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[Nettime-ro] I am here and you are there...
bmatei on Thu, 22 Apr 2004 16:52:41 +0200 (CEST)


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[Nettime-ro] I am here and you are there...



I am Here and You are There…
Opening: 22/04/04, 7 p.m.. Exhibition runs from 
23/04/04 to 20/06/04
Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig

Curator: Barbara Steiner

Artists:
Zdenko Buzek (Croatia)
Sejla Kameric (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Gintaras Makarevicius (Lithuania)
Matei Bejenaru (Romania)
Georg Herold (Germany)

On 22nd April 2004, the exhibition "I am here and you 
are there," curated by Barbara Steiner, opens at the 
Foundation Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig. Taking 
an old children’s rhyme as its title  "I am here and 
you are there, one of us is in the wrong place," the 
exhibition examines the power of language to create 
space, its (territorial) establishment and 
delimitation, as well as its potential for 
emancipation. 

Zdenko Buzek reflects the (spatial) "power of naming". 
By writing his name in place of those of political or 
economic powers (Tito, Nike, Nokia, etc.), 
he 'occupies' their position and thus also their claim 
to prestige. He also expresses territorial 
delimitations in his jokes: they deny space, define 
characteristics and fix clichés; they are social safety 
valve, a means of dealing with the "other" and they 
repossess space – at least symbolically. 
 
"Description" and with it "prescription" is also the 
starting point for Sejla Kameric. In "Bosnian Girl", 
she makes use of a discriminatory graffiti that was 
scrawled by a Dutch soldier on one of the army barracks 
in Potocari, Srebrenica, by 'overwriting' her own body 
with it. The message, which characterises "all" young 
Bosnian women as having "no teeth, a beard, and 
smelling of shit," is sold throughout the world by 
Kameric in the form of posters and postcards and thus 
brought into the open. With this act, she repossesses 
an area of acceptance that had been taken away from 
these women through unfair discrimination. In "EU/Non-
EU citizens", she creates different routes through 
urban space, some for citizens of the European Union 
and others for all the rest, who do not belong. It is 
left up to the pedestrians to decide whether to follow 
the markings that have been laid out for them, or 
whether to cross them. 

In films by Gintaras Makarevicius, language is, on one 
hand, endowed with the important function of making the 
loss of space and of meaning bearable. It serves the 
memory, but it also allows us to imagine a space in 
which we are free to act, one which for many people, 
after the collapse of socialism, no longer seems to 
exist. In "action movie", on the other hand, 
(territorial) freedom of action is created playfully by 
making verbal claims, only to surrender these a short 
time later. 

Matei Bejenaru deals with the way in which language 
confers identity. In one of his performances in 
Kischinau (Moldavia), he read a Rumanian dictionary out 
aloud from beginning to end, so as to highlight the 
arbitrariness of the linguistic border between Rumania 
and Moldavia and the desperate attempts being made 
there to "distinguish themselves from one another 
(including linguistically)." In his new work for 
Leipzig, he confronts the loss of language and the 
consequent loss of identity and space in Eastern 
Germany.

In 'Legasthenie' (dyslexia), a seven-part photo series 
and sculpture created in 1985, Georg Herold turns his 
attention to the territorial 'overwriting' in the east 
and northeast: Karelia, Riga, Klaipeda, Brest, 
Kaliningrad, Tallinn and Moldavia have all been 
politically occupied and reoccupied many times over.



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