(Upcoming) Ex-Embassy: Exhibition and text series

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Image: MfS HA_III Fo 382 Bild_0002 (detail)

Thurs-Sat, 12-18:00 or by appointment
August 4-31, 2018
Exhibition and Text Series
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Vernissage, Performances: August 4, 3-7pm

*** deutsche Version unten ***

EX-EMBASSY is an exhibition and text series that unfolds from the former Australian embassy to the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Five artistic works and five commissioned texts are presented in and around the 70s-era iconic Modernist structure.

The former embassy is one component of a little-known, yet unparalleled architectural experiment: in the late 1960s and early 1970s, 135 diplomatic buildings were rapidly rolled out in Berlin’s peripheral northeastern borough, Pankow.

Australia, often named the ‘Fifth Continent’ in GDR communiques, usually plays a minor role in Cold War histories. Following geographer Doreen Massey’s definition of space as “the simultaneity of stories thus far”, EX-EMBASSY addresses the former embassy as a site shaped by, and containing, trajectories that move far beyond its physical frame. Grounding geopolitical histories that destabilise belonging within capitalist property formats, the works and texts attend to ongoing negotiations of value and territory; narrative and identity.

Participating artists: Megan Cope (Quandamooka); Archie Moore (Kamilaroi); Sumugan Sivanesan (AU/DE) & Carl Gerber (DE); Sonya Schönberger (DE); and Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll (AU/AT). With texts by: cultural studies theorist Ben Gook (AU/DE); legal scholar Sarah Keenan (UK); historian Peter Monteath (AU); artist, critic and curator Rachel O’Reilly (AU/DE); and writers Nathan Sentance (Wiradjuri) & Raelee Lancaster (Wiradjuri). EX-EMBASSY is hosted by artist Sonja Hornung (AU/DE) with the curatorial advice of Rachel O’Reilly (AU/DE).

EX-EMBASSY opens as part of Berlin’s Project Space Festival 2018 and is hosted by the project space x-embassy. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, and by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation through the association Helle Panke e.V.. Media partner: Berlin Art Link.

An external Podium Discussion: Anti-Colonial Diplomacies will take place within the framework of the exhibition at Archive Books on August 7, with Megan Cope (Quandamooka) and Archie Moore (Kamilaroi); moderation: Rachel O’Reilly (AU/DE).

Weiterlesen „(Upcoming) Ex-Embassy: Exhibition and text series“

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Big Demo

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Image: Sonja Hornung & Richard Pettifer

19:00-19:20
Saturday, July 14, 2018
Performance by Sonja Hornung & Richard Pettifer

Big Demo is the ceremonial demolition of the former Australian Embassy to the German Democratic Republic (GDR).

The building was completed in 1975, the result of promising brown coal trade between the GDR and Australia. It functioned as an embassy until 1986, when operations were moved to Warsaw. Following the Berlin Wall’s demolition, the site was privatised to a medical laboratory, then to a media company that went bankrupt in 2016. Today, the former embassy is owned by real estate developers Prexxot, whose plans to convert the building into high-end owner-occupied apartments are currently in limbo.

The work is the latest in a series by duo Sonja Hornung and Richard Pettifer aimed at provocatively and speculatively investigating forms of finance, diplomacy, and environmental degradation. Previous works have seen them opening an embassy on a wall (Mauer Botschaft, 2013), eating 100 euros (100 Euro Dinner, 2013), speculating on the Romanian cyanide spill caused by Australian company Esmeralda (What we do not own is bought and sold, 2017), and initiating a mass jump into the Rhine during the UN’s COP23 negotiations (Rheinsprung, 2017).

For Big Demo, visitors are invited to join the festivities as this infrastructural relic is disappeared before your very eyes.

Big Demo takes place as part of Art Spin 2018, a community based interactive bike and art tour of creative venues, site-specific art performances and installations throughout various Berlin neighborhoods.

 

Yukiko Nagakura: The Nuclear: Power and Family_Case in Fukushima

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Image: Yukiko Nagakura

Open from: 18:00
Screening from: 19:30
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Yukiko Nagakura: One night show and screening

The Nuclear: Power and Family_Case in Fukushima coincides with the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster of 1986.
Japanese artist Yukiko Nagakura presents her installation work and films based on her fieldwork in Fukushima in 2016. The show is part of the artist’s ongoing research project “The Nuclear: Power and Family” which she has been carrying out since 2016.

The details of screening are as follows:
Four short films by Yukiko Nagakura:

1. Women in the aftermath of nuclear power: Fukushima_1 [14:50 min]*
2. Women in the aftermath of nuclear power: Fukushima_2 [14:50 min]*
3. Women in the aftermath of nuclear power: Fukushima_3 [14:50 min]*
4. I have a long journey before me. [21:18 min]
*
*Original Version (OV) in Japanese with English subtitles

Yukiko Nagakura made these films based on fieldwork which she carried out in Fukushima in 2016. She interviewed women asking how they struggled with the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster of 2011. Yukiko Nagakura compiled the women’s personal stories into four films. These films tell of the menace of a radiation contamination from a female perspective, forcing us to face an urgent and universal problem concerning women’s empowerment worldwide.

After the screening, everybody is invited to stay for an informal talk, have a few drinks and share their impressions on the films.

 

Stolenwealth Games 2018 – Berlin Solidarity Event

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Open from: 19:30
Screenings from: 20:30
Food and drinks (by donation)
Friday, April 13, 2018

Coinciding with the current ‘Stolenwealth Games’ Aboriginal protest to the Commonwealth Games in Queensland, the Berlin Aboriginal Solidarität Netzwerk will screen two films, We Fight (Guniwaya-ngigu) (1982) and 30th Anniversary of the Commonwealth Games Protests 1982 (2012). Contained behind cyclone fencing and dubbed ‘Camp Freedom,’ the current protest marks Aboriginal peoples’ resistance to colonial rule, and echoes the significant protests against the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, 1982. Following the screenings, filmmaker Madeline McGrady (co-director, Guniwaya-ngigu (We Fight), 1982), Dewi Djamal Wilson (producer, 30th Anniversary of the Commonwealth Games Protests 1982, 2012) and Samuel Watson (activist at Camp Freedom and filmmaker, of the Wanjiburrah People, Yugembeh language group) will Skype into the event. As x-embassy is located in the former Australian Embassy to East Germany, the building itself recalls a fragmented history of exchanges between the socialist state and Aboriginal activists from the 1950s to the 1980s.

We Fight (Guniwaya-ngigu) (1982)
Directors: Madeline McGrady, Tracey Moffatt
60 mins

We Fight (Guniwaya-ngigu) is a rare documentary about Aboriginal resistance to the Brisbane Commonwealth Games of 1982. Hundreds of activists occupied Musgrave Park in South Brisbane as a campsite and performance area and fought against the Games and the racist government of Joh Bjelke-Petersen. About 300 were arrested.

The film reveals the passion, bravery, solidarity and power of the Aboriginal people who came from all parts of Australia to demonstrate in solidarity against the notorious and repressive Queensland Aborigines Act.

In one memorable scene in the film then Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser is seen arriving at an official event adjacent to Musgrave Park. As he is rushed into the venue, a large crowd of demonstrators jeer him from across the road, to the strains of legendary Aboriginal musicians like Bart Willoughby and Joe Geia performing in a concert deep within Musgrave Park.“

– Text Source: Creative Spirits

Further reading:
http://www.kooriweb.org/foley/images/history/1980s/82games/gamesppdx.html

Many thanks to the Radical Times Archives for providing us with access to the full version of this film for screening purposes.


30th Anniversary of the Commonwealth Games Protests 1982 (2012)
Produced by BIMA Vision, the Brisbane Indigenous Media Association.
23 mins

Organised by Berlin Aboriginal Solidartät Network. Further information in English und auf Deutsch unten:

Weiterlesen „Stolenwealth Games 2018 – Berlin Solidarity Event“

School of Continual Education

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Image: SCE

12:00-21:00
Saturday-Sunday, April 7-8, 2018
School Program

x-embassy is delighted to host the School of Continual Education for a two-day program of activities at the Atelierhaus Australische Botschaft Ost.

……..

Once Upon a Time… [In the future] There was a school.

The school accepted only the best and the brightest, the worst and the middling. The school’s policy to accept all who had interest was extremely exclusive. The school offered no teachers, no degrees, and no promise of progress.

The curriculum was determined by those present on any given day. On such a day, those in the school would gather around the school’s most prized possession and consult it on how to continue in their production.

This venerable object was a ruler. It was nothing like the rulers we are now familiar with, as it had no beginning and no end, nor any edges to speak of.

Together with the ruler, the entire school would consult with each other on the question of how to measure their production, and in relation to what.

The ruler seemed to always stick to three subjects. “A non-productive production,” it said, “could always be measured by the successful execution of the following: First, an exiting of productive time, second, the transformation of all spaces into spaces of learning without the need for achievement, and finally, trust no authority. Except me, of course! As I am the measure to end all measures and I…”

At this point the ruler would be shoved back into its box, as everyone had heard the ruler’s megalomaniacal rant many times before.

It was a very strange school.

……..

The School of Continual Education asks questions about what are skills for the artist, the city dweller, the citizen, and their relation to everyday life. Exploring the idea of a non-productive production, the school investigates different modalities of work, leisure and occupation, and the potentialities for their approach.

A school is a space that creates a condition where everything can be thrown into question, where contradictions can coexist, and where production has no necessary generative outcome. The SCE uses fiction, imagination and practical approaches to question notions of what are skills, and how they can be used.

Members of The School of Continual Education are self-selecting, the only criteria for membership is being present in the space of the SCE at any time during the weekend program.

On Saturday, April 7th, the SCE will gather for a short morning session covering the story of the school and an introduction to the weekend program, followed in the afternoon by a workshop and a field trip. The day begins at 12:00, and runs as a full day program until evening. On Sunday, April 8th starting from 12:00, the SCE organizes its day around workshops and open activities, of which members are invited to move between. The conclusion of the weekend is a multi-generational meeting of Zeitzeugenen (witnesses of time) that will take place at 7pm.

The School of Continual Education is an ongoing project exploring modes of education, resistance, and inquiry. The SCE asks what can the framework of a school provide for working within, against, and alongside the social and political conditions we find ourselves in.

So come join, and divest in your future today!

Nude Flutes

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Image: Nude Flutes

19:00
Wednesday, April 29, 2018
Participatory performance

x-embassy welcomes NUDE FLUTES for their first session of 2018.

NUDE FLUTES is a pop-up choir that happens everywhere it takes place. Inspired by DADA and John Cage the participants try out scores that make choral singing possible. Everyone can join – no matter if professional or amateur. (Especially those who always say they cannot sing!)

GE_SCHICHTE-N

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Jolanda Todt, 2018

19:00
Thursday, February 15 & Thursday, March 8, 2018
Exhibition: Jolanda Todt

Jolanda Todt invites a shared reading of histories for her work GE_SCHICHT-EN. On two winter evenings, historians, writers, cultural studies researchers and artists interact with the work. During the events, a reading, deconstructing and re-constructing of her work takes place, and afterwards, an intensive discussion over hot soup.

GE-SCHICHTE_N is an installation that invites visitors to deal with history and histories, their construction and deconstruction.

The installation consists of a long plinth and two benches. On the plinth lie ninety concrete blocks. The blocks carry various materials, offering three modes of accessing history. Materials of the constellation include photographs of the site of a specific occurrence, official archival materials, and excerpts from an interview with Jolanda Todt’s grandfather, who experienced the occurrence as a child in Poland. Each fragment connects to the viewers‘ individual previous knowledge and associations.