The exhibition departs from the Kunsthalle’s location and history in the dynamic urban fabric of the city – between representation, reconstruction, and luxury. Kunsthalle’s team developed this exhibition under pandemic conditions – in other words, at a time when structures have become visible and the categories of order and disorder, safety and security, inside and outside have been called into question. Observing the closing of many shops and small scale economies due to pandemie conditions, the team has researched on certain locations in the city center around an urban pedestrian triangular map, which frames global climate crisis, our connection with nature and also current urban structures and city furniture.
Sina Ataeian Dena: Ahvaz (2018/2021)
Ahvaz, the capital of Iran’s main oil province, in the south-west of the country, was just 80km away from the frontline of the Iran-Iraq war. According to independent reports, Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons 387 times in that region during eight years of war. The chemicals were made in the Soviet Union, East and West Germany. The mustard gas killed combatants and civilians alike and remained in the soil. After the war, and due to global warming, the city slowly became hotter and hotter. The chemically poisoned soil slowly dried out. Ahvaz nowadays is officially the hottest city on Earth. The wind came and swept the dust up into the air. Ahvaz then officially became the number one in yet another area: It is the most polluted city on earth. Around 290 days a year there is a thick haze mixed with chemicals called ‘Sand Storms.’ The moment the oil is depleted Ahvaz will become a ghost town. A big wave of climate migrants. A tsunami of cancer! For most people, apocalyptic global warming is still something that is coming in the future. For us, people from Ahvaz, it has already happened. The red line has been crossed. As part of Off-sites (24/7) the artist works with the Kunsthalle team to adapt the filmic space at the street level to relate the content with global climate change protests especially initiated by school kids and long-term marathoner activists.
Regina José Galindo: Raíces (2015)
Staged in the Botanical Garden of Palermo in 2015, Regina José Galindo‘s performance Raíces responded to one of the biggest migration movements in Europe took place. In her work, José Galindo broaches issues of coexistence and the relationality between human beings and nature. During the performance the garden’s trees and plants originating from all over the world became the protagonists. By inviting immigrant residents to Palermo to hug the roots of these plants and trees, Galindo created a space in which different beings were living together in a peaceful environment. In this sense, her work aims to reconsider the connection with the origin of tenants.
In the exhibition State and Nature we present one of the 21 images from her photo series capturing the performance. Situated in an empty shop on the Luisenstraße 24 facing the Lichtentaler Allee, questions arise about the human-induced existence and cultivation of the trees and their connection to institutional agendas.
Cengiz Tekin: Pastoral Symphony (2021)
Cengiz Tekin’s work constantly alludes to potential crises, and utilises the forms, languages and strategies of art not only in rebellious ways, but also through expressing actual rebellion with the power of silence and resistance. The video installation entitled Pastoral Symphony (2021) by the Diyarbakır-based Kurdish artist shows the destruction of centuries-old settlement structures by gigantic dam projects. He asks where the boundary lies between the environment human beings create and the collapse of nature in currently distressed areas. This new commission was produced in different parts of Mesopotamia; especially in the ancient towns and districts located along the river and water resources that are damaged by governmental decisions and regulations. Despite protests and rejection by civil organisations and communal projects, these sites with archeological history and values have been flooded, or abandoned. Precisely, on the 1st of April last year, not as a joke; for instance the water levels of the dammed Tigris River reached an elevation of 498.2m, covering the whole town at Hasankeyf. As part of Off-sites (24/7) the Kunsthalle team proposed to take the double channel videos out at the public domain and present within a street with a history of how water has shaped city structure and street architecture from earlier stages of human settlement in Baden-Baden.