Programme, International, Esch2022 - news


Hanna Haaslahti, Captured, 2021 Image © Hanna Haaslahti

Mix and mingle: Media art in the new Möllerei

The aim of the exhibition ‘Hacking Identity – Dancing Diversity’ by the ZKM Centre for Art and Media Karlsruhe is to provide visitors with first-hand experiences of identity in mutation. For the launch of Esch2022, European Capital of Culture in February next year, visitors to the heritage-listed building of the Möllerei will be able to experience the metamorphosis from a material industrial culture to a fluid media sphere.

Where the iron ore was once transported over conveyor belts, rails and a gigantic ramp, digitally generated film images will unfold ethereally. Where swirling clouds of fine rock dust filled the air, microtonal sound clusters will suffuse the space. Where a ‘mixture of materials’ (the so-called Möller) was stored in concrete niches and silos, art will be used to create a thought-provoking remix by amalgamating the glass and steel architecture – the materials most commonly used in the production of everyday and artistic objects throughout the twentieth century – with contemporary data, the raw material of twenty-first century industry. An echo chamber of past and present, the exhibition provides a platform for debates about the way identity forms and dissolves.

Bringing together the works of 25 internationally recognized artists, the exhibition illustrates how artists often use strategies of citation, recombination and distortion to aesthetic question the familiar. Video installations, large-scale screen projections, participatory VR works and sculptures visualise phenomena of dissolution, transformation and multiplication, staging part-serious, part-humorous encounters with doppelgangers, avatars, pop icons, bizarre sci-fi beings and surprisingly ambiguous moments of reflection.

What unites the diverse artistic expressions presented in the exhibition is a strategy of hacking – a practice of playfully examining and changing systems. Social reality and idealised representations are to a large extent shaped by media. Therefore, media artists feel particularly compelled to address the effects of images, between personality hype, emancipation and irony. With this exhibition, the Möllerei presents itself as a space for ideas and successful interculturality within the European community, a space in which the spirit of democratic polyphony and motivation for active participation become tangible.

Curators : Anett Holzheid & Peter Weibel

Practical information
Opening: 27.02.2022: – 1pm – 4 pm
Duration of the exhibition: 27.02 – 15.05.2021
Opening times: 27.02 – 31.03.2022
Monday – Sunday: 11am – 6pm
Closed on Tuesdays

01.04 – 15.05.2022
Monday – Sunday: 11am – 7pm
Closed on Tuesdays
Text : © ZKM |Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe