There is a German saying “Ich könnte die Wände hochgehen” meaning, I am so angry I could go up the walls. And I was very angry after I had moved back to Berlin, Germany in 2017. Before, I had lived and worked for ten years as an artist and educator in Cairo, Egypt and Tehran, Iran. It was a complete reverse culture shock on the one hand to be faced with in my opinion completely outdated social expectations with relation to my status as mother of an infant child and on the other hand I was very much shocked to observe and witness so much political mismanagement, corruption, political failure and mere incompetence everywhere in Berlin.
Therefore I started an extensive research on postures/gestures of resistance and looked into feminist manifestos from recent decades and the demands contained therein during different eras. Most of them are till now unfulfilled and buried in archives, which themselves seem to have fallen prey to ravages of time. It literally goes up the walls: because most of the current demands against inequality, racism, classism, sexism, and heteronormativity have long been raised in different eras and contexts by myriad courageous forerunners. Why is there hardly any connection to past experiences, demands, and struggles?
The three staged photographs show me the artist “going up the walls” – in the face of a series of objects like sausages, cucumbers, and eggs, which as satirising sexualised placeholders reference my rage about ongoing patriarchal structures and the resulting social injustices. Moreover, in their extreme staging of poses, objects, and attributions of meaning, the photocompositions become monuments themselves and simultaneously, with their staged poses, a satire of traditional personified monuments.
In the continuation I have expanded this series as a performative action to be executed on locations of political mismanagement and failure like e.g. the construction site of the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport BER, or in front of the luxury building complex “Flottwell Living” which was constructed on a protected area that was supposed to stay undeveloped in order to function as a air corridor for the center parts of the city. I was very happy when friends send me from different parts of the world photos of themselves, performing the same gesture of resistance inverting a monument.