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Natascha Süder Happelmann to Represent Germany at 2019 Venice Biennale

Natascha Süder Happelmann and her spokeswoman Helene Duldung will represent Germany at the 2019 Venice Biennale, the organizers of the German pavilion announced today. The art historian and curator Franciska Zólyom, who has been the director of the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig, since 2012, is the curator of the pavilion.

Natascha Süder Happelmann is an intentional misspelling of the name of artist Natascha Sadr Haghighian—the press release notes that the name is the chosen result of over thirty years of collected misspellings of her name by public authorities. Süder Happelmann’s biography states that the artist was “born in 1987 in Budapest or 1968 in Sachsenheim or 1979 in Australia or in 1979 in Munich or 1967 in Tehran or 1966 in London or 1953 in Iran. She lives and works in Berlin, Kassel, or Gütersloh, or Santa Monica, California, USA, or Cotswolds, UK (Source: Wikipedia).” 

Sadr Haghighian’s practice investigates military history, state-sanctioned violence, and technology criticism, and acts on the intersection of art and politics. She was involved in Unraveling the NSU Complex, the collective that commissioned the Goldsmiths-based research center Forensic Architecture to produce an independent investigative video on the 2006 murder of Halit Yozgat in Kassel by the neo-Nazi group the National Socialist Underground. A project for Documenta 13 in 2012, titled “Trail,” traced the history of the city of Kassel itself, which became a node of the country’s military-industrial complex in order to recover from its almost complete destruction during World War II. Pssst Leopard 2A7+, 2013, was an installation that re-created the titular battle tank Leopard 2A7, in full scale, out of Legos.

“Süder Happelmann is an important voice of contemporary art,” reads a statement from Duldung. “In her practice, she realizes the poetic, imaginative, and critical potential of art to not only analyze or comment on its aesthetic, economic, social, or political aspects, but also to actively challenge and change them.”