Exhibition | ‘Freedom of Movement’ at MART

Something galleries and Germans are not known for is humour. This is a prejudiced assumption for sure, fuelled by European country profiling for the latter and synonymizing anything ‘artsy’ with pretentiousness for the former. There are examples contrary to this proposition that you can take my word for; or, see for yourself at MART’s newest exhibition ‘Freedom of Movement’.

Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani’s exhibition is mediated through video. The Berlin artists focus on elevating narratives that have been lost in the glut of popular history. In the main gallery is the three-screen video installation ‘Freedom of Movement’. The Olympian athlete Abebe Bik­ila, who won Africa’s first gold medal running barefoot, features in the midst of Roman architecture, its grandiose design a contrast to his shoeless feet.

This positive image is juxtaposed with the second video, the animation ‘Identities Rule of Three’. Beginning with an analogy of Justin Bieber as a classic bildungsroman protagonist, this wry animation somehow seamlessly leaps to focus on the controversial rebuilding of Berlin’s Prussian palace. Though the subject matter are those of intense sensitivity today- colonialism, social status, migration- somehow Fischer & el Sani manage to narrate these topics with humour. Laughter must be stifled for fear that it suggests you’re a terrible person for finding such topics funny.

And perhaps that is the point entirely; being oversensitive can be an excuse to shy away from discussing crucial topics, allowing prejudices to fester.

freedom of movement
Freedom of Movement | Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani

 ‘Freedom of Movement’ runs until 22 Sept. at MART Gallery 190a Rathmines Rd Lower Dublin 8
For more information visit their website

Feature Image Source