Weil Ich Nun Mal Hier Lebe / Because I Live Here
TOWER MMK, Museum für Moderne Kunst
Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 27 October 2018 – 31 March 2019
Weil Ich Nun Mal Hier Lebe / Because I Live Here features eleven artists and artist groups who address themselves to the themes of institutional racism and structural violence in Germany. Their works critically intervene in stereotypical depictions and images that have solidified into clichés. In In-Formation (2005), for example, Harun Farocki offers ground-breaking criticism of the visual violence committed by the depiction of migration and immigration in statistics. The works assembled here create perspectives, imagery, and counter-narratives of their own, for instance when Azin Feizabadi superimposes the history of migration with the legend of the patron saint of Dortmund, when Želimir Žilnik portrays the residents of Metzstrasse 11 in Munich, or when the Frankfurt Sufferhead beer, newly brewed by Emeka Ogboh, links the German purity law (Reinheitsgebot) for beer with the existence of Black Germans. The artists record, supplement, and question the construct of a national homogeneity in which racist violence is present in all its forms. As documented in a work such as that by Hito Steyerl, the “normality” of everyday violence represents an attack on society as a whole — a society whose identity is the subject of Erik van Lieshout’s Rotterdam–Rostock (2006), in which he paints a picture of Germany in shades of reservation, forlornness, and social failure. Again and again, these artistic-documentary works adopt the viewpoints of persons who are subjected to racism, and whose knowledge and experiences are often excluded from the discourses conducted within government authorities and the media.
As part of this exhibition, Forensic Architecture presented our counter-investigation into the testimony of Andres Temme, in relation to the murder of Halit Yozgat in Kassel, 6 April 2006.