To Camille B.

Alice Creischer


Drawing of an engraved mother of pearl shell by a French convict, New Caledonia, ca. 1879

 

Back: Angel with broken ankle and wrist chains, holding a torch. The angel is standing on top of a head of a man whose skull represents the common  world… There is a signature on the bottom of this image.

Front side: Colonel Gally Passebose, Commandant Militaire who died 3rd July 1878 when trying to suppress a native insurrection in Ourail and Boularpar regions of New Caledonia.

Source (Accessed in 2014, the shell and its description is no longer on the webpage)

 

“30,000 murdered, 40,000 arrested … After the massacre in May, Thiers made an effort to cultivate barbarism as jurisdiction. More than 100 senior officers were ordered to form eighteen military courts… Isla de Pines had been selected for simple deportation, the Ducos peninsula for deportation to a fortified location … Official publications stated that the deported would enter a rich country, live in relative freedom, receive rewarding work, and find prosperity and happiness there. If desired, their families would be brought to New Caledonia at the expense of the state; if they were still unmarried, they would be supported in starting a family. The parliamentary reporting secretary on the law on conducting the deportation, Monsieur de Haussouville, welcomed this forced emigration before the National Assembly in Versailles as the beginning of a new French empire on the Pacific shores.”

E.R. Greulich: Die Verbannten von Neukaledonien, Berlin / GDR, 1979, p. 39

 

Hegel, Elements of the Philosophy of Right, Cambridge, 1991

§ 244: This in turn gives rise to the evil that the rabble do not have sufficient honour to gain their livelihood through their own work, yet claim that they have a right to receive their livelihood
§ 247: the sea
§ 248: the means necessary for colonization to which the fully developed civil society is driven
§ 249: and also driven to police and war…

…by the rabble,
which doesn’t stop evaporating to the beat of the production of wealth.

Wealth is a compression of this steam.
Valves must be built for it,
so that it whistles and whistles
when this steam is emitted
into the sea, the land,
into the trains, the camps of people.
So that it whistles and whistles
when this steam is emitted
into the compulsion of each individual.

 

Aerostat with the image of Angelus Novus by Paul Klee, in Tropical Islands, Brand, 2008

 

a) Tropical Islands is a leisure park in the vicinity of Berlin. It is located on the former Soviet military airfield Brand and is operated by the Malaysian corporation Tanjong in the former Cargolifter shipyard. Tropical Islands is the largest roofed leisure park in Europe. It features hills with jungle vegetation, temples, corrugated-iron huts, tents for staying overnight, and beaches. There are balloons in which one can float through the hall. Cash has been abolished. People pay with electronic wristbands. Tropical Islands is always open.

b) Cargolifter was one of the most spectacular projects of the transformation economy during German reunification. Airships able to transport loads of up to 160 tons from continent to continent were to be produced. This was to enable large-scale projects in regions without transport connections. It was to facilitate the “development” of these regions. What does “development” mean?

c) The West German government describes the former GDR as a desert land that is to be transformed into a “green pastures” through the privatization of state property. This privatization is not a “spontaneous” process, but extremely subsidized. It addresses large West German and European corporations. In 2002 Cargolifter becomes insolvent. The hangar is purchased in 2003 by Tanjong for 17.5 million euros.

 

 

Unidentified photographer, Executed communards, Paris, May 1871, in: Stewart Edwards, The Paris Commune, 1871, Chicago, 1971, source

 

2,901 writers
2,683 carpenters
2,664 locksmiths, mechanics
2,233 masons
1,938 shoemakers, leather workers
1,265 staff members
1,049 stonecutters, sculptors
1,022 painters, wallpaper workers
925 bookbinders, printers
884 tailors, hatters
206 seamstresses
690 goldsmiths, gilders
179 clockmakers
106 teachers

 

Statistik des Terrors der Maiwoche, 1871 (Statistics of Terror in the Week of May, 1871), source

By way of thanks for the help in crushing the Parisian Commune, the French government sends gilded canon barrels to Berlin. Germany is proclaimed a nation in the Hall of Mirrors of Versailles, by generals in an occupied country. This proclamation is termed a “revolution from above.”

 

French communards in a meeting in Moscow, 1917

John Milner, Art, War and Revolution in France 1870 – 1871, New Haven, London, 2000

 

Marx: Capital,
Volume 1, Part VIII, Chapter 33
following Chapter 26, The Secret of Primitive Accumulation

in which Wakefield must be lambasted,
his theory of systematic colonization,
and that
precisely after
this truth about capital realizing itself
(which necessarily marks its end)
was proven
in the case of Europe

one cannot but do this and
project this process of ending
like a sublime natural spectacle
image by image
onto the world

But that cannot
it simply does not think
the repeatability of this process
that is constant
and returns to the sender.

That there is no end to exploitation,
that utilization always continues
and intensifies
in every region, every grain, in every fiber,
and in the coercion of every individual

And intoxicated by the grandiose mechanism of decline
it does not
it cannot think
the wrong resistance
in every region, every grain, in every fiber,
in everyone.

 

 

Alice Creischer, Für Camille B. / To Camille B., 2016, HD Video as part of a mixed media installation, 24:40 minutes (Still)

 

Alice Creischer, Für Camille B. / To Camille B., 2016, HD Video as part of a mixed media installation, 24:40 minutes (Still)

Watch the full video.

 

 

About

Für Camille B./To Camille B. (2016) is a mixed media installation by Alice Creischer, consisting of single channel HD video (16:9, color, silent), 5 costumes, collage, 24:40 min, Dimensions variable.

Alice Creischer studied Philosophy and German Literature at the University Düsseldorf and art at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Since the 1990s, in addition to her own artistic work, she has written together with Andreas Siekmann in various art magazines and curated long-term collective exhibition projects, ExArgentina (Museum Ludwig Cologne, 2004 and Palais de Glace, Buenos Aires, 2005) and Principio Potosí (Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2010 and Museo Nacional, / Museo Ethnografia, La Paz, 2011).
Recent publication: The Potosí Principle Archive, published by the Walther König, 2022 consisting of four volumes. Its themes are: Extractivism, Labor, Debt, Inquisition, Machine Capitalism, Decolonization Practices, and artistic Doing.

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May 13th, 2022 — Rosa Mercedes / 04
Interface

The Reconstruction of Ukraine. Ruination / Representation / Solidarity, online symposium, September 9-11, 2022. “The Reconstruction of Ukraine: Ruination / Representation / Solidarity” devotes particular attention to cities, architecture, art, culture and psychological trauma – but the scope of the conversations it aims to start is broader. In due course, the discussions held during the symposium may coalesce into myriad projects, initiatives and experiments undertaken by government institutions, municipalities, educational and cultural bodies and other more interstitial actors. The ambition of this symposium is to establish a platform for dialogue, facilitating communication, collaboration and constructive argument between diverse actors and initiatives.

George Edwards (Zetkin Collective) on war, nationalism and the “anti-climate lobby” (via Arts of the Working Class): “The latest prognosis of this particular war was spelt out in a flurry of reports from the IPCC; the most recent, described as ‘an atlas of human suffering’ by the chief of the UN, demanded ‘rapid, deep and immediate’ emissions cuts in all sectors to ensure an inhabitable planet for all. In step with the science, many wish this conflict to mark the beginning of an intensified programme of decarbonization, ridding economies of not only Russian, but all fossil fuels, wherever their geological source. But whilst political leaders scramble abroad to secure new sources of fossil fuels – sweet-talking sheiks and summoning LNG terminals from the ground – a resourceful and committed cohort, let’s call them the anti-climate lobby, refuse to accept this diagnosis. The partakers in the fossil industry have seized upon this crisis, sensing it as an opportunity to enlarge and entrench economic interests rooted in fossil fuels. As the course of action prescribed by the IPCC imperils this line of business, the attempts to secure fresh investments in fossil fuel infrastructures, to lock-in production and secure profits for the coming decades may feel all the more pressing. The solutions they pose also fit within the national frame and it is with nationalist political forces that they find their most ardent allies.”

July 31st, 2022

The fundamental difference that we face in Europe at the moment between the Western approach characterized by the pursuit of peace and the Eastern one focused on liberation and independence poses a dramatic challenge – in order to survive and progress, democracy as a political regime has to be capable of defending itself also in a military way.” Armed Democracy revolves around the concepts of imperialism, liberation, fascism, autocracy, revolution, and militarization in pursuit of the world to come on Europe’s burnt out land. Conceived by the Kyiv Biennial and Biennale Warszawa from the East Europe Biennial Alliance, this special public program, curated by Vasyl Cherepanyn within the 2nd edition of Biennale Warszawa, the program is a first part of the series organized by the East Europe Biennial Alliance discussing Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine and taking place in Warsaw, Prague, Kassel, and Riga over the summer and fall of 2022.

Olena Lyubchenko on Whiteness, Expropriation, War, and Social Reproduction in Ukraine (via LeftEast): “[…] when we hear on the news that ‘Ukraine is fighting a European war’ and ‘Ukraine is defending Europe’, amid images of fleeing ‘poor white’ women with children prioritized over racialized ‘Others’, ‘Ukraine’ is being made ‘white’ in the global imaginary. That is, “the injunction to ‘return to Europe’ by way of Europeanization is enabled and conditioned on the mythologies of Western civilization, and that Europeanization at once marks (promulgates) and unmarks (naturalizes) racial whiteness” [Nadezhda Husakouskaya and Randi Gressgård]. The paradox is that Europe’s existence as such has only been possible precisely because of the exploitation of global working peoples through expropriation of resources and today neoliberal economic reforms and reproduced by feminized labour.”

Vasyl Cherepanyn about the “inertness, hiding behind the European Wall” (via L’Internationale): “Many Western institutions that have been claiming ‘radical political engagement’ for years, have simply resorted to a white cube radicalism and self-satisfying humanitarianism, too afraid of acting politically beyond their comfort zone and unsettling their publics and authorities by attempting to affect the decision-making process regarding the Ukrainian cause.”

May 28th, 2022

Tatsiana Shchurko on the War in Ukraine, Entangled Imperialisms, and Transnational Feminist Solidarity, via LeftEast (May 2, 2022): “[An] uneven knowledge production and the many implications of the war against Ukraine reveal the dire need to develop a feminist anti-capitalist critique of multiple imperialisms. This language should grow from within the occupied and suppressed communities of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. An anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist feminist positionality grasps that the local is part of a global in an effort to build transnational connections of mutual aid and support against state and corporate violence. For example, statements of solidarity with Ukraine expressed by the International Committee of Indigenous Peoples of Russia and Native American communities along with the anti-war feminist march in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) on March 8, 2022, pointing out that the war in Ukraine should be of concern for a broad transnational community, may serve as instrumental examples of alternative anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist solidarities that stretch beyond state regulations and macro-politics and foreground decolonial perspectives, necessary in addressing entanglements of multiple imperialisms. Such solidarities also bring to light hidden interconnections of the past that allowed for distant communities to survive and support each other against the violence of imperialist intervention and its attendant capitalist exploitation. Thus, the march in Bishkek reminds of the socialist roots of the International Women’s Day to call for internationalist, intersectional, class solidarity against imperialism and militarism.”

Vasyl Cherepanyn on that “It’ll take more than tanks to ease Germany’s guilt” (via Politico): “Since the Soviet Union’s collapse, Germany has been imposing neocolonial optics on its Eastern European ‘peripheries,’ and on the post-Soviet space in particular, where Ukraine was long considered a gray buffer zone about which the EU was ‘deeply concerned.’ Germany didn’t bother itself much with differentiating between former Soviet countries’ pasts. Even until recently, any Ukrainian agenda in Germany was often ‘balanced’ with a Russian perspective, so as to not exclude the latter by any means.”

An unnamed anarchist and art scholar, who joined the Territorial Defense Forces, quoted by Olexii Kuchanskyi in an essay on “Digital Leviathan and His Nuclear Tail” (via Your Art and e-flux notes): “At dawn, Dima and I talked about cinema. Dima believes that cinema is inferior to literature as a means of expression because you spend much more time with a book than a film. It’s a really interesting point, something to dig into. I studied at the department of art theory & history and I never thought of it. Dima served in the military after school and worked at the factory all his life. He listens to rap, smokes pot, and tries to have fun. He is thirty-eight, his child was born last year. He likes Wong Kar-wai and is a fan of Asian cinema in general. Dima communicates by quoting Omar Khayyam, Confucius, and other awesome guys.”

April 20th, 2022
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