The Moment Before

Di27Jun19:00Di21:00The Moment Before Lecture by Prof. Johnny Golding followed by an Artist Talk by Shira WachsmannVeranstaltungsartGespräch,Vortrag


In her work, Wachsmann explores trauma and its influence on the creation of knowledge production and reality. She presents trauma as a multi-temporal, non-linear network involving multiple human and non-human actors and shows how memories, fears, narratives, identity, and politics shape scars that appear in bodies and in languages as emerging landscapes. At the center of the exhibition is a video trilogy (2020-23) in which Wachsmann engages with three actors that have been and are being used to actively shape and reshape the Israeli-Palestinian as well as German narratives and history: a cactus (Sabra), a tank (SabraM60T), and a “Trümmerfrauen” monument.

A Dream (2020) presents a dialogue between a cactus and the artist in the moment before an explosion. As part of her research on plants intelligence and memory, the artist focuses on the Palestinian sabra (cactus) and its “incarnations” in the Israeli-Palestinian landscape. The adoption of the Sabra by the Israeli as a name for Israeli-born Jews and its transformation in 2005 into a tank, namely the “Sabra M60T”. In the second film TankWoman (2021), Wachsmann makes visible a relationship between her and a tank. The materiality of the tank, the artist herself, and the memory of the body, the wind, the desert, and the sand that merge into multi-layered correspondences, revealing how memories develop in multiple perspectives. In her most recent film, The Moment Before (2023), Wachsmann takes up the iconography of the “Trümmerfrau” (women who, in the aftermath of World War II helped reconstruct the bombed cities of Germany and Austria). Using the sculpture made by Katharina Szelinski-Singer in Berlin’s Park Hasenheide, the memorial becomes a symbol of the myth of post-war reconstruction and a placeholder for a kind of personal memory and collective repression at the same time. In correspondence with the memorial, the artist’s disembodied mouth appears like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. Floating in the landscape, trying to speak and “possess” the sculpture of the “Trümmerfrau”

The exhibition is complimented by an augmented reality installation that is activated by visitors in the outdoor space of the Silent Green. A smile without a body keeps repeating eerily as a pattern in the landscape. Even though this digital fragment is foremost invisible, it is always present. The installation only fully reveals itself when it is seen by several viewers from multiple angles. Wachsmann’s works ask if there is a way outside of the explosion, or if we can reshape the connection and relation in the “moments before the explosion” that take shape in correspondences. World War II, the destruction, the blood, the myth, the future climate catastrophe, Germany, Israel/Palestine. Trauma manifests itself as landscape in The Moment Before. In the real, in the virtual as well as in the interconnected collective space and like a Möbius strip, it has neither beginning nor end.

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27. Juni 2023 19:00 - 21:00(GMT+02:00)

Silent Green

Gerichtstraße 35, 13347 Berlin

Silent Green