Video Art Exhibition: 14.01. – 12.02.2022
Soft opening: 2022, January 13, 7 pm


Projektraum für zeitgenössische Kunst und experimentelle Medien

Oranienstr. 46, D 10969 Berlin


The exhibition Freedom’s just … shows selected video works by 9 artists and artist groups as installations in the space.

Exhibiting artists:

Anna Fiedler & Lilli Kuschel, Niklas Goldbach, Anne Haaning, Thomas Hawranke, Katrin Leitner & Walter Peter, NEOZOON, Sarah Oh-Mock, Franz Reimer and Clemens Wilhelm.

What is the meaning of freedom to you?

The concept of freedom is associated with very different ideas, depending on individual subjects, their origins, social structures and cultural spheres. The interpretation of liberalism of Western democracies promises a free life; however, when we look at the inequalities and injustices in our societies, this noble principle does not apply to everyone equally: appearance, gender, wealth and education determine the degree of self-determination and personal freedom.

No country has internalized this maxim more than the U.S., which to this day celebrates the „American Dream. It is not surprising that several of the nine selected video works in the exhibition Freedom’s just… are situated there. As late as the 1960s, the promise of unlimited possibilities in the American West drew people to the rugged Mojave Desert, on whose soil California City was founded – the third largest city in California, by area. What remains of the vision is primarily an immeasurable grid of streets in the desert landscape, which Niklas Goldbach impressively visualizes by means of drone photographs. In the populated, yet deserted part of the city, ‚For Sale‘ signs dominate the cityscape. And yet the work Land of the Sun (2015), which feels like a cross between an image film and a music video, exudes an air of enticement. Not least because of a secure water reservoir that could change the future of the place in times of growing climate crisis, as the voice of a resident reports from offstage.

„With liberty and justice for all“ resounds from Franz Reimer’s work Justice has been done (2014). Obama’s voice transports us to the year 2011, when terrorist Osama bin Laden was murdered by special forces of the U.S. Navy Seals. We recognize the so-called Situation Room of the White House, or rather the iconic photo of it, where members of the US government watch the commando action with tension. The artist has recreated this room as a model and multiplied himself within it, taking the positions of the people depicted. He attempts to immerse himself in the image, which is charged with media but empty of content, in order to fathom the essence of the image. Reimer describes Pete Souza’s photograph as a new kind of war photograph – the most civilized there has ever been. And yet, this event has been stylized as a symbol of the defense of global freedom.

The film collage Little Lower than the Angels (2019) by the artist collective NEOZOON begins with the light of the moon in Schumann’s romantic song Mondnacht (Moon Night) and leads us to the biblical creation story of becoming light. Recordings of religious sermons and television appearances shared on YouTube are edited into a shrill sound and image collage that conveys the delusional conviction of creationism proponents particularly impressively through the motif of repetition. The artists create an entertaining but disturbing portrait of the collective psyche of a faith community that feels called by God to dominate the world. Their faith gives them the deceptive freedom to rise above a social responsibility that comes with freedom.

Anthropocentrism and the exploitation of the environment and fellow humans also underlie the works Tangible Extractions (2018) by Anne Haanings and Play as Animals (Animals in Traffic) (2019) by Thomas Hawrankes. After all, in the latter it is the supposedly inferior animal that sets the pace and demonstrates the impatient drivers* in the computer game Grand Theft Auto V. We sense: Freedom in a world that is increasingly being destroyed by man cannot exist.

To be free like the tumbleweed – the plant that rolls through the landscape of Cuxhaven carried by the wind in Clemens Wilhelm’s work When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change (2017) – perhaps comes closest to one of the oldest ideas of freedom: freedom through letting go, through not holding on to things; constantly on the move, but without a goal.

Accumulating things, and doing so single-mindedly, is what the children and young people in a modest Dublin suburb in Lilli Kuschel and Anne Fiedler’s eponymous work Tallaght do in turn. And yet they seem to be free, free from the rules and limitations of their everyday lives. We observe them as they spend hours collecting bulky waste – wooden slats, but also whole pieces of furniture and mattresses – in their neighborhood, sometimes laboriously throwing it over walls or sticking it through fences. At dusk they burn down the pyramid-like piled up objects happily singing. Seemingly unobserved by adults, the group of young people sinks into this urban ritual and creates a haven of freedom – out of themselves, out of the creativity of their actions.

Funded by: