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“Satellite Affects and Other Lines of Flight”

District Berlin
Bessemerstraße 2-14
April 24, 2015–June 6, 2015

Christa Joo Hyun D’Angelo, Past Present Tense, 2014–15, video, sound, 30 minutes.

Situated on the southern edge of the city center in a disused factory, the current exhibition at District showcases work from the space’s past five years of exclusively female artist grantees and is titled after the on-site studio in which each spent six months working. Not coincidentally, the projects exhibited revolve around issues that themselves seem to be in orbit. In Diving Through Europe, Klara Hobza documents her ongoing explorations of the continent’s canals, rivers, and seas, for a project begun in 2010 with an expected completion date of 2035—by which time part of today’s Europe might actually be submerged, according to the warnings of environmental scientists. Miryana Todorova’s piece Expanded Objects for Shared Living, 2013–15, offered a free delivery service outside an IKEA outlet, in exchange for which customers were asked to have a filmed conversation with the artist during the drive, about home, desire, intimacy, solidarity, and collapse. Katharina von Dolffs tackles the show’s outer-space theme directly: Her elaborate installation revolves around a fictional planet called Grillion, with future dispatches from that faraway place reporting back on Earth’s destruction seventy-three years prior.

The piece in the show that everyone’s talking about is Christa Joo Hyun D’Angelo’s Past Present Tense, 2014–15. This thirty-minute documentary consists entirely of interviews with Germans of color and their allies in the antiracist movement, focusing on the country’s enduring struggles with racism. Even today, the subject of multiculturalism is absent from German school curricula and all but ignored by the mainstream media, despite the visible rise of the country’s minority populace since the fall of the Berlin Wall. D’Angelo probes deep, excavating the key points of a discussion that has yet to take place.

Travis Jeppesen