English / Deutsch

6.9.2022 | KW Institute for Contemporary Art

Slipping through the Cracks

Focus Tour

With: Heiko-Thandeka Ncube

From the Whitney Biennial 1993, to Okwui Enwezor’s documenta 11 in 2002, to the 12th Berlin Biennale in 2022. The oppressed subject is on display, now more than ever. While mainstream art criticism once negated an artist’s subjectivity, now biographical and documentary work is being wildly discussed. While curation was once associated with neutrality, it is now often expected to engage in challenging political discourses. To propose perspectives. To balance artistic contemplation and intellectual analysis. All this against the backdrop of Western poststructuralism, intersectional feminism, and critical race theory. All this within a vast system of references, along deep archives, between marketing and activism.

Needless to say, our world is within times of great urgency. There is a lot we must work on, and there is much to discuss. Now that politically oppressed artists receive more visibility, where do they stand? Are they here to stay or are they slipping through the cracks? What were significant generational shifts in recent decades? Where is identity politics heading? How is meaning being conveyed in the digital age? How have collective traumas been passed down and how are they resurfacing?

We will take a close look at histories, bodies, insights, ideas, and abstract notions, both artistic and analytic. The workshop will be a mix of academic segments, creative exercises, and open discussions.

Heiko-Thandeka Ncube is a writer and an artist whose work unfolds along the intersections of subculture, migration, political oppression, and his German-Zimbabwean heritage. After studying art history and philosophy at the Free University of Berlin, Ncube is now studying fine arts at Berlin University of the Arts in the class of Hito Steyerl.

Focus Tours invite you to explore inside and outside the exhibition space and sharpen your seeing, listening, and thinking, based on specific themes. Focus Tours are a mix between public tour and workshop. They are free of charge and are organized by the Berlin Biennale educational team.