Thursday, August 15, 20:00
Eli Cortiñas and Hito Steyerl
Objects Before and After the Wall, Part 1
For the first part of Objects Before and After the Wall at TIER, a collaboration with Tlaxcala 3 in Mexico City, we will screen Eli Cortiñas’s Walls Have Feelings (2019) and Hito Steyerl’s The Empty Centre (1998). Separated by two decades, the works uncover relations between objects, walls, and the people who move them/move through them.
In Walls Have Feelings, Cortiñas delves into the ecology of objects and their appearance. The video opens onto the microcosm of dictators’ offices, presenting their architecture and interiors. Newly-filmed scenes alternate with close-ups and landscapes views from sourced images and found footage, gradually unveiling the protagonists of the film: office rooms and walls, which contain, hide and reinforce invisible forms of power. Powers, which stemmed from industrial capitalism and political dictatorships, and which in turn influenced the current neoliberal-type of economic production. The film references labour activities, echoing both present and past, corporeal and cognitive, forms of exploitation. It mixes familiar scenes of workers leaving the factory, laboratories producing all-too-human robots, and the works of artists themselves, which all together creates a navigable, hypnotic loop. Cortiñas evokes the object‘s animist power, delving into something that is embedded in them – as the title remind us. The video becomes an open archive in process, which not only speaks of political powers and their resulting oppression. It also processes the very aesthetic through which these powers operate. ‘The ethnic cleansing of history has become a standard procedure’ (…) ‘silencing the past has become a standard procedure’, states Cortiñas. By displaying lost and invisible events, through reworked images, she digs into visual memory, testing both cultural and cinematic memory itself. (Giulia Civardi, London, 2019)
Hito Steyerl’s film The Empty Centre depicts Potsdamer Platz at a time of rapid change in Berlin. While the early days of post-division Berlin may have held the kernel of utopia, the late 90s were marked by property speculation and its attendant, expansive construction sites. In the film, Potsdamer Platz serves as a narrative vessel for a survey of historical moments in Berlin, from its heyday in the 20s, to its destruction and conversion into a “death strip”, to its massive redevelopment after the Cold War by transnational corporations. Steyerl traces the history of ostracism and exclusion of migrants and minorities, at whose expense the notion of a powerful national center is defined. Steyerl’s film serves as a platform for underrepresented voices in political discourse both then and now, examining how the wall as an object – in the concrete and the abstract – steers the flows of people and things.
Eli Cortiñas is a video artist of Cuban descent, born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 1979. She was guest professor at the Art Academy Kassel and the Art Academy Mainz and is a newly appointed professor at the Braunschweig University of Art (HBK). Cortiñas has been awarded numerous grants and residencies, including from Fundación Botín, Berlin Senate, Villa Sträuli, Kunstfonds, Goethe Institute, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Rupert, Villa Massimo and Karl-Schmidt-Rottluff. Her artistic practice can be located within the appropriation tradition, using already existing cinema to de- and re-construct identities as well as narratives according to new discourses. Her collage-like video essays and installations mix found imagery with documentary strategies. Her work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions at museums such as Museum Ludwig, Kunsthalle Budapest, CAC Vilnius, SCHIRN Kunsthalle, SAVVY Contemporary, Museum Marta Herford, Kunstraum Innsbruck, Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Centre Pompidou, Museum of Modern Art Moscow, Kunstmuseum Bonn and MUSAC et al., as well as in international festivals such as Riga Biennale, Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Mardin Biennale, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, International Curtas Vila Do Conde and Nashville Film Festival. She lives and works in Berlin.
Hito Steyerl was born in 1966 in Munich. She currently lives and works in Berlin.
Steyerl has studied at the Academy of Visual Arts, Tokyo and the University of Television and Film, Munich.
She also completed a doctorate in philosophy at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna.
Steyerl is the recipient of the 2019 Käthe Kollwitz Prize from Akademie der Künste in Berlin. In 2015, Steyerl was awarded the EYE Prize from the EYE Film Institute Netherlands and the Paddy & Joan Leigh Fermor Arts Fund. In 2010, she received the New:Vision Award from the Copenhagen International Documentary Festival.
Objects Before and After The Wall
This project analyzes the wall as an object from different angles: thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, twenty-five years after the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement and in the geopolitical framework that requires research in Mexico it’s border condition with Central America and with the United States. The wall as an ideological space and the relationship between objects and walls. The notion of the liminal, the crack, the border and other possible unfoldings.
Objects Before and After the Wall is a collaboration between Tlaxcala 3 in Mexico City and The Institute for Endotic Research in Berlin. It has the 2019 sponsorship of the Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporéneo for theoretical and curatorial research.
Thursday, August 8, 19:00
The materiality of the immaterial
Encounter with Mijo Miquel
“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.” —Carl Sagan
“The broomsticks are part of a tree, we are all and everything at the same time” —Issa Samb
This text tries to combine the evolutionist vision of hard sciences with a certain universalist animism that, in the hands of people like Jane Bennet or Issa Samb, questions the implacable taxonomic ordering of reality that, since the Enlightenment, meant the conceptual separation of humanity from the rest of the world. This notion implicit in the new materialisms can be applied to the social sciences by questioning the anthropocentric and dematerialized analysis we make of our behaviours, even of that which we call consciousness and which sustains our fundamental theoretical difference with the rest of living matter. In this way, we can question our weight in the world and try to understand the inertias that are leading us to a situation in which our life force puts at risk our continuity as a species on the planet, as well as that of many other living beings.
 Documentary series Cosmos (1980), first episode, “On the shore of the cosmic ocean”, 00:01:04.
 “La Coquille. Conversation entre Issa samb et Antje Majewski”, Dakar 2010 in How to talk with birds, trees, fish, shells, snakes, bulls and lions. Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, 2019.
Translator, independent cultural manager and professor at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (Fine Arts) since 2003. Degree in Modern Languages as well as in Fine Arts. PHD in Public Art (2013). Cofounder of various collectives such as Barra Diagonal, AutoFormato and Entrebarris, she has specialized since 2000 in the organization of meetings and conferences related to the creation of critical sphere. She collaborates with the CSIC being part of the Social and Human Sciences Center. As a researcher, her activity focuses on the city as a privileged space for social innovation as well as the redefinition of “urban quality” criteria. She teaches as well in different officials Masters of the UPV (Ecology, Art Production, Urban Regeneration).
Wednesday, July 17, 19:00
Alicia Kopf: Speculative Intimacy
Editing Spaces, Part 1
Speculative Intimacy proposes an emotional science fiction perspective to originate new stories about the interactions between bodies, human and non-human. The video and narrative pieces related with this research will be shown and discussed during the talk.
Alicia Kopf is a visual artist and writer based in Barcelona.
Kopf holds degrees in the Fine Arts and in Literary Theory and Comparative Literature. Her first novel, Brother in Ice (And Other Stories, 2018), reaped the Documenta 2015, Llibreter 2016, Ojo Crítico 2016 and Cálamo “Otra Mirada 2016” awards, and has been translated into ten languages.
In her facet as a visual artist, she has presented the individual exhibition Seal Sounds Under the Floor (2013) at the Galeria Joan Prats in Barcelona (GAC/DKV Award) and she has participated in different exhibitions such as Pis(o) pilot(o) (CCCB, 2015) and Nonument (Capella dels Àngels, MACBA, 2014). Her last individual exhibition Speculative Intimacy (2019) is currently on view in Galeria Joan Prats..
One of the meanings of the word publication is to make something public. If the relations between local and global are regarded as a text that can be read through contemporary art practices, a pertinent tactic would be to substitute the idea of exhibition with publication. This means to understand exhibitions as narrative machines, as expanded books that can also unfold a set of other possibilities such as cross-temporal approaches, choreography of bodies moving through the extensive idea of text and support structures.
The work of the artists/curators invited to Editing Space develops from translations from texts to installations, from transitions between the written and the performative.
With: Discoteca Flaming Star, Alicia Kopf, Josep Maynou, Mattin and Laura Vallés,
Supported by the program PICE of Acción Cultural Española.
Thursday, July 11, 19:00
Intervention by Joshua Schreier
Humble materials (blocks of pine, commercial enamel, a vitrine found on the street) playfully deployed; cheerful, but serious, too. The best toys: wood blocks, plain LEGO bricks, pencils and paper. A reverie of kindergarten: How high can we build this tower? Tall. Taller. Even taller. Taller than us. Wow. And taller still. Until – it wobbles, falls, makes noise. Crash!
SHOPPING LIST OF IDEAS
Street vendors and barbers hold more interest than La Giaconda. Visiting hardware stores for souvenirs. Looking for what is common and taking note of differences at those nodes.
Connect the dots
Born in Detroit, Michigan; June 1952. I live and work in New York City. In addition to making sculptures, drawings, and photographs, I teach technology in the New York City Public Schools.
My credo in art, technology, and teaching is: “More simple, more better.”
Manual Model Museum
MMM is an incorporation of TIER. The new space reflects on the potentialities and possibilities of micro-scale exhibition making. It is inspired by Perec’s Life: A User’s Manual, where the writer handled the building as the structure for the book’s narrative.
Thursday, May 23, 19:00
Reality Is Post-Produced
Encounter with Shaunak Mahbubani
An encounter with curator-writer Shaunak Mahbubani excavating the effects of image access, creation, and circulation in contemporary South Asia. Inspired by the works of Hito Steyerl, the encounter builds on the proposition that images no longer simply capture the world around them but rather through their movements they are crossing the screen and affecting the spaces in which they become alive. In the age of the ubiquitous portable digital device, Shaunak thinks through the nexus of whatsapp groups, surveillance cameras, fake news, labour practices, open-air theatres, and the imaginary as political force.
Thinking alongside moving images, photography, and photobooks by:
Himali Singh Soin
Shaunak Mahbubani is a nomadic curator, primarily pursuing projects under the series ‘Allies for the Uncertain Futures’ initiated in 2016. This exhibition series is focused on exploring the possibilities of socio-political, ecological and techno-evolutionary futures through the lens of non-duality. They are interested in complicating boundaries between artwork and the viewer through the deployment of participatory devices, diffusions, and the use of non-white cube spaces. They have received exhibition grants from apexart (New York) and the Inlaks Foundation, were part of the inaugural edition of CISA (Curatorial Intensive South Asia) initiated by Khoj International Artist’s Association and Goethe Institut Delhi, and the winner of the Prameya Art Foundation Art Scribes Award 2018-19. Previously they have curated exhibitions at Embassy of Switzerland in New Delhi, Kalakar Theatre, Mumbai Art Room, 1Shanthi Road, TIFA Working Studios and Gati Dance Forum. Mahbubani was Curator, Programming at The Gujral Foundation from 2017-18. See previous projects at: www.shaunak.co
Saturday, May 18, 19:00
In the Ruins of Baalbeck Studios & E.D.L
Screening and Encounter with Siska
In this encounter Siska will be presenting and discussing two works, his latest film In the Ruins of Baalbeck Studios (Arabic title: Bayna Hayakel Studio Baalbeck) about the ruination of film heritage in Lebanon navigated through the country’s cinematic heydays of the late 60s and early 70s — a period that witnessed a rise of Egyptian producers and directors moving to Lebanon to make films partly due to Nasser’s nationalization of the Egyptian cinema. The story of this film project evolves around one of the biggest production studios in the Arab world, and its lost archive. Negligence by the Lebanese authorities has led to mold growing on parts of this archive inside the damp underground warehouses.
Siska’s video installation E.D.L transports us on a journey behind the modernist facade of Beirut’s electricity building. The video portrays Lebanon’s National Electricity building as an homage to a once modernist project linked to the very construction of Lebanon’s modern state. But till today Beirut suffers from a power cut up to 8 hours per day, thus this building remains a highly politicized subject.
Siska, Beirut-born (1984), lives and works between Beirut and Berlin. He holds an M.F.A. in Film-making from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA). Siska’s multidisciplinary work often questions the ruination of Arab cultural heritage and the conflicted interrelationship between individual rights and state duties, while stressing on sociopolitical gaps between the personal and the collective. His work was recently been shown in Centre 104 Paris, Mosaic rooms London, Beirut Art Center, Humboldt Forum Berlin and his latest film was premiered in the Berlinale’s Forum Expanded.