Opening of the exhibition
Welcome: Dorothee Bienert, Head of the Department of Culture, Neukölln
Introduction: Yolanda Kaddu-Mulindwa, Director of the municipal galleries Neukölln and curator & Nisha Merit, curator
Soil Conversations presents a series of propositions, stretching over time and space. Concerning history and possible futures while thinking with soil as something rhizomatic, it questions the concept of linearity, making a case for the interstitial. What does it mean to think with — and of — soil as a space of meaning and identity making? As a space for excavation? As an archive of history and a political actor?
Under the proposition “soil is everything” the exhibition offers a look at the granularity of the ground we stand and build life on, as a moment of close observation, where details, parts and particles become traces of a whole. The exhibition investigates the relationship between ourselves and the environment we live in, both in digital and analogue spheres. Topics of land, history, spirituality and the body — as physical manifestation and theoretical representation — are integral parts of the artworks part of Soil Conversations. By defying a linear ontology of history, Soil Conversations seeks to explore the plurality of the past, and future scenarios which lead into the unknown, aiming to engage with the speculative as a defining position of the here and now, and as a relationship between us and the world — the inner and outer space.
Performance milieu #05 by Theresa Schubert and Ella Hebendanz
The performance and following living sculpture investigates how the human microbiome differs from the milieu of the urban environment – in this case the Körnerpark in Berlin Neukölln.
In their multiplicity and omnipresence, microbes carry information about people and their surroundings and history. Schubert’s experimental approach gives the microbes a presence that is perceptible to the human eye: a Petri dish with a size of 80 cm lies on the floor and contains a nutrient liquid. Over the exhibition period, visitors can observe the microflora in bloom and compare the difference between Schubert’s footprint before and after the urban walk. The human microbiome is a perfect example of how biology and philosophy merge to existential investigations.
Funded by the TURN2 Fund of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation). Funded by the Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien (Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media).