Since the summer of 2021, Berlin artists have been conducting research on the grounds of the Humboldt Forum as part of Moving the Forum.
In the third chapter, “Inhabiting,” three teams address the question of what it means to occupy Humboldt Forum’s controversial urban space; a space that evokes histories of colonialism, white supremacy and systemic oppression and marginalization. While inhabiting that space, artists and participants address the processes of representation, inclusion and exclusion inherent to Humboldt Forum, while fostering space for distinct artistic expressions.
Together with 10-15 participants each, three teams will begin their artistic exploration on site for six weeks starting February 14. The results can be experienced in various performances on March 26, 2022.
The dancers/choreographers Yotam Peled, Marie Hanna Klemm and Nitzan Moshe work in “The Living Room” with 15 participants ages 50+, placing the experienced body in the focus of their research. Together with their participants, they focus on relating their bodies to the public urban space and examine how these bodies can function as a bridge between past and present.
The Living Room is a nomadic performance process, an exploration and an expansion to spaces in the museum, interacting with them through a symbiosis.
„Our group consists of mature participants, with whom together we aim to construct intimate safe zones inside the Humboldt forum – homes which embody their individual fantasies and needs. We wish to make an experienced body, which has a history and stories to tell, present and moving in the museum, underlining the connection between the past and a tangible future.“
We build our home
We are the wild
into a possible future
The three artists work on site for the entire residency period: A permanent “living and working room” is installed under the stairs on the 2nd floor, and a “home base” – a kind of permanent home – is created in the foyer. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, they work on site with participants.
History as the sum of memories – in their project “Recollection in 3 colors”, pianist Rieko Okuda and double bassist Antti Virtaranta, together with their participants, explore the relationship between memories and history. Particularly in a place as historically charged as the Humboldt Forum, the encounter of history and memory is tension-filled. A sound installation with visual elements invites visitors to witness the findings.
Together with a group of BIPOC and white LGBTQ+ individuals, Adrian Blount and Telmo Branco’s performance-protest “The March” highlights the experiences of those marginalized in colonial and postcolonial societies.
“The March“ is a conglomeration of bodies, of living testaments. “The March” is a funeral, a parade, a riot, and a depiction of the varied and sometimes oppositional histories of BIPOC LGBTQ+ and white LGBTQ+ individuals. This performance protest invites the audience to travel through the trajectory of those who strive(d) under colonial and post-colonial societies.
Colonization was a process that happened inside and outside the colonizer’s land. It was a process endured by those whose individual and collective identities, did not coincide with the heteronormative culture of the colonizers.
Lands were colonized, knowledge was colonized, identities were colonized, bodies were colonized. Two options remained: to resist and suffer, or to adapt and disappear.
“The March” attempts to decolonize space and body. For the BIPOC LGBTQ+, it aims to acknowledge the plight colonialism had on their bodies, their minds, and their ancestors, by honoring their right to exist.
For the white LGBTQ+, it dives into the colonial heritage that has been transmitted, while acknowledging its forcefully and fatally imposed doctrine of gender and sexuality.
“The March” invites the museum visitors to a revolution. A revolution that aims to dismantle the imperial space, consciously recreated by the Berlin Palace, by exposing the polarizing fissure revealed when those oppressed and marginalized by its legacy inhabit that space.