Schau_Raum is a space, dedicated to video art, filmic works and moving image, located at the second floor of the Museum für Neue Kunst, Freiburg. Driven by discursive and thematic approaches, the space has its own artistic programme and curatorial agenda involving screening formats such as one-time, recurring or looped programmes. In the form of a mini cinema with a stage in front, Schau_Raum is also open for time-based works, performances, readings and discussion programmes. The main Schau_Raum programme usually includes artistic positions who are dealing with a related topic. The screening programme is either realized in loopings or dedicated to one artistic position. At a certain tune the programme may be connected to the actual exhibition, but can also be a program on its own.
6 August – 2 October 2020
Museum für Neue Kunst
curated by Didem Yazıcı artists: Bouchra Khalili, Hale Tenger, Anike Joyce Sadiq
Based on three different conversations, one imaginary, one spontaneously documented, and one undocumented, “Garden Conversations” brings together three works: Hale Tenger’s Under (2019), Anike Joyce Sadiq’s Visited by a Tiger (2020) and Bouchra Khalili’s Garden Conversation (2014), which lends the programme its title. Some fictional, some documentarian, these three video works narrate conversations between birds, hunters and a tree; a psychologist, a book and an artist; and two revolutionaries, Ernesto Guevara and Abdelkrim Al Khattabi, a Moroccan anticolonial leader, who showed the world that it was possible to triumph over a European colonial power in African territories in the 1920s. Poetically, carefully and slowly, all the video works share conversations that need to be heard for solidarity, meditation and compassion to be possible. Not only referring to political and psychological inspirations throughout history and the ethics of international solidarity, the video programme also revolves around notions of freedom, eco-feminism and justice. Through these engaging conversations, three women from different generations and geographic backgrounds create challenging works that generate their own methodologies and discourse.
Thursday, 24 September 2020, 6 p. m. Online Artist Talks Speakers: Anike Joyce Sadiq (Berlin), Hale Tenger (Istanbul) Moderation: Didem Yazıcı (Karlsruhe) Please email us for the Link: email@example.com The event will be in English.
Bouchra Khalili Garden Conversation 2014
A woman and a man meet in the middle of a forest and have an immersive conversation. They are talking about a new spirit and about the people, who are revolting deciding to write their history for themselves. It could be any place or time, but it is not. They are in Melilla, which is still a Spanish enclave in the Rif, Northern Morocco, on North African soil. The conversation is being held on a former Rif War battlefield. Furthermore, it is the same place where many people from Sub-Saharan Africa risk their lives to reach the E.U. The artist Bouchra Khalili’s contemplative video work Garden Conversation is a meditation on revolutionary discourse and method, based on a true but overlooked encounter in history. Divided into three chapters, the hypothesis, the method and the nation, the first chapter begins with these lines: In January 1959, at the Embassy of Morocco in Cairo, Ernesto Guevara met Abdelkrim Al Khattabi, the old exiled Moroccan hero of the Rif War (1921-1926) who founded the short-lived Rif Republic. Guevara and Al Khattabi spent several hours talking in the Embassy gardens. No traces remained of the meeting, except a few testimonies.
Inspired by this historically important meeting, Khalili reconstructs this conversation in an engaging and haunting way by shifting geography, gender, language and history. However, every single line in the film originates from essays, open letters, diaries, memoirs, and interviews by both anticolonial leaders. As part of her artistic research, Khalili laid an extensive groundwork for the remaining personal and public materials about the two leaders. By the ending credits of the video, this bibliography is evident, which is a matter of transparency for the artist: exposing her process and its discourse. Histories of the world and contemporary realities are full of revolutionary and rebellious moments.
Watching this video piece is like experiencing time travel, but one is also reminded of the transformative power of people in the world, collectivity, and the urge for self-governance not only in the past, but also today and in recent history. It evokes the methods of protestors in the Black Lives Matter movement in the US, against police violence; the protests against the deaths by shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea and the humanitarian crisis in the European refugee camps; the Gezi Protests in Istanbul in 2013, and the Arab Spring in the early 2010s. Whether they succeed or fail, these uprisings create cathartic dynamics against oppressive regimes and authorities. Garden Conversation is a challenging work that captures peoples’ drive for freedom and revolution, but also reveals the colonial continuum in the present-time: from the Rif war to forced migration.
Hale Tenger Under 2019
A small yet graceful tree is imprisoned in four walls, but there is sunlight coming from above. As if it will reach the clouds, the tree keeps growing high. Without a ceiling on top, the tree salutes the blue sky with hope running through its veins, leaves and roots. But, we, the viewer, are trapped under a hunting net for catching birds. All around us, sounds of birds’ flapping wings are heard, but there are no birds to be seen. Over and over again, the video asks us these questions: “Can you be like a bird on a tree? Can you be by not doing?” The immensely poetic and meditative video work of the artist Hale Tenger, Under (2019) invites the audience to put themselves in the place of a trapped bird. The video describes a state of wishful thinking, being imprisoned under a net, but keeping up hope to fly again. During heavy times and oppressive regimes, one may forget how to fly, but that may be only temporary.
“Under the same old rules of the game, some will eat and some will serve. Men set up nets in the forest, stretching low among the trees. The birds framed underneath could no longer fly high. Later on they took away the nets before the party started. Accustomed by then only to fly low, birds fell prey to men before knowing, they had forgotten to fly high.” These lines written by the artist herself are performed by a soft, powerful and healing female voice. It creates rhythm, not quite a song nor a poem, but something in between. As she speaks, you feel the wings of the bird in your heart. The artist believes that the defining question of our times is rethinking about the relationship between humans and non-humans. When humankind can give the compassion and respect that the earth needs, only then there is hope for the world to heal from the urgent issues of inequality and human rights violations. Istanbul-based artist Tenger belongs to a generation of artists who contribute to the production of contemporary art and critical thinking as witnesses to the political unease in Turkey since the 1990s. Working meticulously and poetically around socially-conscious topics such as collective memory and political violence in the past 40 years, her recent works include themes of eco-feminism, ecological justice and healing.
Anike Joyce Sadiq Visited by a Tiger 2020
What is it like to be visited by a tiger? In her close conversation with the artist Anike Joyce Sadiq, the Berlin-based psychologist Dr. Lula Morton Drewes describes her feelings as she remembers them and talks about an uneasy memory: “And so what I found was, that suddenly I’m talking about my father, about the racism he experienced, about his deep anger and aggression that was often the topic of the conversations in our home. So, that fight in me was coming more and more to the surface.It was as if suddenly I had been visited by a tiger. Standing in front of me and, and my body was saying, you know, my heart is racing more and I just feel the heat in my body just in preparation to fight.” The starting point of this video is the fist as a model for the human brain. This model allows for a simplified understanding of the structure of the brain, and how the brain reacts to stressful situations. Throughout the video, we look at the artist’s own hands, modelling Drewes’s scientific explanations, as we hear the neurobiological explanations of affective behavior under threatening social situations, and how being under constant stress is responsible for the impairments which can damage different body parts.
However, in the second half of the video, Drewes switches from her scientific language to a personal one as she begins referring to a book, given as a present to her by the artist. The book, which is only partially visible in the video, triggers a trauma caused by the experience of racism. What is the difference between artist’s own fist as a model of the brain which we see in the video and the association to the fist as a symbol of struggle, resistance and solidarity? What do they have in common? As these questions are emerging in one’s mind, the sound piece in the background of the work, by the artist and musician Lamin Fofana, adds another magical level. The conversation between the artist and the psychologist also reveals how stress caused by racial microaggressions can result in serious impairments to different body parts, which eventually, slowly, kill. The fight against racism and oppressive structures includes taking care of mental health. The fist of the artist can be anyone’s fist, anyone who wants to understand how the human brain functions or anyone who is fed up with vertical hierarchy and patriarchal structures. The audience is reminded of the famous quote from activist and feminist writer Audre Lorde (1934 – 1992): “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
28 May – 5 August 2020
Hiding Our Faces Like a Dancing Wind
Museum für Neue Kunst
curated by Didem Yazıcı
Revolving around human rights urgencies in times of crisis, the video programme Hiding Our Faces Like a Dancing Wind brings together three filmic works: Forensic Architecture’s Shipwreck at the Threshold of Europe, Lesvos, Aegean Sea (2020), Ole-Kristian Heyer, Patrick Lohse, and Marian Mayland’s Dunkelfeld (2020) and Yazan Khalili’s Hiding Our Faces Like a Dancing Wind (2016), which grants the programme its title.
Humankind has been hiding their faces for centuries. Some are concerned with violations of privacy and avoiding facial recognition technology, some wear a scarf over their face as part of their belief system, and others seek to shield themselves from a discriminatory gaze, possibly fearing a racist attack. Today, all around the world, we are all hiding our faces for a good cause; wearing masks to prevent the spread of a virus and save lives. In such times of solidarity and crisis, universal human values are being continuously tested.
Yazan Khalili Hiding Our Faces Like a Dancing Wind 2016
Khalili’s work refers to the tight relationship between facial recognition technologies and its historical background in colonial practices. While asking the question How do we disappear in the digital age?, this piece recalls colonial mechanisms of racial classifications and the construction of historical narratives. The video features a woman’s face captured on screen, which appears to confuse the camera’s facial recognition system, so that a sequence of ethnographic masks interrupts the frame. The act of hiding our faces becomes a gesture for protection from typecasting, racist legacies and digital surveillance systems.
Forensic Architecture Shipwreck at the Threshold of Europe, Lesvos, Aegean Sea 2020
The summer of 2015 was also known as ”the long summer of migration”. With their collaborative video piece, Forensic Architecture unravels the facts behind a sinking migrant boat and its complicated rescue operation just off the European coast in 2015. It includes video material from artist and survivor Amel Alzakout, recorded as the boat was sinking as well as video taken by artist Richard Mosse. Combined with material from activists, members of the press, the Greek coastguard, satellite images and weather data, they form an effort to determine, through analysis, what really happened and who might be responsible. All of this data functions as evidence that calls for social justice. Investigating the shipwreck carefully, the work informs us of the ugly truths of European border politics during a humanitarian crisis.
Ole-Kristian Heyer, Patrick Lohse und Marian Mayland Dunkelfeld 2020
Dunkelfeld by Ole-Kristian Heyer, Patrick Lohse and Marian Mayland sheds light on the story of the Turkish-born and German-based Satır Family. In August 1984, a house inhabited by migrant workers was burnt down in Duisburg, Germany killing seven members of a family. While the police immediately ruled out racism as a reason, the survivors continue to doubt that it was a coincidence that their house was set on fire. In the wake of ongoing and recent attacks, this critical and careful work highlights German politics, which is belatedly waking up to the threat of far-right terrorism and racism.
Historically, the personification of the scales of justice dating back to the goddess Maat in Ancient Egypt, Justitia in Ancient Roman, and the Greek goddesses Themis and Dike, are depicted as blindfolded, covering their eyes. In this context, the blindfold represents impartiality, the idea that justice should be applied regardless of wealth, power or status. Similarly, medieval executioners and popular cultural characters such as the title character in the film Joker (2019), who begins a violent counter-cultural revolution against the wealthy, also cover their faces. In his groundbreaking text “The World After Coronavirus”, Yuval Noah Harari criticised governments that launched apps to stop the pandemic which monitor every movement of its citizens; a kind of under-the-skin-surveillance. Here, the gesture of hiding a face becomes an act of protest. The intention is to perform a certain type of anonymity for any of several reasons: to revolt, to hide, to see without bias, or to protect oneself and others from a virus. How are you hiding your face?
Hiding Our Faces Like a Dancing Wind (28 May – 5 August 2020) Forensic Architecture | Yazan Khalili | Ole-Kristian Heyer, Patrick Lohse und Marian Mayland curated by Didem Yazıcı
Cristina Binetti (17 February – 15 May 2020) Frauwild (2019), Sonntag (2018), Traumsequenzen (2017) curated by Noura Persephone Johnson
Wandernder Schatten. Der Künstler Hermann Scherer (17 January – 15 March 2020) A film by René Schraner and Peter Bosshart
Helden sind wieder gefragt (28 September 2019 – 16 January 2020) Short film by Karlheinz Scherer
Scheitern (26 March – 27 September 2019) Amir Balaban | Nancy Holt & Robert Smithson | Ulysses Jenkins curated by Noura Persephone Johnson
Uncanny Encounters (9 October 2018 – 24 March 2019) Peter Tscherkassy | Bjorn Melhus | Lynn Hershman Leeson curated by Florian Flömer
Guess who’s dropped in for a bite (30 January – 26 April 2018) Martina Wegener | Frédéric Ehlers
Grounds for Hope (26 September – 5 November 2017) Marianne Fahmy | Desire Machine Collective | Maria Iorio / Raphaël Cuomo curated by Didem Yazıcı
In this way (7 November – 17 December 2017) Rojda Tugrul | Şener Özmen | Savaş Boyraz| Hito Steyerl Programme by ASA
Between us (19. Dezember 2017 – 28. Januar 2018) Erkan Özgen | Nilbar Güreş | Cengiz Tekin Programme by ASA
I will find my way (11 October 2016 – 24 March 2017)
Paolo Nazareth | Isabell Heimerdinger curated by Finn Schütt
Freundschaftsspiel (Agar Ugur Collection) (9 July – 9. October 2016) Anna Eriksson | Hale Tenger | Hale Tenger | CANAN | Aslı Çavuşoğlu | Zeyno Pekünlü | Aykan Safoğlu | Didem Pekün | Şener Özmen | İnci Eviner | Leyla Gediz | Nilbar Güreş | Ferhat Özgür |Erdem Taşdelen curated by Didem Yazıcı
On how to become a real person (19 March – 7 July 2016) Gillian Wearing | Jeremy Shaw | Tracey Emin curated by Jennifer Smailes
Futures (1 September – 25 October 2015) Frances Bodomo | NeÏl Beloufa | Bedwyr Williams curated by Jennifer Smailes
Frames (1 July – 30 August 2015) John Smith | Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook | Mark Wallinger curated by Jennifer Smailes
Get Away from it all (19 May – 30. June 2015) Laure Prouvost | Borga Kantürk | Ani Schulze curated by Didem Yazıcı
Middle of the Path (14 March – 30 April 2015) Ursula Mayer | Leylâ Gediz |Simone Fattal curated by Didem Yazıcı
Isabella Rossellini Green Porno, 2008 (21 October 2014 – 22 February 2015)
Corinna Schnitt (27 February 2014 – 17 July 2014) Once upon a time, (2005), Tee trinken, (2012), Ballspielen, (2013), Spielplatz, (2007), Von einer Welt, (2007)
Ulf Aminde (28 September 2013 – 26 January 2014) Schamdruck, (2009), Frontalunterricht, (2009) Workshops of Ulf Aminde / Felix Ensslin (Akademie der Künste Stuttgart) with Alicia Hernandez Westpfahl, Sabrina Karl, Julia Wirsching, Katharina Jabs, Gabriel Hensch, Bjoern Kühn, Anna Gohmert, Adrianna Liedtke, Leonora Ruchay, Nora Denneberg, Anna Romanenko, Huang Zhifen
Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Thursday: 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m
3 euros / concession 2 euros Free entry for those under 27 and with the Museums-PASS-Musées.