Fragments for Now

The world is changing: Old classification systems are being turned upside down and seem to be less reliable, achievements once thought to be definite like establishing an open, peaceful world are threatened by right-wing nationalist movements. In light of the increasing threat to human rights worldwide, it is becoming more and more important to take a stand.

The exhibition curated by Beate Eckstein and Annelie Pohlen and featuring fourteen current and former recipients of the scholarship is part of the foundation-wide project organised by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung For a Better Tomorrow, which examines key issues of the future such as Europe and sustainability, technological change and progress, migration and integration, gender equality and equal opportunities, democracy and social cohesion.

A look into the not-too-distant past is sufficient for noticing how quickly every dogmatic “vision” of groups that consider themselves to be superior can break down all socio-economic, geopolitical and civilizational fundamentals of societies.

The exhibition poses the question of whether art or the fourteen artists influenced by their cross-border biographies can make their voices heard for the best possible solutions in the rivalry with their complex reflections, characterized by apocalyptic visions of the future. They are not only able to do this, they are also emblematic with their individual view of fundamental questions stemming from our social existence for an artistic examination, in which all forms of art are rightly regarded as part of a far-reaching social discourse.

It is hardly surprising that their approach to the complex reality in the Fragments from Now for an Unfinished Future exhibition explicitly focuses on the aspects that are close to them for biographical reasons. Nevertheless, their sometimes poetically encoded, sometimes subversively documenting or offensive visual imagery combines the complex interrelation of fundamental existential questions in an increasingly interconnected global society into a whole – in spite of all the rising walls and barriers.

That is a recurring theme throughout the exhibition: From Saskia Ackermann’s “Index” of her work Begriffssystem Welt verstehen (System of concepts to understanding the world), in which notions of individual and society dance across sheets and walls, and the portraits by Yevgenia Belorusets and Ksenia Kuleshova from the communities of persecuted minorities through to Raisan Hameed’s narrative of escape routes and Darío Aguirre’s cinematically documented naturalization turmoil — in addition to many other stances. Amir Tabatabaei’s fragmented modules of complex visions of spaces finally and playfully liberate an endless number of “Fragments from Now” from their debilitating constraints of limitation and exclusion.

In their perception of a fragmentation of realities extending from past to present, the individual „fragments“ of complex clusters of themes “For a Better Tomorrow” are interconnected into a possibly visionary overall view of an open-ended “better” future comprising many artistically transformed fragments.