Kiezkapelle DE

Fremdkörper exhibition Website

with Luciano Di Freitas, Alicia Farrow, Gareth Harmer, Gabriel Jeanjean, Jamal Khalili, Daisy Kidd,Daniela Kitchiner, Mara Klein, Noam Leichtentritt, Luiz Lopes, Tessa Mauw, André Pais, Javier Rojas Trejo, Eva Sutter, Elise Terranova

Using Des:integration as a starting point, this exhibition is the collective contemplation on what it means to disintegrate, to integrate and to de-integrate. It is about where we came from, the womb that carried us and the rituals, cultures and memories that shape us; it is about where we are now, the orientation and disorientation to our cities, our neighbours, and ourselves; and it is about where we are going, the fear of the unknown and the courage to let go. It is reflective of working collaboratively and finding common ground through shared experiences, as individuals and as audiences of works on these themes.

The art and performances in this exhibition were inspired, conceived, developed and critiqued in a tongue they were not necessarily born from. Throughout this process, we have tried to be as authentic in our art and with each other, as we are honest in our mother tongues, all the while acknowledging the vulnerability that communication in another language and living in a new life setting brings.

Foreign bodies:
as in the forming and unforming of life
as in the belonging and unbelonging to a group or place
as in the integration and des:integration to society and self

Fremdkörper: 15 Perspectives on Dis:integration is the result of a shared journey by 15 international artists, brought together by the desire to create an exhibition and improve their Ger- man in interesting ways.

Mara Klein developed this project at the Volkshochschule Neukölln. It is the latest experiment in her series of learning formats that combine the German language and art.

Over the course of four months, the group met weekly to co-create an exhibition, using the German language as a tool. The starting point: an invitation to the so-called disintegration course. Referencing the classic integration courses that German learners take as well as Max Czollek’s book “Desintegriert euch!” (english: de-integrate yourselves), the course provided a framework for discussions on the ever-relevant social issue of integration, as well as explorations of the broader concept of disintegration. Disintegration of the world as we know it, the securities we believe we have, and maybe most importantly, of disintegration as a natural part of the cycle of life. It seemed therefore only logical to organise the exhibition in the Kiezkapelle, embedded in the New St. Jacobi cemetery and right next to the Prinzessinengärtenkollektiv.

The exhibition is the final, material part of this journey. The regular meetings and what emerged along the way are the sparks that remain. Thanks to all for their trust, creative energy and presence! A special thanks to Ruth Vicente Garcia of the Kiezkapelle for her open arms and to Tamuna Mosia of the VHS Neukölln for her support of the course.

Mara Klein, December 2023

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