora

Miguel Buenrostro

 

In an attempt to counteract the impersonal presentations of Museum Island given by its institutions, artist Miguel Buenrostro has brought together different musicians that earn a living playing music for visitors, locals and workers in the streets of Museum Island. Normally a touristic zone characterised by anonymous encounters and communicative neglect, Museum Island under a Covid-19 lockdown, is set up as a stage for new, meaningful encounters.

Sonora investigates the soundscapes of the island by mapping the traveling memories of musicians whose music resonates in the corners, pathways, bridges and corridors of Museum Island. The musicians form part of a complex constellation of musical genealogy and journeys of migration. Miguel continues to examine these soundscapes by drawing the relational disparities between tourists, business people, ‘locals’ and ‘others’.

La ciudad de la eterna primavera

Miguel composes new realism and cinematic stages where musicians come together to play in different public spaces, becoming  portals of understanding where the implicit coloniality of Museum Island is superimposed by musical memories, dreams of citizenship and better tomorrows. Miguel reflects on the possibility of strengthening knowledge production, solidarity  and dialogue between traveling musicians. Many of them are going through difficult times due to the halt of tourism provoked by Covid- 19 and the travel restrictions they themselves have to face. Sonora opens up the possibility to make visible that which has been invisible during the pandemic.

For Pleasure and Knowledge

WEISE-GROßE

Fire, water, earth, air . .
All is. All that is, will be.

All that is, is in-between: between time and space, between matter and ideas, between temperatures and states of aggregation. All that is, is in-between: between light and shadows, between transitions of electrons and the words that we create for all there is, between beginnings and between ends.
Here, in particular, lies a large stone, a lump of granite, millions of years old. A time capsule of world information.

Never known coldness. It pushes the large stone from Sweden into the sand of the Brandenburg region. There it lies. For a long time as a miracle. It is chosen – chosen by an idea and ministered by it. It is split, worked with and separated into vanishing material and a new form. Its bare stone-being; the past, its nature: culturally informed. Halfway to perfection it is handled and shipped to the big city, the center of power of an awakening nation. It is polished to perfection and immaculateness. Axially symmetrical and mirror finished. Ultimately the former stone is placed as a large bowl. Ever since it invites „for pleasure and knowledge“ and crows over nature as a grail of enlightenment in the national sense – the granite bowl in the ​Lustgarten​ (Pleasure Garden) of Berlin.

All that is, is in-between.

The large granite bowl in the ​Lustgarten​ in front of ​Altes Museum​ has a diameter of 6.91 meters, a weight of around 75 tons and is the world’s largest specimen of its kind made from a single stone.Commissioned in 1826 by the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III., designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and implemented by stonemason Christian Gottlieb Cantian, the solitary granite bowl was given a prominent, meaningful place in front of Altes Museum​ to, so Schinkel, “make more receptive” “to the pleasure and knowledge” of the royal art collections.The bowl was carved from a 1,420 million year old erratic boulder. The remnants of what was once the largest boulder in the area of ​​today’s Brandenburg, the ​Großen Markgrafensteins,​ can still be found in the Rauenschen Mountains. The red granite stone came during the Saale or Weichselian glaciation from Karlshamn in central southern Sweden to a sand tail south of Fürstenwalde / Spree, the place of its splitting.The choice of the ​Großer Markgrafenstein​ was no mere accident. At the beginning of the 19th century, granite boulders were given patriotic attributes, and granite was stylized as a cult stone.

Dark Clouds

Aram Bartholl

Going for long walks in the city’s streets during the lockdown will be a comforting activity to cope with the day-to-day. We cordially invite you to head to Museum Island on one of your upcoming strolls. The artist initiative Owned by Others presents the work of artist and professor for Art and Digital Media, Aram Bartholl. While the troubled Humboldt Forum opened digitally on Dec 16th 2020, Bartholl summons dark clouds over the prestigious building.

Using an augmented reality filter for Instagram, everyone can now revisit the construction site fire from April 2020 with one’s own phone. The effect is layered over the real-life image of your camera display. The filter is available @arambartholl (Link in bio) Position yourself facing the south-east portal of the Berlin Palace opposite to the Hans Eisler music school, activate the filter and point your camera to the portal.

Bauensemble

Andreas Gehrke

Digital exhibition,
Dec 2020 – ongoing
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Andreas Gehrke’s photo series reveals the shifted, faulty, and discordant seams of Museum Island. The architecture of Berlin, once labeled as the “capital of eclecticism” (Scheffler 1910), becomes readable as a slightly odd, durational process forever eschewing completion. Gehrke often investigates places which resemble willful assemblages but still appear incongruent. His six-year project on Brandenburg peripheries depicted a land seemingly left by its inhabitants; void of the impulses of innovation, the landscapes nonetheless convey the nuances of change and the ubiquity of constant transition. His photographs are never purely documentary; rather, they point to temporalities more complex than the course of a linear history.

Following the invitation from Owned by Others, Gehrke explored Museum island as a transient terrain of grand gestures and workmanship – of playful surfaces, materials, and readymade objects with unconventional functions. As in his previous works, photography never sets the stage for architecture and does not represent it as intended by its makers. Beyond grand narratives of place or people, his photos do the work of provincializing Berlin through close contact: absurd scaffolding sculptures, safety barriers going overboard, and makeshift fixes to prestigious sandstone stairways reflect day-to-day challenges of construction site management. Stripping away the idea of an ensemble nearing completion, what remains are patterns and overlays of multiple temporal references –  available for visitors to rethink and redo history themselves. With an agile approach, Gehrke presents hand-camera shots in a series of Instagram stories and posts.

Pirates, Prawns & Invaders

Arijit Bhattacharyya

Lecture performance
Oct 25, 2020
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In his seminal lecture and text “Of Other Spaces,” Michel Foucault states:

“Brothels and colonies are two extreme types of heterotopia, and if we think, after all, that the boat is a floating piece of space, a place without a place, that exists by itself, that is closed in on itself and at the same time is given over to the infinity of the sea and that, from port to port, from tack to tack, from brothel to brothel, it goes as far as the colonies in search of the most precious treasures they conceal in their gardens, you will understand why the boat has not only been for our civilization, from the sixteenth century until the present, the great instrument of economic development (I have not been speaking of that today), but has been simultaneously the greatest reserve of the imagination.”

(Foucault, 1986)

Apart from the discourse of heterotopia, Foucault in this statement explores three ideas: “colonies,” “brothels,” and the treasures of these spaces which were being explored by “boat.” Foucault’s glorification of “boat” expresses nothing but a deeply rooted glorification of violence committed by European explorers. The “colony” becomes nothing but an expression for otherness, and the “brothel” in the other cultures becomes a systemic glorification of patriarchal power structures.

mobile Lecture performance, 2020

In the history of colonialism, Foucault’s boat becomes one of the most significant objects. The so-called “discovery” of America, Papua New Guinea, and rediscovery of India in the postcolonial context becomes nothing but a process of invasion. The powerful European invaders such as Columbus, Cook, or da Gama were inhabitants of Foucault’s heterotopic boat. Boats have been a part of human history for the last 130,000 years. From the Indus Valley to Papua, from the Puntland to the rivers of Amazon, boats have dominated human transportation, trade, and culture in the pre-Eurocentric economy and beyond. Hence, boats are not only associated with colonial invaders, but there were also boats built by the people who were colonized. What happened to their boats?

Images of a voyage in the Spree River around the Museum Island of Berlin as a gesture of remembering the boats of those who were colonized. Together, we will travel with the stories of shark callers, failed revolutionaries, pirates, and untouchables.

projection from boat, 2020
Projections on museum island, 2020

The 3 Commandments of Postcolonialism

Santiago Sierra

Santiago Sierra’s artistic work on inequality and political critique has unfolded over three decades and, after placing an anarchist flag on the South Pole, is now spanning seven continents. In considering his contributions addressing Berlin, we see in decade leaps precise formulations of critique which address the current soft spots of liberal self-perception in German society.

In 2000, Sierra hired Six People Who Are Not Allowed to Be Paid for Sitting in Cardboard Boxes to do just that for four hours daily, exposing them to the gaze of exhibition viewers and the latter to their illiteracy of the rigid rules of the German asylum system. In 2010, he translated a lecture by a Spanish union leader on regimes of permanent crises endured by the working class. Translation of a Conversation pierced through unchallenged assumptions of austerity politics that even many liberal intellectuals were too slow to grasp. Sierra’s much-noted and controversial entrapments of the art visitor vis-à-vis human actors, as they were found in his situational works, recedes in his recent positions by a shift in attention to social violence on a larger scale. Global-historical, ecological, and geopolitical forces become the center of attention. This shift goes hand in hand with a change in the means of expression toward the document, relic/artifact, or sound recording.

For Sierra’s 2020 Berlin contribution to Owned by Others, he devised a two-part reckoning with the cultural and artistic possessions found on Museum Island. An engraved plate leaves a literal comment on the restitution of objects from colonial contexts and continues his interest in declarations and subversive reminders, that speak to public spaces, like those found in his Monument to Civil Disobedience in Reykjavik or his immaterial Conceptual Monument in Leipzig (both from 2012). His second contribution, the long-term project to complete an economic inventory that includes all the moveable and immoveable objects found here, mirrors the city’s undamped entrepreneurial ambitions. As long as housing, alternative culture, education, and facilities to organize care work are not insulated from the market, nothing should be spared. As a marketable asset, Museum Island must get its price tag.

The 3 Commandments of Postcolonialism

Located in Berlin’s Nikolaiviertel with a view of Museum Island, the project space Museum Tropicana is a sublet from the travel agency Tropicana Touristik and hosts a weekly series of screenings, exhibitions, cooking events, and lecture performances.

Dazed Squatting

Zuzanna Czebatul

 “Power is always… a power potential and not an unchangeable, measurable, and reliable entity like force or strength. …power springs up between men when they act together and vanishes the moment they disperse.”
(Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition)

Zuzanna Czebatul’s sculptures dismantle the ideological narratives of the triumphant and heroic to the point of collapse. At Museum Tropicana she shows an iteration of her large-scale sculpture Twister (2018), two tightly embraced obelisks initially proposed as a public monument for the city of Warsaw, whose urban landscape has been shaped by the dominant sculptural and architectural manifestations of the patriarchal nation-state to this present day. A second approach to this theme is shown in form of her ground installation Dirty Boots.

Czebatul’s most recent sculptures have been conceived during a time that sees monuments of colonial violence torn down and demolished across the world, and gives rise to the formation of transnational solidarity opposing the recent anti-LGBT+ politics in Poland targeting queer activists for putting rainbow flags on public monuments throughout the country. In this light, Czebatul’s passionately entangled obelisks become an emblematic symbol for the desire of transmitting and monumentalizing pleasure and sexuality as acts of resistance.

Renaming Celebration Screening

Screening of the 7th Renaming Cerebration for M*Street in Berlin as part of the film program of museum Tropicana.
The screening took place parallel to the digital opening of Humboldt Forum.

7th Renaming Celebration for “M*Street” in Berlin

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Demonstration at the Lustgarten in front of Humboldt Forum & Event at Hausvogteiplatz

Speaker (in order of appearance):
Mnyaka Sururu Mboro (Berlin Postkolonial e.V. / Decolonize Berlin e.V.)
Vincent B. Bababoutilabo (Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland)
Elisabeth Kaneza (Menschenrechtsanwältin, UN International Decade for People of African Descent)

Participating Organizations:
AfricAvenir International, AFROTAK TV cyberNomads, Berliner Entwicklungspolitischer Ratschlag, Berlin Postkolonial, Cultural Workers against Humboldt Forum, Each One Teach One (EOTO), Decolonize Berlin e.V., Dekoloniale Erinnerungskultur in der Stadt, FuturAfrik, glokal, Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland, NARUD, Tanzania-Network.de

Editing: Miguel Buenrostro
Camera: Matthias Maercks, Miguel Buenrostro
Production: Raul Walch
Music: Omar Lizarraga

Berliner Unwillen

Zoë Claire Miller

Sculpture
Nov 19 – Nov 30, 2020
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An architectural model is not only a method used by architects and artists to convey an idea – it actually helps with thinking too. Political leaders, mostly men, like to have their photo taken as they lean over such models, overseeing a future being built to their liking. The criticism of the plan to reconstruct the Berlin Palace was so harsh and widespread that it helped to move the German discourse on reckoning with its colonial past slightly beyond its embryonic stages. Miller’s miniature sculpture scrutinizes the power and limitations of this public rejection. As we know from racism, sexism, and other -isms which plague our interpersonal relationships, not wanting something does not mean we won’t get it and have to deal with it in the future.

Zoë’s contribution Berliner Unwillen unsettles complacency and convictions of powerlessness. It alludes to the historical revolt by fifteenth century inhabitants of the twin cities Berlin and Cölln against the House of Hohenzollern’s plans to pull both cities into their reign of Brandenburg. People responded by flooding the building site of Frederick II’s envisioned seat of power: a new castle to be built on the island of Cölln, what would later become the Berliner Stadtschloss. Frederick prevailed and had the palace built, decisively curtailing the citizens‘ rights. The incendiary idea, however, remains.

The miniature will appear in different spots around Museum Island like a flaneuse, wandering, halting, seeking different perspectives, casting a curse – before eventually finding its site of permanent installation, still pending. In the meantime, it will be exhibited at Museum Tropicana, inviting visitors to contemplate on pasts and futures together.

Otros Nosotros - on Coloniality & Resistance

Miguel Buenrostro

Exhibition
Nov 10 – Nov 17, 2020
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…colonialism is not simply content to impose its rule upon the present and the future of a dominated country. Colonialism is not satisfied merely with holding a people in its grip and emptying the native’s brain of all form and content. By a kind of perverse logic, it turns to the past of the oppressed people, and distorts it, disfigures and destroys it.
(Fanon, 1961)

Many narratives of Alexander von Humboldt’s travels to the America’s refer to him as the „Second Discoverer“. Because of his travels and engagements with the flora and fauna, his geological studies provided new perspectives on science. At the same time he produced maps which travelled back to Europe to the hands of the Spanish crown. These maps provided the empire with geographical data detailing the richness in natural resources of the new world. This knowledge was soon potentialized as it assisted different forms of extracting wealth from natural resources as well as from indigenous land and labour.

‘Otros Nosotros – on Coloniality & Resistance’ is an artistic investigation and argument presented through archival images and filmed footage by the artist Miguel Buenrostro at ‘Museum Tropicana’. Exploring the economic relationship between forms of domination in Latin America and de-colonial struggles. Miguel utilises archival footage and collected images from Mexico and the Andes region that highlight connections between many forms of extractivism. The aim of the counter-narrative is to re-think Modernity/coloniality and the perception of the ‚other‘.

For ‘Otros Nosotros – on Coloniality & Resistance’ Miguel brings together confrontational footages from Berlin from this year, juxtaposing the erection of the christian cross on the dome of ‘Humboldt Forum’ and a celebration for the renaming of M* Straße in honor of Anton Wilhelm Amo which took place partly in front of the same institution. On multiple visual layers, he interconnects instances of de-colonial resistance in the heartland of Berlin.

Fahnenflucht

Peter Behrbohm

Intervention by Sonder (Peter Behrbohm & Anton Steenbock)
2013
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For the daily flag ceremony, a german flag with the socialist emblem is being hoisted in graceful slowness. For one minute, it is flying in the wind until it is proceeding back to half mast. This otherworldly scene took place over a prolonged period of time in 2013 on top of the facade sample for the New Berlin Palace which was located at Unter den Linden. In 2020 the intervention by Peter and Anton remains highly topical in the face of a growing awareness for the shortcomings to reconcile “East” and “West” after reunification also at the cultural level.

Architectural traces of the German Democratic Republic haven’t all disappeared after the Palace of the Republic was demolished in 2006. The Nikolaiviertel, for instance, where Museum Tropicana is located, owes its current existence to a socialist reconstruction project. At Berlin’s 750th anniversary in 1987 the district was restored in a unique mixture of reconstructed historic houses and concrete slab Plattenbau blocks.

 

Carnival Ecstasy

Albrecht/Wilke

Exhibition
Oct 27, 2020
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The „happy inhabitants“ in artist duo Albrecht/Wilke’s paintings, depicting German kitsch and exotic fantasies, appear to „know nothing of life except its sweetness. For them life means singing and loving.“ This much-disputed aesthetic idealization, which the painter Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) imagineered for his destination of emigration, the island of Tahiti in the South Pacific, sparked the debate on “Primitivism” in Western art.

Albrecht/Wilke’s subjects can be read as part of a playful, Federal Republic neo-primitivism, depicting post-war, German society’s attempts to escape into exotic fantasies: the invention of the infamous “Toast Hawaii” by Germany’s first TV chef (and influencer) in the fifties; the petit bourgeois tiki bar-styled basement party room in the eighties; the rising consumerism and cruise ship tourism adorned with hibiscus flowers after the fall of the Berlin Wall – they all reflect ever changing desires and fetishization of the supposedly “exotic” by those stuck in a rainy, overly complex, and harsh German reality.

The mélange of wanderlust, attraction of the exotic, and longing for a simple life is a cultural constant of the West. A casual, unquestioned racism underpins many of these interlocking reveries. In the context of Museum Island, they also point to the intersection of a historical longing for colonial possessions, exoticization, and class society. Albrecht/Wilke’s ironic look at past dreams of a dwindling middle class uncovers how consuming “exotic“ food, travel, and design were seen as an achievement in the eyes of ever-new social strata in colonizing societies. The nostalgia, however, also reflects the gradual loss of a unifying effect produced by such exotic dreams in a post-colonial reality.

The artist duo further explores this path of cultural appropriation and embraces the products of this national panopticon. Specifically for their show at Museum Tropicana, named after a cruise ship, they orchestrated a fully functioning, tiki bar showroom. While visitors received a freshly made “Toast Hawaii,” bamboo mats, grandpa’s collectibles, disco lights, and beach chairs served as the backdrop for their specifically produced paintings, drawings, and beach towels.

The Image of a Key is a Key

Adam Kraft, Lutz Henke

Discussion & walk
Oct 13, 2020
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Questioning the agency of objects, the authenticity of places, and the capability of the undercommons, through the work of artist Adam Kraft.  The night brought together participants from Berlin at Museum Tropicana. Taking on the form of an „invisible seminar“ and a walk, Adam shared insights into his practice and the project „An-Bau“, which took place on the original site of Schinkel’s famous Berliner Bauakademie in 2019.

Tarkib Tropicana 

TARKIB, Raul Walch

Research,
Oct 6, 2020 –  ongoing
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Not far from Museum Tropicana, you can find the Pergamonmuseum and in it the Ishtar Gate. It was constructed more than 2,600 years ago by the order of King Nebuchadnezzar II in the city of Babylon, what is today on Iraqi territory.

What became a major tourist attraction in Berlin is still remembered in Iraq as one to the most famous pillars of cultural heritage in the region. The artist Zaid Saad from Baghdad, and as a member of the artist group running the cultural center Tarkib, started a collaboration with the project Owned by Others. Zaid Saad and his collaborators traveled from Baghdad toward Babylon to visit the former site of the Ishtar gate. This voyage is almost impossible to make for any non-Iraqi person and especially during the corona crisis. This voyage culminated with the production of a documentary video to share with the visitors of Museum Tropicana that unveils the status of this historical site. Furthermore, the video is a form of reminder from the artists of Tarkib that the physical Ishtar Gate present in Berlin is beyond the reach of most Iraqi citizens.

The collected footage forms the basis of an ongoing exchange which will be presented in the Owned by Others program in the following months. Alongside the documentary, the “Baghdad-Kolkata Kitchen” is a private storytelling and cooking session between Hella Mewis and Arijit Bhattacharyya that departs from similarly complex narratives of ownership. The session explores the historical relationship between Baghdad and Kolkata alongside Indo-Iraqi cuisine.

Banana Forum Manifest

Sep 29, 2020
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I

The multiplicity of voices inherent in the Banana Forum’s program is reflected in its institutional collaborations. The Banana Forum represents a pioneering partnership between many experienced actors in the cultural and academic field.

II

The Banana Forum is taking shape in the historical heart of Berlin as a unique place of inquiry and encounter. A place with a significant past. A place for the arts and sciences, for exchange, diversity, and a multiplicity of voices. A place where differences come together.

III

The outstanding collections assembled under the roof of the Banana Forum and its varied program of exhibitions, events, and educational and digital offerings inspire visitors to gain new insights into the world of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Monuments for Whom?

Miguel Buenrostro, Raul Walch, Arijit Bhattacharyya

Screening & discussion,
Sep 22, 2020
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Our cities are paved with monuments. Some are cast in bronze, others carved from stone. Monuments for whom? All over the world, as protests against racism have renewed attention on legacies of injustice, colonialism, and mass murder, people have been toppling statues which have stood for more than a century.

Greetings from Berlin!

Aram Bartholl

Post Card Series and Stand
Dec 5, 2020 – ongoing
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On April 8, 2020, during insulation work in the floor area of the Humboldt Forum, two cookers with mastic asphalt caught fire, and a gas cylinder exploded. Thick clouds of black smoke rose above the palace and city. Numerous Twitter users posted pictures and videos. In a surprising and paradoxical twist, the incident added the first significant layer of authentic history to an otherwise historical re-construction: while the visual language seemed to remind the public of the original palace’s fate, the unplanned fire itself could have catalyzed the transformation of sterile veneers of a non-place into a site of local history. Sadly, the physical evidence – in the form of the freshly obtained patina – was swiftly erased.

Bartholl’s postcard series utilizes the continuous overproduction of images through social media. By transforming these pictures into printed post cards, Bartholl demonstrates how the speed of image circulation today may undermine marketing strategies and efforts in brand development. Greetings from Berlin! gives proof that the image and historiography of an organization cannot be entirely controlled by its management and emphasizes the quality of the unpredictable. For neighbors like Tropicana Touristik (currently hosting Museum Tropicana) and downtown commuters, the construction site fire arguably made for one of the most entertaining incidents during the seven-and-a-half years of construction for the new Berlin Palace and will shape its representation in the years to come. Visitors are invited to take a set of cards from the souvenir shop postcard stand and to send them to relatives and friends.

Bridge of Spice

Arijit Bhattacharyya

Lecture performance
Sep 15, 2020
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In one of his most well-known quotes, Michel Foucault claims, “Where there is power, there is resistance” (1978: 95–96). On the contrary, Lila Abu-Lughod states, “Where there is resistance, there is power” (1990: 42), thus understanding resistance is helpful to recognize power.

When the ships first arrived at the coast of Calicut, history was forming a new shape for cuisine and for other aspects of society in two different parts of the world. The Bridge of Spice is a socio-political dialogue about the gastronomy of Southeast Asia and its relationship with colonialism. It attempts to negotiate power in a postcolonial context through food and wishes to develop an argument that investigates efforts of neocolonialism in postcolonial culture through gastronomy.

Artists

Adam Kraft

An-Bau
The Image of a Key is a Key

Adam Kraft is an artist and an-architect from Stockholm working in urban loopholes across Europe. Adam produces hidden spaces in locations as versatile and unthought of like Copenhagen central station or a freight train travelling to the Arctic Circle. With experiments and interventions, Adam’s praxis denies borders and transgresses disciplines of craft, technology, architecture, design, art, and communication. His practice is deeply concerned with the idea of the public. His acclaimed installations and spatial interventions assemble critical commons by tending to the unattended—all together aiming to activate imaginations and futurabilities.

Albrecht/Wilke

Carnival Ecstasy

The painter duo Albrecht and Wilke is based in Berlin since graduating from Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig in 2019. In their collaborative paintings, German clichés are an ongoing theme as are home cooking, history of art, and the banality of the everyday. They deal with the emotional asylums and amenities of adventurous city dwellers portraying pleasure, desire, and craving without any reservation. Recent solo exhibitions include shows at Salon am Moritzplatz (Berlin), Sprink Düsseldorf, and Syker Vorwerk (Syke).

Aliou Diack

Untitled (Anonymous Visitor)

Aliou Diack was born in 1987 in Sidi Bougou in the Mbour region of Senegal and currently lives and works in Dakar. Fascinated by his environment and the exploration of “mère nature” from an early age, his first encounter with art started at the age of ten, when he moved away from his family to Dakar, to study. To sate his nostalgia for the green flora, wild fauna– the nature near his village, he started to reproduce and create his own environment by drawings and paintings. From 2009 to 2014 Aliou studied fine art at École Nationale des Arts de Dakar (ENA). He creates multilayered land- scape by combining patches of color with concrete lines and scattering of pigments. The latter are made of dead plants and trees and are often used for medical purposes. Since 2014, Aliou has participated in numerous international exhibitions and art fairs and attends artist residencies, such as Villa Romana in Florenz (2018) and Thread from the Josef & Anni Albers Foundation (2016, 2017). He participated in exhibitions at IFA Gallery Berlin (2019), Le Manège Gallery from Institute Français Dakar (2019), Biennale of Contemporary African Art OFF (2018), Agit’art Laboratory Dakar and Art-Paris at Grand Palais (2017).

Alvaro Urbano

Alvaro Urbano was born in Madrid, lives and works in Berlin. He studied at the Architecture School in Madrid and completed his studies at the Institut für Raumexperimente (Professor Olafur Eliasson), Universität der Künste, Berlin. In 2014 Alvaro received the Villa Romana Fellowship. He attended The Artists and Architects-in-Residence program at MAK, Los Angeles in 2016/2017. Alvaro’s practice embraces a variety of media, from film performance to spatial installations that unfold throughout an experimental process, with a strong focus on architecture, fiction, and heterotopia. His work creates synergies between living entities in newly-conceived environments – relationships that define and render time-space situations anew. Recent solo projects and exhibitions include: Altbau, ChertLüdde, Berlin (2017); Almost Midnight, Frankfurt am Main, Berlin (2017); Assemble, performance night, The Playground Project – Outdoor Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn (2018), El Despertar, La Casa Encendida, Madrid (2020).

Andreas Gehrke

Bauensemble

Andreas Gehrke was born in Berlin in 1975 and has been working as a freelance photographer since 1999. In addition to countless publications for renowned German and international magazines, he has produced complete book projects for the Boros Collection, Sauerbruch Hutton Architects and the Neufert Foundation, among others. Empty spaces, wastelands, peripheral areas and their transformation processes are recurring motifs in the works of Andreas. They have been exhibited in galleries such as Pierogi in Leipzig or PS1 in New York. In 2013, he founded the publishing platform Drittel Books, where he publishes his own monographs as well as exceptional photographic works by colleagues who are friends of his.

Aram Bartholl

Dark Clouds
Greetings from Berlin!

Aram Bartholl (*1972, Bremen) uses sculptural interventions, installations, and performative workshops to question our engagement with media and public economies linked to social networks, online platforms, and digital dissemination strategies. Aram’s work creates a sometimes bizarre confrontation with our own ignorance of global platform capitalism and renegotiates network activities as political forms of participation on an analog level, using the potential of public space. A purposeful contextualization of aesthetics, codes, and communication patterns that users are familiar with from YouTube, Instagram, and video games employs the logic of the Internet while at the same time undermining it. Bartholl has exhibited at MoMA in New York, Skulptur Projekte Münster, and Palais de Tokyo in Paris among many others. He is professor of art and digital media at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences and lives and works in Berlin.

Arijit Bhattacharyya

Pirates, Prawns & Invaders
Monuments for Whom?
Bridge of Spice

Arijit Bhattacharyya (*1994, Kolkata) is an artist and independent curator currently living and working in Weimar, Germany. His practice revolves around contentious narratives of resistance through social engagements, design interventions, and lecture performances. His artistic discourse is deeply rooted in the dissecting trajectories of sociopolitical history and its implications in cultural practices. As a curator, he is invested in artistic negotiations that investigate methods of social agitation. Arijit’s major works have been part of institutions like Khoj International Artists’ Association, Photo Kathmandu, Kochi Biennale, UNITAR Jeju, and Serendipity Arts Festival to name a few.

Fernando Sánchez Castillo

In his work, Fernando Sánchez Castillo (*1970, Madrid) analyzes the relationship between art, political power, and its propaganda. He often uses existing “traces” from the past as a starting point and transforms them into outlooks on the present through the media of film, sculpture, and performance. His work Guernica Syndrome from 2012, for instance, transformed dictator Francisco Franco’s leisure boat into prism-shaped objects devoid of any sentimental qualities but easy to stack, transport, or store out of sight. Fernando has participated in group exhibitions at Tate Modern in London, MoMA in New York, and the 50th Biennale di Venezia and has also exhibited solo in Shchusev State Museum of Architecture, Moscow (2019), Kunstraum Innsbruck (2016), Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Polanco (2016) amongst many others.

Ina Weise

Ina Weise was born in 1985 in Dresden, Germany. She studied Design at the Academy of Applied Arts in Schneeberg, Germany. After extended study periods abroad in Linz, Austria, Łódź, Poland and in Chicago, US she graduated with a Masters degree in “Public Art and New Artistic Strategies” at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar under professor Danica Dakić in 2014. Ina’s works include site-specific performances and temporary interventions in public space. She is currently working as Artistic Associate and Lecturer of the international MFA-Program “Public Art and New Artistic Strategies” at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar and as freelance curatorial assistant at Kunsthaus Dresden – Municipal Gallery for Contemporary Art.

Jeewi Lee

Untitled (Anonymous Visitor)

Jeewi Lee (*1987, Seoul) is a South Korean-German artist, based in Berlin. Her work predominantly deals with traces that question our visual perception. The trace bears witness to time while also reflecting its history and own production process. For Jeewi, it exist as residue of past lives, a visual allegory for lived experience, place, memory, and the body. The artist carries out intensive research on materials and their properties by transforming or combining them. This leads to her exploring the poetic context of the individual materials. Jeewi studied painting at the Berlin University of the Arts (UDK) and at Hunter College University in New York. She graduated in 2014 with a master in fine arts at the UDK and since 2018 holds an MFA from the postgraduate program Art in Context. She has received various grants and scholarships including Villa Romana in Florenz, CAA Berlin and from Kunstfond Foundation. In 2020 she received artist residencies, such as Thread from the Josef & Anni Albers Foundation in Senegal and Al Ma’mal Foundation in Israel. Jeewi has exhibited in numerous group shows and solo exhibitions and was part of the Festival of Future Nows at the Neue Nationalgalerie (2014) and the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum (2017). Other exhibitions include Kunstverein in Hamburg, the Korean Embassy Berlin, Kunstmuseum in Stuttgart (2020) and sculpture park Schlossgut Schwante (2020).

K. Verlag

K. Verlag is a Berlin-based publishing atelier advancing new forms of the “book-as-exhibition.” Since 2011 its editorial-curatorial work produces unique geographical and physical encounters in the context of art, science, design, and politics. Projects by K. have engaged themes of naturecultures, post/colonialism, geopolitics, contemporary history and feminism.
 (Co-)founded and managed by Anna-Sophie Springer, K. collaborates internationally with artists and institutions, developing singular volumes, whose materiality is never exhausted for the purpose of documentation alone. K. has published more than 20 publications, including Dora García’s On Reconciliation / Über Versöhnung. and, in 2020, was named a recipient of the prestigious German Publishing Prize (Deutscher Verlagspreis).

Kasia Fudakowski

Kasia Fudakowski’s (*1985, London) sculptural practice provides a totally independent view of artistic production in a social context. Both her sculptures, which often hover somewhere between figurative and abstract, and her sculptural practice-related performances and videos refer to her interest in the theory and philosophy of humour. Kasia focuses on the immediate, tense relationship between artist and audience, on patterns of expectation, representational ideals, theatricality, and the interpretation of objects as identities. Her fascination for the tremendous critical potential for humour as a comment on human failure, especially when it comes to social systems, is a crucial feature. Kasia has exhibited internationally at venues such as Modern Art Oxford; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; 1646, The Hague; Kunstverein Braunschweig; Arnolfini, Bristol; GAK, Bremen; FUTURA, Prague; and Harburger Bahnhof Kunstverein, Hamburg. Upcoming projects include Made in Germany at Sprengel Museum, Hanover; and Bring Art into Life! at Museum Ludwig, Cologne. Kasia lives and works in Berlin.

Lutz Henke

The Image of a Key is a Key

Lutz Henke is a curator and cultural scientist (M.A.) from Berlin. He is head of cultural affairs at visitBerlin where he is developing innovative formats and programs since 2016. His studies at the Viadrina European University in Frankfurt (Oder), at the Universidad de Buenos Aires and the University of California Berkeley, focused on urban studies, art, subculture and contemporary history. Henke has been awarded a grant from Olafur Eliasson’s “Institute for Spatial Experiments” at the University of the Arts Berlin and taught in the Masters program “Spatial Strategies” at the Berlin Weißensee School of Art. In 2011/2012 Lutz Henke worked for the Salomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum as programs manager of the BMW Guggenheim Lab. As the chairman of the Kreuzberg art organization „Artitude e.V.“ he directed the exhibition space and former secret reserve „Senatsreservenspeicher (SRS) Berlin“ till its demolition in 2014. He has been curating and managing art-projects which deal with art and the public domain since 2001. He has realized public artworks and interventions in Berlin and worldwide in close collaboration with the artists – including the “World’s largest Graffiti” (2012) in the Algerian desert or „Black Flag“ at the North and South Pole with Santiago Sierra. His curatorial practice as well as his research focuses on spatial practice and theory, memory and remembrance, aesthetical interventions and frontiers in their diverse appearances. Henke has been invited to give talks and classes on urban aesthetics, art, culture and history at various institutions such as the Harvard GSD or the University of Copenhagen. His writings on these subjects have been published in various books, catalogues or media like monopol or The Guardian.

Miguel Buenrostro

Sonora
Otros Nosotros - on Coloniality & Resistance
Monuments for Whom?

Miguel Buenrostro is a visual artist, documentarian, and researcher working between the US-Mexico border and Los Angeles, California, and currently based in Berlin. His work often shows multiple perspectives between coloniality / decoloniality, migration, memory and architecture. His media include cinema and performative gestures in public space. His work has been presented in the Biennale Architettura di Venezia (2016); Armory Center for the Arts (2017); Museo Numismático Nacional de la Ciudad de México (2018) Mexi-Cali Biennial (2019) and The New Bauhaus Museum, Weimar (2020); He has presented his lecture “Destruction of Memory” at Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles, California, and San Diego State University. Miguel is co-creator of “Nuevo Norte” infrastructure for migrants, a practice which aims to rethink the cultural relationship between the city and migration. His recent performative work Disfuncionalista; On Coloniality and Architecture of repression was part of the Centenary Programme celebrating the anniversary of the founding of Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany.

Peter Behrbohm

Fahnenflucht

Peter Behrbohm (Berlin,1987) is a berlin based artist, designer, architect and film maker. His works dissect the infrastructures underlaying our physical surroundings – surgically intervene public in spaces and its routines or supply speculative societies and coming conflicts with obstacles and narratives. Radical fragments recuring from crashes that happened in other futures.

Raul Walch

Cinema Lada
Tarkib Tropicana 
Monuments for Whom?

Raul Walch is a visual artist living and working in Berlin. He studied sculpture at the
Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee and completed his studies in Olafur Eliasson’s class at University of the Arts Berlin. Subsequently, he was a fellow at the Institut für Raumexperimente. He has exhibited internationally at venues such as Cinema Lada, Modern Art Museum, Addis Ababa (2015), Festival of Future Nows, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2017), Bait Tarkib, Baghdad, Iraq (2018), Zero Waste, Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig (2020). Raul is a board member of the initiative Die Vielen e.V. and the Berlin artists’ association, bbk. Currently he is teaching at the international MFA-Program “Public Art and New Artistic Strategies” at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.

Regina José Galindo

Aparición

Regina José Galindo is a visual artist and poet, whose main medium is performance. Galindo lives and works in Guatemala, using its own context as a starting point to explore and accuse the ethical implication of social violence and injustices related to gender and racial discrimination, as well as human rights abuses arising form the inequalities in power relations of contemporary societies.

Robel Temesgen

Cinema Lada

Robel Temesgen was born in 1987 received his MFA in Contemporary Art from Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art and creative writing, University of Tromsø, Norway in 2015 and a BFA in Painting from ASFAD, Addis Abeba University in 2010. His practice focuses on painting and encompasses elements of performance, installation, video and collaborative projects. Since 2010, Robel works as a Lecturer at the Department of Painting, Ale School of Fine Arts and Design, Addis Ababa University. His work has been exhibited in Ethiopia and internationally.

Santiago Sierra

The 3 Commandments of Postcolonialism

Santiago Sierra was born in 1966 in Madrid where he lives and works. Influenced by the formal language of the minimalist and conceptual art movements of the 1960s and 70s, Santiago’s work deals with global power relations and hierarchies of class as he vigorously examines the logics and futility of borders, work, or capitalism as a whole. He became well known for his performative actions in which marginalized individuals got paid to perform menial or pointless tasks. He has studied fine arts in Madrid, Hamburg, and Mexico City; solo exhibitions at Lisson Gallery, London (2008), Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (2013) among many others as well as a contribution to the Venice Biennale (2003) mark his successful and disobedient career.

TARKIB

Tarkib Tropicana 

TARKIB Baghdad Contemporary Arts Institute was founded in 2015 as an independent artist group at first. The organisation is committed to fostering creativity and excellence in the arts in Iraq, and to providing artistic opportunities for Baghdad’s diverse communities. It’s space, BAIT TARKIB creative arts centre, is the first of its kind in Iraq dedicated to contemporary arts. It aims to provide Baghdadi youth and women with a safe haven to express their ideas through exhibitions, public performances, training and workshops. Through TARKIB’s future-orientated and participatory character it serves to community capacity building. TARKIB is open to all who wants to make a change and relies on a network of committed volunteers.

Teresa Margolles

Teresa Margolles (*1963, Culiacán) relentlessly works against violence on many fronts. The visual artist seeks forms to process the fatal effects of social exclusion. Since the early 1990s, she has also been involved in the forensic department of an autopsy center in Mexico City, where numerous, mainly anonymous victims of violent crime are delivered every day. In her often minimalist works, she has since 2005 primarily investigated the excess of violence in the northern Mexican border town of Ciudad Juárez and the raging drug war there. Teresa has exhibited her work at the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009) as well as at Manifesta 11 in Zurich (2016) and was also awarded a special mention at the 58th Venice Biennale (2019).

WEISE-GROßE

For Pleasure and Knowledge

WEISE-GROßE are Ina Weise and Marcus Große. They predominantly work in the field of visual communication, art in public space and conceptual art. Weise and Große first met in Espenhain (Saxony) in 2018 during a residence, where they lived together in an east German Plattenbau building next to the federal highway B95 and artistically intervened to activate the former local bank (Sparkasse). WEISE-GROßE work at the intersection of art, architecture and urban space with a focus on the relation between society and space, its practice, idea and aesthetics. Based on artistic research, considering the respective historical, political and social context, WEISE-GROßE’s projects find their locations and often focus on details, which in turn refer to larger topics and contexts. By observing, deriving and interconnecting the familiar from different perspectives, WEISE-GROßE create new situations and open up spaces of perception.


Yuichiro Tamura

Yuichiro Tamura, born 1977 in Toyama lives and works in Kyoto. Yuichiro holds a doctoral degree from the Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts, and a Bachelorʼs degree of Photography from Nihon University. He was a guest researcher for the Institut für Raumexperimente at the Berlin University of the Arts (2013-14). Yuichiro’s work centers on installations and performances derived from existing images and objects. Using a uniquely reflective approach that transcends traditional artistic genres, he not only sets out to convey a message to visitors from the privileged world of contemporary art, but also invites an unusual form of communication with the viewer. He creates multilayered narratives, containing a mixture of fact and fiction, based on a wide range of sources from indigenous historical themes to well-known popular subjects. His recent exhibitions have included the solo shows Milky Mountain Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Zealand (2019), G Yuka Tsuruno Gallery, Tokyo (2018), and the group shows Yokohama Triennale (Yokohama Museum of Art, 2020), Readings From Below at Times Art Center Berlin (2020), Participation Mystique at Ming Contemporary Art Museum Shanghai (2020), Asian Art Biennial, Taiwan (2019), Image Narratives: Literature in Japan, Tokyo (2019), The Seven Lamps of the Art Museum, Hiroshima City (2019), Roppongi Crossing 2019: Connexions, Tokyo (2019), The Fabric of Felicity at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2018), Busan Biennale, Busan (2018), APB Foundation Signature Art Prize at National Museum of Singapore (2018), Festival of Future Nows at Hamburger Bahnhof: Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (2017), 2 or 3 Tigers at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2017).

Zoë Claire Miller

Berliner Unwillen

Zoë Claire Miller is an artist and organizer based in Berlin, Germany. She co-founded the Berlin Art Prize in 2013 and the Society for Matriarchal World Domination in 2019. Much of her political work takes place within the framework of the bbk berlin (professional association of visual artists Berlin), for which she is a spokesperson. The bbk berlin focuses primarily on political issues pertaining to artists’ rights, working conditions and infrastructure on a local/national level, but is also engaged in related issues and struggles, for instance those of gender equality, antigentrification and antifascism. Zoë’s art in the media of sculpture, installation and performative drawing is primarily collaborative and engages with the female body, sensuality, tactility, feminist /queer theory and the combined use of negative and positive space. In past exhibitions she has explored themes such as female masturbation as a metaphor for creative production; the emancipatory potential of lost knowledge surrounding contraceptive and abortive herbs; the disintegration of the body as a pleasurable experience; and the water cooler as a site of resistance via gossip. Formally, she aims to produce new shapes or images that better reflect how entities, bodies and materials can be activated in a non-patriarchal manner: allowing things to drip, dribble, spread, pool, be a mist, or a smell, and showing bodies as sites of pleasure. She is interested in interspecies relationships and dissolving the boundaries of proprietary modes of production in order to negate the historical cliché of the lone creative genius / the contemporary spectre of neoliberal, competitive modes of production. Her collaborative work, most often with Brazilian sculptor Juliana Cerqueira Leite, is an experiment in reinterpreting “autocoscienza femminista” (after Carla Lonzi) as an act of creating artistic objects, situations and experiences together as a means of developing a truly feminist subjectivity.

Zuzanna Czebatul

Dazed Squatting

Zuzanna Czebatul’s (*1986, Miedzyrzecz) work has as its core the structures and aesthetics of power embedded in political ideologies It examines power relations through artifacts and decor. As a sculptor, Zuzanna concentrates on the visual seductiveness of contemporary and archaic objects and architectural elements, as well as the language of interior and graphic design. Using comparative methodology, the artist reveals the kinships and conflicts between them. Her work is influenced by the aesthetics of ancient sculptures, modern forms of display, as well as the club culture of the nineties. Zuzanna lives and works in Berlin. She graduated from the Städelschule Frankfurt in 2013, and later attended the MFA Program at Hunter College, New York as Fulbright Fellow. Zuzanna has had solo exhibitions at GGM1 Municipal Gallery Gdansk; CCA FUTURA Prague; CCA Zamek Ujazdowski Warsaw; MINI/Goethe–Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38, NYC and at the CAC Synagogue de Delme. This year her works will be included in group exhibitions at CAN Neuchâtel, Trafostacija Szczecin and PikDeutz Cologne; early 2021 she will have solo exhibitions at Exile Vienna and Kunstpalais Erlangen, and participate in the Athens Biennale. Currently she has a solo presentation at sans titre (2016) Gallery in Paris.

About

Owned by Others is an artistic endeavor uncovering narratives, places, and artifacts from, around, and on Berlin’s Museum Island. The dialogical initiative fosters actions, interventions, research, performances, and social encounters in the public realm which link the island’s multi-layered history-scapes to global contemporary artistic practices. The project unfolds in fall 2020 through a series of interventions, a map-based website, and a publication. As collaborations span from Baghdad to Guatemala City, from Addis Ababa to Tijuana, and from Singapore to Dakar, the démarche revolves around the structures of Museum Island. The Initiative translates ongoing political discussions into contemporary, post-national collaborations, relations, and methods that negotiate globality, historicity, and the present.

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OWNED BY OTHERS

Fremdbesitz and tracing
narratives of an island

Owned by Others is an artistic endeavor uncovering narratives, places, and artifacts from, around, and on Berlin’s Museum Island. The project assembles methods for thinking about and tactics for claiming the site as a new city center of the commons. Who is responsible for telling the story of this place, and where might they be stuck in times of the pandemic?

POSSESSION ISLAND

With regards to objects in museums, a possible discrepancy between possessing and legitimately owning them is now widely accepted. Fremdbesitz denotes the ownership of an object or place with the understanding that another (often unknown) person is entitled to its ownership. Any item or building that was put on Museum Island historically was meant to predetermine a future for areas larger than just the island. Intentions to represent, redefine, and appropriate narratives for a nation were written into its architecture: Prussia embodied its claim to power in its palace, the barricades of the 1848 revolution, the Palace of the Republic, and finally the vast collections of stockpiled artifacts, accumulated over centuries, which point to almost every place and epoch in world history.

HISTORY, AS SEEN FROM ELSEWHERE

How can contemporary artistic practice invert these global entanglements? The museum’s representational space these days is complemented by a burgeoning awareness that it is not the ultimate narrator of history, for the institution itself has become a site of increasingly charged arguments. In a postcolonial understanding, history travels through ephemerality and is beyond ownership.

MULTIPLYING GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON BERLIN

The artist initiative Owned by Others fosters actions, interventions, research, lectures, performances, and social encounters in the public sphere as well as a dialogue between the local and the world. It unites participants from Baghdad to Guatemala City, from Addis Ababa to Tijuana, and from Singapore to Dakar among others. Owned by Others invites contemporary art practices to extend on Museum Island, considering the site as a prime terrain to argue the diverse, informal, and transient ways of negotiating globality, historicity, and time.

RE-INVENT CENTRALITY

A map-based website www.ownedbyothers.org and public archive as well as events, exhibitions, and weekly gatherings complete the project. The physical center of all processes is the newly established Museum Tropicana at Spreeufer 6 opposite the Berliner Schloss. It accommodates the Owned by Others offices; hosts a supporting program with exhibitions, presentations, and lecture performances; and convenes a weekly Tuesday evening get-together strictly following the latest hygiene regulations.

 

a project by Lutz Henke & Raul Walch

 

 

With contributions by:

Adam Kraft, Andreas Gehrke, Anna-Sophie Springer, Albrecht/Wilke, Alvaro Urbano, Aram Bartholl, Arijit Bhattacharyya, Cinema Lada, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Ina Weise & Marcus Große, Jeewi Lee & Aliou Badou Diack, Kasia Fudakowski, K-Verlag, Lutz Henke, Miguel Buenrostro, Peter Behrbohm,  Raul Walch, Regina José Galindo, Santiago Sierra, Tarkib, Teresa Margolles, Yuichiro Tamura, Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin, Zoë Claire Miller, Zuzanna Czebatul

 

 

Supported by:

Hauptstadtkulturfonds
Hessische Kulturstiftung

Credits

Team: Malte Bündgen, Arijit Bhattacharya
Text: Andreas Doepke, Raul Walch, Lutz Henke
Copy editing: Eyad Houssami
Social Media: Diane Esnault

Special thanks: Hella Mewis, Anna-Catharina Gebbers, Jenny Chert, Maciej Markowicz, Korbinian Kainz, Arne Fehmel, Ove Numrich, Margarete Keltsch, Lukas Bähr, Anna Yeboah, Diane Esnault, Matthias Maercks, Tropicana Touristik, Miguel Buenrostro

Imprint

Legal Notice

Raul Walch
Museum Tropicana
Am Spreeufer 6
10178 Berlin

office@ownedbyothers.org

 

Web design and developement:
basics09

 

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