FROM YOU TO ME
Welcome to EE TETRIS, an exhibition that explores the personal experience, identity, and narratives of six artists, originally from Eastern Europe and the complexity of their biographies and artistic practices within their current context of Berlin.
Since 2009 I have travelled every year up to 10 times between Berlin and Sofia, trying to define the notion of home, spreading myself between two places that split my emotional belonging, always missing one or the other.
The repeated pattern of travel ingrains itself at some point not only onto the emotional turbulence of nostalgia and belonging, but also onto my personal artistic practice. The status of transit has recently become a tool of investigation and a time to create my most recent project, also on display at Scope BLN. Somewhere between an airport, a subway station, one bus ride away, between two homes where my name still hangs on the doorbell, at one of these “non-places” as Merleau-Ponty describes them, the notion of a constant transit and an overlapping cultural identity becomes the strongest. These “non-places” being a place of disenfranchising but also of longing, of togetherness, we all move as masses, passing through them. They serve only the purpose of a backdrop for what unfolds is up to us.
Even during the pandemic, there were several curious stories where airlines provided alternative “travel” experiences to fulfil the modern need to fly somewhere new: passengers could book an in-flight experience, e.g. get on a plane and enjoy the in-flight meal-deals while the plane is still grounded, not allowed to take off due to current pandemic restriction. An even stranger notion berries the second option on the menu: an in-flight experience where the plane takes off, circles around the airport airspace to then land back to where the journey began. A full circle with one purpose only - suggesting to the mind the idea of being transferred somewhere else. In an age where we are used to travel sitting down and in just a few hours, what happens to our cultural, biographical and social belonging, while our bodies are being “transferred”?
Berlin has long been a magnet for artists from all corners of the world, offering a dynamic and inclusive environment that fosters creativity and dialogue. Just like the pieces of a jigsaw, everyone seems to find their spot in the city, no matter their interests and expectations. Berlin has carried this illusive idea as the free creative capital where artists thrive and the scene supports everyone's equity for years. But what happens within the microcosmos of the day-to-day artistic practice? EE TETRIS focuses on the perspective of six artists in particular, who bring their unique point of view, rooted in their cultural heritage and shaped by their experiences of relocation and adjustment.
Just as the opposite of the notoriously popular game Tetris, the notion of having control and building row by row your surroundings, the exhibition offers alternative ways to connect and build our own narratives as individuals coming together. In analogy of the game itself, if you have chaos coming your way, is there a need to put something in order or place yourself somewhere? In one way or another, the small pieces end up fitting together.
By entering the individual spaces and facets of EE TETRIS, you are invited to embrace the spirit of unity and cultural exchange that defines our interconnected world. The exhibition serves as a platform for dialogue, fostering understanding and collaboration among diverse audiences. It encourages visitors to recognise the shared humanity that connects us all, regardless of our origin or background. We were inspired to create a space for reflection, celebration, and appreciation of the multicultural tapestry that defines Berlin today.