“[...] Look here, underneath this black marble
Is buried a child who would have come to the blackboard
From nature if he had one more breath of life
He was killed in the class on Government”
Ece Ayhan, “Monument of the Unknown Student” State and Nature (1973)
© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2021. All Rights Reserved
State and Nature is the first major exhibition presented by the team with the new direction by Çağla İlk And Misal Adnan Yıldız at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-
Inspired by Ece Ayhan’s anthology of poems Devlet ve Tabiat [State and Nature] (1973), particularly the above quoted lines from “Monument of the Unknown Student,” the eponymous exhibition deals with transitions in the relationships between these two entities. In his work, the state appears not as the force ordering the chaos of nature but as an unpredictable energy, which people are at the mercy of; nature, on the other hand, appears as the utopia of lost reason. This political reading of nature and state also characterises the exhibition. In particular, the newly commissioned art works and collaborations generated for State and Nature provide an open framework for revisiting these two concepts. The works call for a new perspective on historical developments of state, citizenship, and social order, point to limited worldly resources, and ask genealogical questions about human presence on earth.
State and Nature defines itself through the following formats besides the exhibition. As Preludes, new works that are designed to be experienced by the audience open-
With Andreas Achenbach, Sina Ataeian Dena, Khaled Barakeh, Yael Bartana, Mehtap Baydu, Alfredo Ceibal, Mahmut Celayir, DAF (Dynamische Akustische Forschung), Simone Demandt, Egemen Demirci & Sunette L. Viljoen, Simon Denny, Silvina Der Meguerditchian, Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani, Regina JoséGalindo, Anike Joyce Sadiq, Stelios Kallinikou, Henrik Olesen, Alexandra Pirici, Agnieszka Polska, Jimmy Robert, Robodynamische Diffusion: RDD (Michael Akstaller, Nele Jäer, Oliver Mayer, Jan St. Werner), Gabriel Rossell Santillá, Neda Saeedi, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Cengiz Tekin, Anton Vidokle, Jan St. Werner.
State and Nature is co-
Yael Bartana, Days of Awe, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.