memory. culture. art.
Opening: Thursday 15. October, 7pm
Exhibition: 16.–31. October 2009,
Wednesday–Monday, 12–19h
Screening: Wednesday, 28.October, 8pm
Location: Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

Participating artists: Katja Eydel, Flaka Haliti, Alen Hebilović, Ulrike Kuschel, Mladen Miljanović, Nihad Nino Pušija and Piotr Żyliński.

The controversial works presented in this exhibition deal with “hot” and “cold” memories on war, flight and expulsion after 1989: they question dependences, constructions and taboos as well as the balance of power and powerlessness.
The artistic statements represent counter-memories confronting us with transformations of power and authority. They challenge common perceptions and reigning victim-perpetrator-discourses.

Curator: Petra Reichensperger

A screening of films dealing with different forms of memories will take place on Wednesday 28th October 2009 at 8pm in the large cinema hall in Haus der Kulturen der Welt. With films by Jeanne Faust, Seilja Kamerič, Josephine Meckseper, Frédéric Moser & Philippe Schwinger, Deimantas Narkevičius, Ho Tzu Nyen, Mario Rizzi, Julika Rudelius, Anri Sala.

The artists of the exhibition and their works:

KATJA EYDEL, Zielscheibenkampagne’99, 1999
16 colour photographs, 54 cm x 63 cm
2 sound stations with collages of interviews
Courtesy: artist

KATJA EYDEL’s interest focuses on the social models which are generated within everyday living environments. In her work she examines social structures and rituals in order to investigate their political and medial representation. The photo series “Zielscheibenkampagne’99” emerged shortly after the end of the NATO intervention in July and August 1999 in Belgrade, where she and Katja Diefenbach made interviews with various people from oppositional initiatives.

FLAKA HALITI, Our Death/Other’s Dinner, I-III, 2009
Our Death/Others Dinner I (Jericho), 6:11 min., 2006
Our Death/Others Dinner II, 8:52 min., 2006
Our Death/Others Dinner III (Intervista), 7:43 min., 2009
Courtesy: artist

“Should the victim get victimized for the second time if it is used as a concept for an artistic creation?” is the question asked by FLAKA HALITI. Is it ethically justifiable to show photos of massacres, the dead or their bloody aftermath in exhibitions? The missing Kosovo war victims from 1997-1998 are the theme of her video installation “Our Death/Other’s Dinner”. She juxtaposes the video clip of a rock band from Prishtina who had success with a song relating to this subject with a recording of a Kosovo family emotionally discussing the band who profited from the misery of the war victims. In ‘Intervista’ the artist critically reflects on this ‘double’ victimisation.

ALEN HEBILOVIĆ, Out of Bosnia, 2005
Courtesy: artist

In his photo series, ALEN HEBILOVIĆ collates new and old images, he takes these pictures out of context and mounts them into new sequences. In this way the artist mixes images of post-war society in former Yugoslavia with the daily life of (former) refugees living in Germany, links geographical and chronological planes and combines still landscapes with (seemingly) documental pictures of post-war Bosnia. This is interspersed with self-portraits, which become biographical references of his own experiences of war and flight. He himself came to Germany as a war refugee in 1993.

ULRIKE KUSCHEL, Ein sichtbares Zeichen (Eine Rede ist eine Rede ist eine Rede), 2009
Video, 48:30 min.
Courtesy: artist/Klosterfelde Berlin

ULRIKE KUSCHEL, Lektüre, 2009
3 C-Prints, each 24 cm x 36,1 cm, framed
Courtesy: artist/ Klosterfelde Berlin

The artist deals with 20th century German history in numerous works. ULRIKE KUSCHEL pursues a conceptual approach to her work using image and text documents. In the video installation “Ein sichtbares Zeichen (Eine Rede ist eine Rede ist eine Rede)” she explores the long-standing debate surrounding the “Zentrum gegen Vertreibung”, making it audible for the first time, as well as making it visible through the photographs ‘Lektüre’. In this way she shows how the highly explosive topics of German and European memory politics are handled on the political stage.

MLADEN MILJANOVIĆ, Mechanism of relation, 2009
Mixed media
Courtesy: artist/Antje Wachs Berlin

The artist belongs to the generation of children and adolescents who lived through the Balkan war. MLADEN MILJANOVIĆ, who today says of himself “I serve art”, consciously adopting military terminology, sees art as a means of confronting negative past experiences. “I use art as the means for sublimation of the negative forms of the past, taking performance, installation, image, photograph as media through which the forms of social trauma are being redefined”.

3 photographs, Alubond
80 cm x 60 cm, 80 cm x 120 cm, 80 cm x 60 cm
Courtesy: artist

In his photographs, NIHAD NINO PUŠIJA deals with questions of identity and self-discovery. In the centre of his pictures are people with their own very individual stories and lives. It is often those marginalised by society who interest him. The triptych on display shows the Bosnian expatriate community 10 years after the end of the war in the Festsaal Kreuzberg, Berlin.

PIOTR ŻYLIŃSKI, Abgeschlossen, 2009
Sound, mixed media
Courtesy: artist

In his work “Abgeschlossen”, PIOTR ŻYLIŃSKY pursues the issue: just how important is the question of escape and banishment in Poland for his generation who were born in the 1980s. The foundations of his work are the contemporary witness interviews with Germans and Poles from the town of Kreuz/Krzyż, formerly German and today Polish, who were expelled or relocated after World War II. The artist locks their votes away in a box in order to provocatively bring this chapter of German-Polish history to an end.


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