New Heimat
12 October 2001 – 27 January 2002
The exhibition New Heimat focused on the topics migration and identity in a globalized world. The phenomenon of dislocation and mobility as an effect of globalisation was reflected in works of artists who experienced migration themselves, but also in works that visualize the European gaze as "other". These works share a trans-national background and a cultural capital of disruption and continuity. In most European metropolis of today traditional patterns of identity no longer fit. Fixed positions are substituted by positions "between cultures" and hybrid mixed worlds. Conceived as a co-operation with the Institute for Ethnography of the Frankfurt University, the exhibition New Heimat presented works of contemporary art in dialogue with ethnographic objects from the so-called third world to illustrate the multiple forms of adoption when it comes to intercultural exchange. Change of context, adaptation and various strategies to merge local identity and Western (mainly European) influence are shown in ethnographic objects of everyday life. These hybrid forms and cross-over artefacts between local culture and European influence visualize that there is nor "right" or "wrong" context in a postcolonial world characterized by mobility and economic exchange. On the level of presentation, the exhibition intended on breaking down oppositions like "Europe" and "the rest of the world", but also "art" and "ethnography". Ethnographic objects were presented next to works of art without special labelling. The perception of "trivial" objects in the context of high art therefore leads to a questioning of standardized categories. In a city like Frankfurt am Main with almost 30 % immigrants this new focus on "otherness" is of high importance.
New Heimat included ethnographic objects from the collection of the Frobenius-Institut, Institute for Ethnographic Studies, Frankfurt am Main (Nigeria, Bali, Brasil, Papua-Guinea) and works of contemporary art by Michael Beutler, Andrea Bowers, Jeanne Faust, Naya Hatakeyama, Sharon Lockhart, Bjarne Melgaard, Isa Melsheimer, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Adrian Piper, Richard Prince, Tobias Rehberger, Gretchen So, Haim Steinbach, Nasrin Tabatabai and Jun Yang.
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