1. Fragments of Empires is an exhibition of contemporary art that addresses issues of memory, identity and the impact of migration through three different time-based media: sound, film and photography. Throughout the exhibition ‘fragments of empires’ are revealed through the notion of ‘object memories’ as artists examine how objects, and associations related to them, have been transferred and re-imprinted through historical processes of colonisation and migration, moving in this way from one culture to another. Although originally circumscribed by imperial ambition, the work made by the artists in the exhibition shows different ways in which these fragments have been woven into new lives or realities to establish other meanings and identities in the present.

    Berlin in the 21st Century sits on the intersection of many immigrant cultures and nations, as people from all over the world flock to the city. In recent years, Berlin has come to be especially known for attracting the world’s leading artists. Equally, Berlin is famous for the wealth of cultural artifacts housed in its museums. This convergence, in this capital city, of creative and historical culture with the world’s migrant cultures is often remarked upon, but it has not yet been closely considered in terms of the convergence of the different colonial legacies of the many populations that inhabit Berlin. Fragments of Empires is thus a timely reflection on the hybridization of cultural practices, and the fact that not only in Berlin, but everywhere in the world, we can all find roots somewhere else.

    Reflecting upon the lasting legacies as diverse as the British, Byzantine, French, Ottoman, Roman Empires within the context of Berlin’s particular struggle with the painful histories of the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires, this exhibition extends the remits of history through artistic innovation. Fragments of Empires brings together artists who have dissected the historical legacies of their particular cultures to rebuild them into contemporary statements about how cultures, by absorbing one another, defy established borders and concepts of nationhood that have been drawn and re-drawn by political force. The opening of the exhibition in Berlin in early November will coincide with the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    The work by the artists in the exhibition – Kader Attia, Lutz Becker, Theo Eshetu, Amir Fattal, Gülsün Karamustafa, Fiona Pardington, and Sophia Pompéry – encapsulates a wide range of different approaches to experiences of empire, migration, cultural transformation and appropriation. All strongly reflect the viral, diasporic symbolisms of contemporary culture across the world and the different contexts within which they are perceived. In Fragments of Empires, MOMENTUM is bringing these seven artists together for the first time.

    This exhibition accordingly invokes time-based art practices to explore the legacies of cultural histories that have constantly changed through the passing of time. As Berlin’s only platform focusing exclusively on time-based art, MOMENTUM focuses on historical time through the lens of technologies that break down moments into images, as well as through the personal experiences of artists whose varied cultural backgrounds also re-frame different historical moments.

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  2. Fiona Pardington’s work investigates the history of photography and representations of the body, examining subject-photographer relations, medicine, memory, collecting practices and still life. Her deeply toned black-and-white photographs are the result of specialty hand printing and demonstrate a highly refined analogue darkroom technique. Of Ngāi Tahu, Kati Mamoe and Scottish descent, Pardington’s practice often draws upon personal history, recollections and mourning to breath new life into traditional and forgotten objects. Her work with still life formats in museum collections, which focuses on relics as diverse as taonga (Māori ancestral treasures), hei tiki (greenstone pendants) and the now-extinct buia bird, calls into question our contemporary relationship with a materialized past as well as the ineffable photographic image. Pardington holds an MFA and PhD in photography from the University of Auckland and has received numerous recognitions, including the Ngai Tahu residency at Otago Polytechnic in 2006, a position as Frances Hodgkins Fellow in both 1996 and 1997, the Visa Gold Art Award 1997, and the Moet and Chandon Fellowship (France) from 1991-92. Born in 1961 in Devonport, New Zealand, Pardington lives and works in Waiheke Island, New Zealand.

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  3. PANDAMONIUM, the title of this exhibition, suggests two conflicting ideas: the soft, cuddly, diplomatic, almost clichéd, image of the Panda, one of the great symbols of China to the outside world, and the wild, fertile, noisy disorder of Pandemonium, the place of all demons in Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’. The birth of this new word represents the chaotic energy of Chinese artists’ efforts and experiments in new media art over the past decade. Furthermore, it highlights the fact that Chinese contemporary art has not yet, other than through the art market, engaged globally during this time. This lack has been veiled by the speed of Chinese social and economic development and further masked by the impact of politics and the media.

    PANDAMONIUM focuses on the work of Shanghai artists who create openly, distant from the country’s political center in Beijing. The group of artists shown here are all engaged in experiments with new media, introducing into Chinese art new creative ideas and aesthetic approaches. This exhibition addresses the first three generations of media artists in China. Starting with pioneers like Zhang Peili and Hu Jieming, working since the 1980s to break new ground with the technologies of media art, to the successes of the next generation, such as internationally acclaimed artist Yang Fudong, and moving on to their students, who are developing their own visual languages in response and in contrast to their pioneering teachers. Most of the works of this youngest generation of artists is premiered in Berlin for the first time. Berlin-based artists Thomas Eller and Ming Wong, both with strong links to China, present works responding to these themes.

    Focusing on single-channel video, the work selected for this show presents minimal and subtle expressions that offer a view not only of some of the strongest work now being made in Shanghai but also of the scale of transformation that is now running through the whole of Chinese contemporary art. PANDAMONIUM is especially proud to premiere a new work by Qiu Anxiong, made for this exhibition.

    * Special thanks for support from CAC | Chronus Art Center, WTI and CP, and also to the .CHB Collegium Hungaricum Berlin.

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  4. MOMENTUM in conversation with Roman S. during the opening night of Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.


    In collaboration with guest curators and international film archives and film festivals, we are launching a program of 16mm film nights. In addition to a curated program of screenings, each LOST AND FOUND film event will also be an open forum for artists working in 16mm to screen their works and open up discussion about working in this increasingly rare medium.

    To mark the launch of LOST AND FOUND, we present our inaugural event as an exhibition coinciding with the Berlinale Film Festival:

    Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

    3 February – 3 March 2013

    A multichannel film installation screened on projectors from the 1920′s – 30′s.

    Artists unknown (1920′s – 1940′s).

    For further information on our Kunst Salon nights: momentumworldwide.org/salons/

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  5. Zuzanna Janin lives and works in Warsaw. She is the author of sculptures, installations, videos, photographs, actions and performances. The central themes of Zuzanna Janin’s works are space, memory and time, as well as the states in between. Her works invite reflection on the arbitrariness of social roles, their fluid boundaries and the place of individual freedom within the workings of state and society. Janin’s film and video practice, alongside her installations and three dimensional objects, frequently address ideas of social construction and formation of interactive identities. In her latest works, she visualizes how both singular and collective identities are manipulated and played off against one another in today’s contemporary culture. A singular identity thus finds itself – as Janin makes us aware – in a continuous state of personal construction and displacement.

    Majka from the Movie is a series of videos, based on the Polish TV series from the 70s. The episode “REVOLUTIONS” was included in the international group presentation at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011). The multichannel video screened at MOMENTUM features 9 full episodes, including the new episode in this series – “THE WAY”. THE WAY: Majka from the Movie, Zuzanna Janin’s solo exhibition at MOMENTUM, marks the premiere of the complete series of Majka from the Movie – the first time all 9 episodes have been shown together. The serial video project Majka from the Movie (2009-2012) merges investigations into the history of art and film with a focus on rebellion. The project will be presented later at the Królikarnia Palace, part of the National Museum in Warsaw, the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and The National Museum in Cracow. It has previously been shown, in part, at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011) and as a solo exhibition at the Kunsthalle Wien (2010).

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MOMENTUM ⎪ Kunst Salon

Momentum Worldwide Plus

Drawing on our wide network of art professionals, for each show at MOMENTUM, we invite a select group of curators and directors of the world’s major art institutions, along with artists, writers, and academics to discuss the artists showcased at MOMENTUM,…

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Drawing on our wide network of art professionals, for each show at MOMENTUM, we invite a select group of curators and directors of the world’s major art institutions, along with artists, writers, and academics to discuss the artists showcased at MOMENTUM, and to address the evolving question of what is time-based art.

Held in the intimate setting of home, we aim to revive the tradition of the 19th century Salon, with an atmosphere of exhibition and open discussion, with a view to broadcasting the proceedings online, and creating an archive which will enable public access to these otherwise private events. This archive, along with our other online resources, provides an additional educational component to our program.

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