image text special shop

'Mock Kings' by Jala Wahid
at Kunstverein Freiburg

How can history be told and preserved if it intrinsically eludes the Western idea of nation-statehood? How can events be depicted that remain largely invisible (and deliberately so) in the present? With her first institutional solo exhibition in Germany, Jala Wahid builds on her previous research on the pernicious ramifications of colonial occupation and seeks answers to both a supposed speechlessness and the challenges of inconsistency in the context of Western and Kurdish politics.
The site-specific jailed bull sculptural installation “Mock Kings” (2023) housed in the Kunstverein exhibition space refers to the Kurdish performance of Mîrmîran. Involving the election of a mock king instating mandatory laws, Mîrmîran was considered politically subversive by British occupation forces and subsequently banned in 1922. In the gallery above, the work “Metaphysical Reunification” (2023) is presented. It‘s a deck of aluminium-cast playing cards that respond directly to the equivalent deck created by the Department of Defense, encouraging the U.S. army’s preservation of archaeology during the Iraq invasion. Artefacts from Mesopotamia, and modern-day Greater Kurdistan, now on display in London or Paris or still missing after the US military invasion of Iraq, are some of those that Wahid now re-collects and expands upon in direct opposition to the illegal excavations and looting of archaeological finds.
Both an early form of Kurdish art performance and artefacts from former Mesopotamia serve as starting points for Wahid to counter-draft Western historical narratives and, in doing so, reflect on theatrical and performative forms of political subversion. Which media might aid in criticising and ridiculing colonial power relations, or what’s more, distorting, inverting and temporarily suspending them? What potentials are offered by carnivalesque aesthetics, play and dance, parody and humour? And what happens when political and theatrical action can no longer be clearly distinguished?
 In the context of political, geographical and linguistic fragmentation and unresolved questions of belonging and permanence, Wahid takes on the contradictions, diffuseness and complexity of diasporic reality and develops alternate techniques of remembering and preserving that can be transformative and playful, that testify to resilience and self-positioning.

1.4.23 — 14.5.23

Photo by Marc Doradzillo

Kunstverein Freiburg

'ABSINTHE', Group Show Curated by PLAGUE at Smena, Kazan

'Pupila' by Elizabeth Burmann Littin at Two seven two gallery, Toronto

'Auxiliary Lights' by Kai Philip Trausenegger at Bildraum 07, Vienna

'Inferno' by Matthew Tully Dugan at Lomex, New York

'Зamok', Off-Site Group Project at dentistry Dr. Blumkin, Moscow

'Dog, No Leash', Group Show at Spazio Orr, Brescia

'Syllables in Heart' by Thomas Bremerstent at Salgshallen, Oslo

'Out-of-place artifact', Off-Site Project by Artem Briukhov in Birsk Fortress, Bi

'Gardening' by Daniel Drabek at Toni Areal, Zurich

'HALF TRUTHS', Group Show at Hackney Road, E2 8ET, London

'Unknown Unknowns' by Christian Roncea at West End, The Hague

'Thinking About Things That Are Thinking' by Nicolás Lamas at Meessen De Clercq,

‘Funny / Sad’, Group Show by Ian Bruner, Don Elektro & Halo, curated by Rhizome P

'Don’t Die', Group Show at No Gallery, New York

'Almost Begin' by Bronson Smillie at Afternoon Projects, Vancouver

'I'll Carry Your Heart's Gray Wing with a Trembling Hand to My Old Age', Group Sh

'hapy like a fly' by Clément Courgeon at Colette Mariana, Barcelona

'Fear of the Dark' by Jack Evans at Soup, London

Next Page