Exhibition

• Sat 21 04 – Sun 08 07 2018 •
Global Positioning System Not Working

With SHAHIDUL ALAM, AGHA SHAHID ALI, AHMAD GHOSSEIN, RAFAEL LOZANO-HEMMER, RAJKAMAL KAHLON, ULF AMINDE

The Global Positioning System, better known by its abbreviation GPS, was originally developed by the United States Department of Defense, but has long become an integral part of everyday life. Our positions in space are also invariably markers of our disappearance. In Crossfire by SHAHIDUL ALAM, for example, the empty streets in Bangladesh transform into a deserted graveyard – a melancholic cityscape echoing with the footsteps of systematic police terror and the murders of the previous night, the scenes of which the photo artist and human rights activist searches out and documents. And then the absent faces re-appear in RAFAEL LOZANO-HEMMER’s face recognition camera that searches for the missing people’s look-alikes among the spectators.

Disappearance is not an isolated, one-time occurrence. Neither people nor places, evidence nor whole cultures disappear just once and for good. Instead, this happens piecemeal and in installments. The disappearances are countered by attempts at preservation, marking the maelstrom of demise with recurring re-emergences, moments that replicate, overlap, and complete each other. Faces and facial features return to haunt us in RAJKAMAL KAHLON’s projection of Afghan men, documented under a colonial anthropological scheme, and projected over found thermal footage of the American-led bombing of Afghanistan in 2002.

The words of exiled Kashmiri poet AGHA SHAHID ALI resonate in the solitary voice of Maream Hmadeh, the mother of the artist AHMAD GHOSSEIN, who, while separated during the 10-year civil war in Lebanon, sent her husband letters in the form of audio cassettes. The love stories of Agha Shahid Ali and Maream Hmadeh both manifest the political histories of their lands, condensed into personal narratives of loss and disembodied love, of yearning and tragic memory.

In Cologne, the scars left by the NSU bombing on Keupstraße on June 9, 2004, are still a long way from being healed. The memorial that artist ULF AMINDE plans for the corner of Keupstraße and Schanzenstraße will not only remember the attack but also the years of vilification that turned the actual victims into perpetrators.

Global Positioning System Not Working reverses the process of forgetting, disappearance and extinction. That which has seemingly disappeared forever emerges anew through artistic interventions, salvaged and transformed in the creative process.

The Tribunal was initiated and will be carried out by the nationwide activist alliance “Unraveling the NSU Complex”, as well as by a number of individual anti-racist activists.

Venue: Academyspace, Herwarthstraße 3, 50672 Cologne
Free admission

Opening hours:
20​ 04​ – 08​ 07​ 2018
THU / FRI 15:00–19:00
SAT / SUN 14:00–18:00