Life constantly escapes

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Opening evening: THU,25 02 2021, 4 - 7:30 pm

Duration: FRI, 26 02 2021 - WED, 31 03 2021


The capitalist modern age is a socio-ecological catastrophe, a perpetual attack on life. At its core are certain ways of being, certains of subjectivisation and global conditions, which separate humans from the material of the world and put them in an extractive, value-based relation with it.

Theorists, poets, and artists of the Black Radical Tradition as well as queer, feminist, and indigenous voices have been criticising this violent process since longer. Amongst the former, Fred Moten, for example, along with Saidiya Hartman or Denise Ferreira da Silva, speaks of blackness. It refers to a social power that precedes modernity, opposes and surpasses it. Blackness is irreducibly connected with the coercion and brutality with which it is pursued as the social life and alleged attribute of black people. Herein, modern logic’s violent nature is blatantly obvious. Just like the desire to stipulate existence and draw dividing lines between the self and others, human, world, land, animal kingdom, or nature. Moten, Hortense Spillers, Ferreira da Silva, and indigenous authors radically challenge these notions. They conjure a hereafter of modernity, which—in light of the global state of emergency and conflict—we must urgently devote attention to.

What happens now, when the realm of contemporary art focuses on this hereafter? When it is not organised by the dominant concepts of the world, humans, or subjectivity? This is Ferreira da Silva’s question, and the exhibition is dedicated to it. A celebration of what is smouldering and throbbing under the corset of modernity, what comes before its borders and transcends them, what escapes its attacks out of pure necessity and opens a different world in the process. Where alternatives blossoms despite all adversities: a party, a garden, a dance. Where visitors stroll through the space as space, a sculpture becomes part of the body, a sound strokes along the wall and on the skin and stabs into the heart. Where subjects become objects and objects subjects, and within the shared materiality of all those directly and indirectly present a broken beauty emerges.


The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with poetic contributions by manuel arturo abreu, Sean Bonney, Jesse Darling, Diane di Prima, James Goodwin, Caspar Heinemann, Keguro M’acharia, Momtaza Mehri, Kashif Sharma-Patel, Ridwan Oyindamola Tijani, and Bri Williams.


Artists & Poets: manuel arturo abreu, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Sean Bonney, Octavia E. Butler, Jesse Darling, Luna Ghisetti, James Goodwin, Grant Jonathon / HTMLflowers, Rohini Kapil, Kashif Sharma-Patel & Anuka Ramischwili-Schäfer, Ahya Simone und Bri Williams

Guest Curator: Andrea Popelka


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