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VIDEO TALES OF TIGER COUNTRY — “ANOTHER WORLD” FROM CHRISTOPHER KULENDRAN THOMAS AT THE KW INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART

VIDEO TALES OF TIGER COUNTRY — “ANOTHER WORLD” FROM CHRISTOPHER KULENDRAN THOMAS AT THE KW INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART

History, it is said, is written by the winners. But when you’re imagining a whole new society, it might just be worth listening to the losers whose ideas were ditched in defeat. That’s precisely the task London-born artist Christopher Kulendran Thomas has given himself with Another World, a multimedia exhibition developed with longtime collaborator Annika Kuhlmann that fills two floors of the KW Institute for Contemporary Art. The “losers” in this case are the Tamil liberation movement, whose armed campaign to establish their own state in Sri Lanka was lost in 2009 after 26 years of bloody fighting. Huge floor-to-ceiling projections greet you as you enter the “The Finesse”, a video installation specially created by Kulendran Thomas and Kuhlmann for the show: a lush jungle (representing the forest planted by the Tamils to source timber for their proposed socialist state) is shown alongside videos featuring AI-generated avatars and interviews. In one example, a Tamil architect known simply as Manmahal explains her vision for a Tamil state, a Kalaschnikow resting in her arms.

Upstairs is Kulendran Thomas’s 2019 work “Being Human”, another video piece that blends footage of real people with computer-generated characters – ranging from guests at the Colombo Art Biennale to internationally known pop stars. Displayed next to the projection are paintings made using machine-learning algorithms trained on both western and Tamil art. Real and AI images jump between Sri Lanka as it exists now and the socialist Tamil state dreamt of by the revolutionaries. In doing this, Kulendran Thomas asks us to wonder: would life be better if the losers had won and their dreams – of another world – had become reality? You can get a preview of the show online with the KW Studio video platform, which features curator interviews and material from the exhibition. “Another world” runs until 15.01.2023, and is accompanied by three other exhibitions in KW’s current program: Michel Majerus – Early WorksAtiéna R. Kilfa – The Unhomely and the BPA// Exhibition 2022. As ever, on Thursdays 18–21h entry to the exhibitions is free.

Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: Frank Sperling / Credit: Philippe Van Snick Dag, 1984 – ongoing. Installation view entrance gate, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Courtesy Tatjana Pieter; Christopher Kulendran Thomas, The Finesse, 2022 in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann. Installation view of the exhibition Christopher Kulendran Thomas – Another World at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin 2022

KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Auguststr.69, 10117 Berlin–Mitte; map

Christopher Kulendran Thomas – Another World, until 15.01.2023
Wed, Fri–Mon 11–19h & Thu 11–21h

@kwinstitutefcontemporaryart

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SUNGAZING AT HAU2 — CASSIE AUGUSTA JØRGENSEN & DANIIL SIMKIN DANCE TO ROOM-FILLING SOUND FROM LABOUR

SUNGAZING AT HAU2 — CASSIE AUGUSTA JØRGENSEN & DANIIL SIMKIN DANCE TO ROOM-FILLING SOUND FROM LABOUR

With reverberating drums, giant video projections and wild strobes, Labour’s performances are multi-sensory, avant-garde affairs. The Berlin-based composer duo, comprising Tehran-born sound artist Farahnaz Hatam and U.S. drummer Colin Hacklander, have gained acclaim for their boundary-pushing live sets and monthly NTS show. Now they are adding movement to the mix with Sungazing (رضایت), a performance premiering this Saturday (03.12.2022) at HAU2 that will feature star dancers Daniil Simkin and Cassie Augusta Jørgensen (“رضایت” is Persian for “consent”). Sounds, lights, projections and dance combine to turn the black box theater into an immersive audiovisual arena. Sungazing continues a performance Labour put on during last summer’s X100, a festival at Kraftwerk dedicated to the late Greek electronic composer Iannis Xenakis. For this latest show, the duo turn their attention to Zoroastrianism, a religion that was dominant in Persia until the arrival of Islam in 650 AD. Expect mind-bending electronics, precision dance, psychoacoustics and a whole lot of drumming.

Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: Frankie Casillo & Enes Guc

Sungazing (رضایت) premieres this Saturday (03.12.2022) at HAU2, Hallesches Ufer 34, 10963 Berlin–Kreuzberg; map

Tickets for the performance may still be available from the box office on the evening.

@hauberlin
@frankiecasillophoto
@enesguc

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SOUND YOU CAN FEEL — SPATIAL FESTIVAL BRINGS IMMERSIVE MUSIC TO MONOM’S 4D SOUND SYSTEM

SOUND YOU CAN FEEL — SPATIAL FESTIVAL BRINGS IMMERSIVE MUSIC TO MONOM’S 4D SOUND SYSTEM

An extraordinary program of extraordinary art with extraordinary sound: this weekend (25–27.11.2022) a very special festival is taking place at Monom, the studio and listening space located at the Funkhaus complex. Running for three days, Spatial Festival combines sound, art, music and technology. Alongside live concerts by Berlin-based artists like Tobias Freund, William Russel and Robert Henke, the line-up features sound installations by international artists. Among them is the world premiere of Soundwalk Collective and Patti Smith, who will present their joint album “The Perfect Vision” (released tomorrow, 25.11). But this is by no means the only world-class name: the program also features James Blake, Suzanne Ciani, Willem Dafoe, Alex Ebert, Charlotte Gainsbourg…the list goes on and on. Then there are the surprise acts, such as a sound installation by Paul B. Preciado, who is usually associated with philosophy and queer theory. The performances are reproduced using 4D sound, a spatial sound system consisting of 48 omnidirectional loudspeakers and nine subwoofers. The result is an immersive sound experience that makes you feel, fantasize, interact and maybe even get lost – in a good way, of course…

Text: Hilka Dirks / Photos: Sophie Klock & Becca Crawford

Monom at Funkhaus Berlin, Nalepastr.18, 12459 Berlin–Oberschöneweide; map

Spatial Festival (25–27.11.2022) – you can find the line-up and tickets online.

@monomstudios

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RE-ENGINEERING HUMANITY — DISCOVER SEVEN PROTOTYPES FOR TOMORROW’S WORLD AT DRIVING THE HUMAN FESTIVAL

RE-ENGINEERING HUMANITY — DISCOVER SEVEN PROTOTYPES FOR TOMORROW’S WORLD AT DRIVING THE HUMAN FESTIVAL

Three years, 21 concepts, seven prototypes, countless partners, collaborations, experiments, AI systems, problems and solutions. All this will come together next weekend (25–27.11.2022) at silent green, which has become one of the most exciting places for art, culture and research in recent years. The occasion this time is Driving the Human, a festival that celebrates seven proposals for eco-social renewal that respond to complex social scenarios. The proposals were created over the past three years as part of the project of the same name. Based on AI, they offer new ways for people to interact with one other and the environment and respond to complex contemporary issues: the social impacts of global warming, the implications of collective decision-making and how we trade things and values in the modern world. Presented by Forecast, an international mentor program, the program is as experimental as it is fun and comprises readings, talks and workshops. Besides this, you can relax in the lounge at the Driving the Human Center, unwind at the bar, print world-questioning slogans on buttons and get your jute bags freshened up at the screen-printing station. Time to redesign the world – at least a little bit.

Text: Hilka Dirks / Photos: Camille Blake

silent green Kulturquartier, Gerichtstr.35, 13347 Berlin–Wedding; map
Driving the Human festival (25–27.11.2022) – program and tickets available online.

@drivingthehuman
@silent.green

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NO STRINGS ATTACHED — “AUS DEN FUGEN” AT KONZERTHAUS BERLIN

NO STRINGS ATTACHED — “AUS DEN FUGEN” AT KONZERTHAUS BERLIN

Mixed up, disrupted, topsy-turvy. Welcome to earth, modern politics and – at least for the month of November – Konzerthaus Berlin. For two weeks starting 14.11.2022, the classical musical venue is suspending normal programming for Aus den Fugen, a concert series billed as a “soundtrack of a world in transition”. Rather different from your regular Brahms and Liszt, the line-up includes the likes of a techno marching band and a sonic play-off where six pianists battle for your ears. It’s a kind of musical free-for-all, with no strings attached. Okay: there are some strings – on the guitar played by Fatoumata Diawara, the Malian singer-songwriter whose music dissects the politics of her West African home. She’s bringing her band along for a concert on 20.11 (starts 20h).

Though very much an orchestra, the Reflektor ensemble also likes to challenge classical convention: the 40-strong music group from Hamburg is bringing its concert of “shadow works” – forgotten or neglected works composed by women – to the Gendarmenmarkt venue (23.11, 20h). And then there are the pianos: six are needed to play Limited Approximations, a piece by contemporary Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas. Their strings are slightly detuned, resulting in music that’s less concert, more “sound intoxication” session (18.11, 20h). The performance is one of eight that you can attend with an experience ticket, which lets you reserve your seat for free and pay what you think the concert is worth at the end. Topsy-turvy indeed.

Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: Mantuno & Lucerne Festival Priska Ketterer & Orchestertwitch Cleanfeed

Konzerthaus Berlin, Gendarmenmarkt, 10117 Berlin–Mitte; map

Tickets for Aus den Fugen (14–27.11.2022) can be bought online.

@konzerthausberlin

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