Forensic Architecture, Saydnaya: Inside a Syrian Torture Prison, 2016
8-Kanal-Videoinstallation / 8-channel video installation, Maße variabel / dimensions variable
Saydnaya Military Prison, 30km north of Damascus, is one of the Syrian governments most notorious torture and detention centres. Since the beginning of the crisis in Syria in 2011, thousands of regime opponents, including both peaceful demonstrators and military personnel have been held and tortured there. Many died in custody. No journalist or independent monitoring groups have been allowed in. In 2016, Forensic Architecture and Amnesty International met with a number of former detainees now refugees in Turkey. Using spatial and acoustic modelling they help them reconstruct the architecture of the prison, their experiences of incarceration and incidents that took place inside. As the witnesses measured rooms, located windows, doors and objects and reconstructed the soundscapes of the prison, memories otherwise obscured by trauma and violence have returned.
Nghia Nuyen, cloud of unknowing, 2016
cloud of unknowing_no memory no desire, mixed media, 210 x 160 x 160cm
EMPTY SPACE I–IV, Öl auf Holz / Oil on wood, Maße variabel / dimensions variable, 2009–2010
Auf seinen Installationen und Malereien der Serie cloud of unknowing sind die entstellten Gesichter von VietnamesInnen zu sehen – Opfer der Luftangriffe, bei denen die US-Armee das chemische Entlaubungsmittel Agent Orange einsetzte. Durch die „Wolke des Nichtwissens“ hindurch ermöglicht Nuyen einen flüchtigen Blick auf die Schicksale der Überlebenden des Vietnam-Krieges.
Devoir de mémoire / A Biography of Disappearance
Digitale Diashow / Digital slideshow, 11 min., 2016
For his project Devoir de mémoire / A Biography of Disappearance, photographer Omar D. travelled across Algeria, tracing the history of the many people who disappeared during the 1990s. In many cases, all that remains of them are some personal possessions and passport photos. Among these pieces of evidences we can see the artist’s portraits of parents and families, images of their homes and letters documenting the efforts of these families as they search for their children.
Silvina Der-Meguerditchian, Fluchtteppich / Flight Carpet, 2002
Installation, digitale Bilder / digital images, Wolle / wool, 90 x 180 cm
In her work Flight-Carpet, Silvina Der-Meguerditchian addresses the memory of the exile of the Armenian people. She uses enlarged ID photos of Armenian refugees taken from residence and work-permits and combines them with stamps and signatures from those countries to which they fled. The artist thus invests a piece of her families biography: It was her grandparents who had to flee in the wake of the Armenian genocide of 1915, moving first to Paris and from there to Argentina. By naming and investigating these events of the past, the artist is building a bridge, back to the country where the flight began – perhaps the first step towards mutual understanding.
Eduardo Molinari, Sojacracia, 2004–2016
Installation, Holz, Archivfotos, Collage, Zeichnungen / wood, archive photographs, collage, drawings, Maße variabel / dimensions variable
„Archivo Caminante (Walking Archive) is a work in progress: Since the year 2000 it is developing as a visual archive, exploring relations between art and history, specifically focussed on the processes of collective memory (contemporary Argentinian history and beyond). It also serves as a platform for collective exercises in critical thinking and against dominant narratives of memory. These are exercises of political imagination, looking for new political visions and rituals, but also looking for powers that survive inside of our memories. It is based on the act of walking and exploring collectively, for example the rural landscapes of Argentinian soy-production – a geography that was altered by the neoliberalism of the nineties. The work Sojacracia (in english this might translate as „Soy-cracy“) is intrinsically connected with the memory of the last dictatorship. One is impossible to exist without the other.” (E.M.)