Thursday, April 15, 2021, 12 pm
Step Out of the Strange Light – Panel 1

With Charlotte Eifler (artist, Leipzig) and Clarissa Thieme (artist, Berlin), Rajkamal Kahlon (artist, Berlin), Adnan Softić (artists, Berlin), moderated by Nataša Ilić (member of the curatorial collective What, How & for Whom / WHW; director of Kunsthalle Wien)
In English

On the occasion of the group exhibition Step Out of the Strange Light, the panel discussion brings together artists whose works demonstrate different approaches to dealing with the war crimes committed during the Yugoslavian wars and subsequent revisions. The artistic practices tackle different perspectives on the subject matter, examining the juridical systems, the responsibility of the so-called “international community”, the politics of memory, the notion of justice, and questions of self-representation. Their works function as a starting point to initiate debates about and beyond Yugoslavia, to discuss political urgencies emerging from historical revisionism and the relativization of violence by means of artistic strategies.

Charlotte Eifler and Clarissa Thieme’s video installation
Archival Grid (preview, 2021) combines footage from the archives of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with digital renderings of crime scenes to illuminate concepts of testimony and evidence. Rajkamal Kahlon literally brings atrocities to the surface in her watercolor series, “Dear Yugoslavia, I regret to inform you...” (2018) by painting over historical illustrations of traditional costumes from the Balkan states with sometimes gruesome scenes. Adnan and Nina Softić’s video works The Silent Weaving of the Spirit and The Maidenhair Fern (both 2021) investigate the construction and misappropriation of history using the example of Višegrad in Bosnia and Herzegovina – a city that is inextricably linked to crime and ethnic conflict. Moderated by the curator and author Nataša Ilić, the conversation explores questions of collective guilt, repression, and historical distortion that have tangible implications for the present.

Charlotte Eifler (*1986 in Rostock, lives in Leipzig, works in Berlin and Karlsruhe) has a master’s degree in Theatre and Media Studies and completed her diploma in Fine Arts at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig. She currently teaches image politics and editing at Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG). Exhibitions and festivals include: Sapporo International Art Festival, Sapporo / Japan (2020); Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden (solo, 2019); ISCP, New York (2019); Impakt Festival, Utrecht (2019).

Nataša Ilić (*1970 in Zagreb, lives and works in Berlin and Vienna) is a curator and member of What, How & for Whom (WHW), a curatorial collective founded in 1999 and based in Zagreb, Vienna, and Berlin. WHW organizes a range of production, exhibition, and publishing projects, and since 2003 has run Nova, a city-owned nonprofit gallery in Zagreb. In 2018, they launched WHW Akademija, an international study program for emerging artists in Zagreb, directed by Ana Dević. In 2019, WHW members Ivet Ćurlin, Nataša Ilić, and Sabina Sabolović were appointed as the artistic directors at Kunsthalle Wien.

Rajkamal Kahlon (*1974 in Auburn, California / USA, lives and works in Berlin) completed her master’s degree at California College of Arts in 1999. She is the recipient of the Villa Romana Prize, Florence (2019) and the Joan Mitchell Painting and Sculpture Award, New York (2006). Kahlon has presented her work in numerous lectures, including at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2019). Exhibitions include Galerie Wedding, Berlin (solo, 2019); Weltmuseum Vienna (solo, 2017–2019); Neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst, Berlin (2017).

Adan Softić (*1975 in Sarajevo / Bosnia and Herzegovina, lives and works in Berlin) completed his studies in film and aesthetic theory at HFBK University of Fine Arts Hamburg in 2007. His work was awarded the main prize at the International Short Film Festival Winterthur (2018), among others. Since 2013 he has been working together with Nina Softić (*1974 in Cologne) on numerous projects. Recent exhibitions of their collaborative works include Johann Jacobs Museum, Zurich (2019–2020); Collegium Artisticum, Sarajevo (solo, 2019); MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome (2018–2019); Berlinische Galerie (2018); Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg (2018).

Clarissa Thieme (*1976 in Oldenburg, lives and works in Berlin) studied media art with Thomas Arslan and Heinz Emigholz at Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) and is a research alumna of UdK’s Berlin Center for Advanced Studies in Arts and Sciences (BAS). Thieme has presented her works in the context of numerous exhibitions and festivals, including: Anthology Film Archives, New York (2021); Rencontres Internationales Paris / Berlin (2021); Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2020); Berlinale Forum (2020).

A second panel discussion held on the occasion of the exhibition
Step Out of the Strange Light deals with relationships between transitional justice and artistic practices in the context of the Yugoslav Wars. Panel II invites artists, writers, and academics who are engaging in feminist analyses of the underlying structures that shape women’s lives in post-conflict societies. Follow this link for the video of the second panel discussion.