Hannah Black, ›My Bodies‹, 2014
Ever since seeing it for the first time, I haven’t been able to get Hannah Black’s video work ›My Bodies‹ (2014) out of my head. In a haunting way, Black captures the discrepancy between the feeling of living in a body, the feeling of having and being flesh, and the body’s abstract circulation, value, and dignity. I also see the video as an attempt to understand the body beyond the specific individual experience and its life duration, and to recognize that nothing about bodies can be generalized. As in the lines of a poem from the video, »If you die with your arms around a red skinned dog/ bathed in the light of your laptop dead or sleeping / your phone still in your hand / scrolling without end through remembered attachments / you will wake in the guise of your left-behind form«.
Anna Gritz, curator, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin
Zheng Bo, ›Politics of Plants. Preliminary Questions‹
series of ca. one-hour audio livestreams, created as part of the artist’s residency at Gropius Bau as of April 2020
It’s not so easy to choose just one initiative from the flood of artist’s conversations, virtual exhibition views, podcasts, and online viewing rooms that have been placed online since this past March. But I especially enjoyed the conversations that took the form of audio livestreams or podcasts. Chinese artist Zheng Bo, who was unable to travel to Berlin to begin his residency due to travel restrictions at the time, spoke with international scholars from around the world from Hong Kong. While recording, he took a walk in nature. The fact that his conversation partners, including a philosopher, an anthropologist, and a forest ecologist, truly engage with his very unconventional questions, might very well be due to this conversation situation. At any event, this results in instructive and inspiring dialogues.
Christina Landbrecht, programme director, Kunst der Schering Stiftung, Berlin