Video screening and performances

• Sat 22 10 2016 •
Rat Race Mona Kakanj


19:00 Mona Kakanj, Rat Race, two channel video installation, HD video, 20′, Iran, Germany 2016, color
20:00 Reut Shemesh, The Dog-Walker, dance performance, 10′
20:30 Sina Seifee, “Rat Race”: The Pray and The Visible – An Animal Escape Case, lecture performance, 20′, English

Venue: ACADEMYSPACE, Herwarthstraße 3, 50672 Cologne
Free admission

A few years after the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the government of the newly-established Islamic Republic clamped down on dog ownership. The number of cats, both domestic and feral, increased drastically, becoming a special feature of Tehran, while dogs are a rare sight in the crowded city’s streets. Not so in Cologne, where there are proud dog owners everywhere. It only seems logical, then, that East and West would fight like cats and dogs. Yet sometimes cats and dogs get along quite well, as we see in so many YouTube videos. In her project Rat Race, Mona Kakanj plays with the fluidity of these metaphors. A two channel video ironically underlines the cultural differences between the street cats of Tehran and the domesticated dogs of Cologne, while a dance performance by Reut Shemesh and Julia Lippoldt reflects various forms of commanding and submitting mindlessly to a superior force, and a lecture performance by Sina Seifee takes a historical, speculative look at animal friendship in the Middle South Asian bestiary.

Mona Kakanj is a Cologne-based media artist. Sina Seifee is a Cologne-based performance artist and researcher. Reut Shemesh is a Cologne-based choreographer. Julia Lippoldt is a Bonn-based dancer, actor and media artist.