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Social art interventions at Spittelmarkt as part of the series Speaking to Ancestors 2022/2023.

  • Exhibition
  • Sep 10 2022 - Sep 18 2022

As the prelude to the exhibition series Speaking to Ancestors, the Iranian artist Farkhondeh Shahroudi presents her show Ich habe Knast with a series of social art interventions at Spittelmarkt, Berlin. The exhibition opens with her performance sang zani (2022), in which the public and residents from the neighbourhood are invited to knock two stones at each other to given rhythms. sang zani is a performative adaptation of the Shiite mourning ceremony “daste gardani” and the tradition of the Iranian theatre “Tazieh”, in which the boundaries between audience and performers, stage and auditorium break down and blur into constantly changing forms. Also on the Spittelmarkt, the artist presents her new work Gülüzar (Persian = flower meadow), a caravan covered up with Persian carpet cutouts.

This mobile garden creates a place for those who want to be or have to be settlers-mobile, a heterotopian place, a fantasy that becomes activated and real in the course of the exhibition period as a soup kitchen for people in need and the hungry. With Gülüzar, Shahroudi
refers to the history of Spittelmarkt as a quarter for wanderers and craftsmen. The former “Siechenhaus” for the poor and sick later developed here into the “Gertraudenhospital”. During the GDR era, this was the urban centre of East Berlin, and since the fall of the Wall, as an important traffic junction, it has marked a neighbourhood where different social milieus co-exist.

Next to the installation, Farkhondeh Shahroudi also places an “anti-flag” as a symbol against ideology, belonging and territorial segregation. The title “Ich habe Knast” is a slang expression commonly used in the east of Germany for: I am hungry. Shahroudi transforms her personal story as a political refugee from the 1990s in Germany and opens up to stories of those oppressed by others to create a collective space of remembrance. Ich habe Knast combines installation performance and sound with the art of storytelling from Shiite rituals to create a social sculpture that oscillates between “dream”(in german: Traum) and “trauma”.

Location : Auf dem Spittelmarkt/Leipziger Straße
Directions : U2-Spittelmarkt or bus 200 (exit Wallstr/Grünstraßenbrücke)

Please find information on the extended program HERE.

Farkhondeh Shahroudi (1962, Tehran) lives and works in Berlin. In her artistic practice, she addresses people who have been abandoned, disrooted or relocated. Through her weaving and sewing into different materials, imagery, bodies and narratives are transformed into a synthetic universe that oscillates between social and asocial, political and intimate, between inside and outside, between language and illegibility. Shahroudi was awarded the prestigious Hannah Höch Förderpreis in 2022. Her recent solo and group exhibitions include Force Times Distance, Sonsbeek 20-24, Arnhem, Netherlands (2021); The Relative Naive, Galerie Weisser Elefant, Berlin (2019); Out Now! Art in Public Space, Berlinische Galerie, Museum für moderne Kunst, Berlin (2018); Whose Land Have I Lit on Now? Reflections on the Concepts of Hospitality: Invocation II, SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin (2018) and in Deep Nation, Kreuzberg Pavillon, Berlin (2018)

The exhibition „Ich habe Knast“ by Farkhondeh Shahroudi takes place within the framework of the exhibition series Speaking to Ancestors curated by Keumhwa Kim and Pauline Doutreluingne. The two-year programme series (2022- 23) forms a narrative of seven sequential artistic positions whose work engages with genealogies and (image)practices. Between faded myths and traditional
imagination, the artists create performative spaces of intervention and communication. Inspired by the traditions of ritual practices, they develop new forms to heal wounds in our global society and to allow forgotten stories of marginalised groups to resurrect.

The exhibition is kindly supported by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe.

Banner: Farkhondeh Shahroudi, Gülüzar, sculpture: caravan
(Apolda III, GDR cult brand), carpet cut-outs, 2022.
Foto: Farkhondeh Shahroudi.



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