Close-up of the uprooted tree
© Jens Karsten

Thomas Kilpper – Uprooted

Social cohesion and solidarity seem more fragile than ever at the moment. Communities across the globe are being confronted with increasingly nationalist tendencies. Public perceptions of refugee crises and migration focus primarily on the challenges facing society. Artist Thomas Kilpper offers a different perspective: What does it mean to refugees when they lose their homes? Can reactions to their arrival mitigate the social uprooting of refugees, or instead increase it? Could “uprooting” open up new opportunities?

Kilpper’s new series “Burnout”—charcoal drawings of refugee shelters that have been set alight—mark the starting point of the exhibition. At heart of the show is an uprooted tree—an old maple from outside Körnerpark Gallery that fell in a storm in the summer of 2017. The artist has integrated new woodcuts into this large-scale installation featuring portraits of people who have been subjected to racist violence. As well as attacks and assaults that were clearly right-wing, those that are suspected to be racially motivated—such as the murders of Burak Bektaş and Luke Holland in Neukölln—are a particular focus. Thomas Kilpper sees his installation as a critique of violence and as an invocation to live together with openness and solidarity.

Curated by Dorothee Bienert; kuratorische Assistenz Isabelle Stamm
Entrance area with an exhibition text on the wall and a large picture print in the foreground. View of the room. The installation with tree roots is in the middle of the room. Black and white pictures hang on the walls. Installation view. Behind two large tree trunks, one sees black and white pictures on the wall. Installation view. A mesh of wooden beams stand in the room and reaches up to the ceiling. Colourful picture prints hang from the beams. Installation view with visitors Thomas Kilpper and his installation Close-up of the uprooted tree Installation view