The actions of humans have interfered massively with the biological and geological processes of Planet Earth. Sophisticated technologies have ensured that the impact of these human activities on ecological and social systems has reached global proportions, with the interconnections of technology, politics and ecology revealed radically in this context. Moreover, these processes and systems continue to bear the stamp of colonialism to this day.
Akademie Schloss Solitude fellows will be scouting out new potential for artistic action in their exhibitions which have been installed for the Summer Festival of Akademie Schloss Solitude. Where and how are (inter)dependencies revealed in the man-made era? What is the significance of artistic action for social, political and ecological spaces?
On view are works by Ramy Al-Asheq, Camila de Caux and Eric Macedo, Sonia Mehra Chawla, Abdessamad El Montassir, erre erre, HuM-Collective, Aline Xavier Mineiro, Florian Model, Santiago Mostyn, Mukenge/Schellhammer and the team of Laboratoire Kontempo, Marlies Pöschl, Anike Joyce Sadiq, Anna Scherbyna.
The exhibitions are open on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 6 pm.
Photos, installation and audio
Curated by Carlos Monroy
The four works exhibited here explore the ontology and rhythmic sensibilities of the forest around Solitude Palace. In the photo series The Dark Forest, Eric Macedo’s speculative fiction portrays the forest as a domestic alien, constructing an image of the vegetation as radical otherness. In edaphics, Camila de Caux’s poems collaborate with the soil as a digestive entity, exploring the potential of »compost-writing«. In figure/ground, her index cards of objects collected from the forest floor combine watercolors and minimalist metaphors to perform a subtle caricature of classification methods. The audio installation Uneven Green, a collaborative production by the artists, explores the uncanny soundscape of the forest’s hidden beings.
Camila de Caux & Eric Macedo, »critter | forest«. Photo: Frank Kleinbach
Aline Xavier Mineiro Jequi
Jequi is a body of work based on traditional fishing and hunting traps. In the Indigenous Brazilian language Tupi, »Jequi« refers to tapered and oblong baskets made of bamboo, wood, or fiber and used for catching fish. This ongoing project began with the artist researching the collection of the Museu do Índio in Rio de Janeiro and was developed further by expeditions she made to secluded fishing villages. The goal of the project is to catalog and digitally document traps the artist finds in archives or that are currently in use. Mineiro used the digital data collected in this inventory to create a series of artworks thematizing communities where fishing and hunting are the main sources of income and food, which are now exhibited in the former hunting grounds of the once-secluded sanctuary of Solitude Palace and its surroundings. Jequi highlights modes of resistance to extractive capitalism by documenting social ecologies found in subjugated and marginalized communities. By working in close proximity to cultural organizations that protect Indigenous heritage and are constantly threatened due to a lack of funding, the project also defends their relevance and permanence. As a space for reflection and action, the project allies itself with struggles for Indigenous sovereignty.
This project takes the form of an audio video installation and the trilingual publication (in Arabic, German and English) of a poem on the theme of arriving in Germany as a refugee. The work addresses expectations, emotions, conversations, narratives, and the difficulties with which refugees are confronted. By combining sounds and elements from everyday life in Berlin’s subway, historical references to literary and artistic work, and personal observations, the poem attempts to highlight the contradiction between the realities of daily life and the expectations placed on individuals.
Text and cover: Ramy Al-Asheq Translations: Kerstin Wilsch (German), Levi Thompson (English) Design: HuM-Collective Video and sound: Ramy Al-Asheq Video editing: Tawfik Aridah
Ramy Al-Asheq, »Zurückbleiben«, 2022
Abdessamad El Montassir Galb’Echaouf
While investigating an event that profoundly changed the landscape of the Sahara to the south of Morocco, the filmmaker was faced with the silence of previous generations who remain haunted by a history they are unable to relate. In Galb’Echaouf, El Montassir turns to landscapes, plants and poetry in search of traces to cure this amnesia and fill the gaps in the narrative. Native plants like daghmous become metaphors for the unavoidably indifferent, defensive withdrawal demanded of those who choose to stay behind. Using non-human narratorial positions, nomadic streams of consciousness and Sahrawi myths to probe intergenerational trauma, Galb’Echaouf offers a non-linear account of dispossession and resilience from this part of the Sahara.
»10 missed phone calls, 35 unread emails, 4 pressing deadlines and 5 upcoming Zoom meetings. But next week, yes, next week will be better for sure.«
We keep on going, business as usual. The outlook is getting grimmer and grimmer, but we keep working more and more, toward closure. But it is this business as usual, the everyday work, the hustle that is destroying our planet, our society, our community, our friendships, our bodies, our mental health, and our hope. Everything is monetized, solidarity becomes unaffordable. Where is this fake urgency coming from? How can we escape it?
Santiago Mostyn Altarpiece
Altarpiece is a film that explores the choreography of state control and the euphoric release that can be triggered in the body under varying political circumstances. The reactionary gestures of individuals in two distinct, but connected, cultural spheres constitute the focus of this work. How do gestures carry over time, or across diasporas?
Santiago Mostyn, »Altarpiece«, 2019. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger.
Mukenge/Schellhammer and the team of Laboratoire
Kontempo (Jean Kamba, Prisca Tankwey, Paulvi Ngimbi, Cedrick Tshimbalanga) Kinzonzi by Laboratoire Kontempo
»Kontempo« is a term that emerged as a neologism on the Kinshasa independent art scene. As a counter-narrative to the western-influenced academic discourse, »Kontempo« has established itself as a new code and a reinterpretation of the term »contemporary« in Kinshasa. Developed in collaboration with Acud Macht Neu (Berlin), the project Kinzonziby Laboratoire Kontempo united artists and researchers from Kinshasa, Berlin and other places in an analog and digital transdisciplinary experimental space in order to question the structures of power and dominant trends in contemporary international art scenes. Laboratoire Kontempo was founded by Mukenge/Schellhammer in Kinshasa in 2019 as an analog and digital platform for contemporary art. The project Kinzonzi is part of the Roaming Academy of Akademie Schloss Solitude.
Camera: Samuel Mwani, Peter Miyalu, Miguel Buenrostro, Johannes Braun Edited by: Mukenge/Schellhammer Animation Intro: Elsa Westreicher Sound: Rachel Nyangombe, Jessika Khazrik
Marlies Pöschl Simple Whistles
Leaving behind a deserted courtyard, we enter a mysterious castle. Its inhabitants greet us in a still image. As they begin to move, they seem to follow strict patterns. Their bodies make sounds that resonate like machines: PVC, LNLM. The house has assumed a life of its own: Windows watch over the people, blankets record their temperatures, the floor listens in. It is about finding a new language: Between human bodies and technical objects. A choral performance was created on the basis of a collaborative project in which senior citizens imagined a future vision of their assisted living facilities. Marlies Pöschl condenses this ritual into a film in which the supposed transparency of »smart homes« dissolves.
Evolutionary Potential is a new exhibition of films, photography, and installation exploring complex notions of cohabitation, contamination, sustainability, and conservation, while providing insights into the often-overlooked histories of colonial capitalism and the challenges of our possible futures.
The multimedia works explore the entanglements between humans and non-humans, as well as between human beings and their innumerable infrastructural frameworks and systems, while carefully examining the ethics of care and repair within the context of laboratory practice and scientific and technological research.
The projects are a collaboration with Berlin’s Botanical Gardens and Botanical Museum, (Botanischer Garten; Botanisches Museum) and ASCUS Art & Science Edinburgh.
Sonia Mehra Chawla, »Video stills from ‘Ein Garten für die Welt: Die Zukunft pflanzen (A Garden for the World: Planting the Future)’«, 2022. Photo: Sonia Mehra Chawla
Anna Scherbyna Not a Cherry Orchard
Staircase to first floor
Anna Scherbyna presents illustrations she created for the audiovisual installation Not a Cherry Orchard which she developed together with Luda Tymoshenko. The installation will be on view at Schauspiel Stuttgart in November. The project Not a Cherry Orchard aims to describe the war through specific tree-related stories by Ukrainian playwrights that bear the names of weapons. Illustrations accompanying these stories, drawn by Anna Scherbyna, underscore the blurred boundaries of wartime reality. Fifteen mini-texts were written by Ukrainian playwrights of the Playwright’s Theater, translated by Lydia Nigel and subsequently read by actresses and actors from the theater Schauspiel Stuttgart. These are the stories of people who, like trees, have been uprooted and have lost their lands.
The project was developed in cooperation between Schauspiel Stuttgart and Akademie Schloss Solitude.
Anna Scherbyna, »Not a Cherry Orchard. Pear«, 2022, Photo: Aline Xavier Mineiro
HuM-Collective On Drawing Open Circles
Our Work Is not Done When It‘s Done questions the limits of design, production and work processes. The multipart research project takes the form of a case study exploring the inventory of Akademie Schloss Solitude’s publication series from the perspective of »care work in design«. An important part of this project is the installation On Drawing Open Circles, a platform where current and former fellows can find information and cooperation or research positions. This platform appears as an archive, containing the publications funded by the Akademie since its beginning, and has a section relating to the residential studios, as well as a library that is open to the public.
HuM-Collective, »On Drawing Open Circles«, 2022.
erre erre curse all fences
Facade of House 3
curse all fences is part of the ongoing series a f*cking heavy head that originated at Akademie Schloss Solitude in 2022. It unfolds through a combination of images referencing the head as a representation of a complex, conflicting and multi-layered territory overlapping nature, culture and civilization.
The series a f*cking heavy head is divided into three parts: 1) curse all fences, façade of Akademie Schloss Solitude 2) god is great but the jungle is bigger 3) a f*cking heavy head, Wunderkammer – Badstraße 32, Bad Cannstatt (until August 13, 2022)
erre erre, »we've been goin' through somethin'«, 2022. Photo: Aline Xavier MIneiro
Anike Joyce Sadiq Visited by a Tiger
Anike Joyce Sadiq shows the flags parellel to her solo exhibition Mit Glück hat es nichts zu tun at the Künstlerhaus Stuttgart.
Flagpoles in front of the main entrance
Taking the image of a clenched fist both as icon of political struggle and model of the human brain, this work uses a play between image and text to offer a form of embodied knowledge and a re-engagement of the role of image-making in and as politics. The basis for the project is an interview with Dr. Lula Morton Drewes, a Berlin-based psychologist, on the psychological and physiological effects of expierencing racism. The first chapter explains the functioning of the brain in situations of stress using the hand as a model of the brain. In the second chapter Morton Drewes responses to a gift the artist gave to her just a moment prior to the recording (Grada Kilombas’ book Plantation Memories – Episodes of Everyday Racism) in which the author analyses racism‘s omni-presence in everyday life of Black women in Germany.
Visited by a Tiger exists as a publication, a video work and a record edition.
A cooperation between Akademie Schloss Solitude, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart and Kunstmuseum Stuttgart.
Anike Joyce Sadiq, »Visited by a Tiger«, 2019. Photo: Video Still