Flights From The Empire

Jakrawal Nilthamrong, Film still from "Zero Gravity", 2012, HD video, color, sound, 20 min

Which strategies do minority groups and individuals develop against imperial and national structures? The discourse program Flights from the Empire of the exhibition 2 or 3 Tigers focusses on the multitude of lived realities and communities that seek to evade or otherwise find themselves in conflict with the monopoly of the state. With a keynote lecture by James C. Scott, author of The Art of Not Being Governed. An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (2009), this program explores ways of imagining histories and subjectivations beyond national and identitarian divides. Lectures, performances and films explore the strategies of resistance against imperial and national structures in Asia while expounding on the genesis of state structures, national borders and capitalist economies and their relationship with indigenous cultures and identity constructs.

Full program here

With contributions by Anselm Franke, Erin Gleeson, IM Heung-soon, Nontawat Numbenchapol, James C. Scott, Ritu Sarin & Tenzing Sonam, Erika Tan, David Teh, Mark Teh

Until July 3, 2 or 3 Tigers exhibits works of an influential generation of artists and filmmakers which open new insights into hidden histories of modernity in Asia, and reflect the violent divisions inflicted by the Cold War order. The changing iconographies of tigers are the starting point for a close analysis of the transformations of myths under colonial modernity.

At the same time as tigers were driven to near extinction, they leap into the imaginary of national modernity as a recurring ghost, and as symbols of national power, military might and economic development they bind the hypermodern present to the colonial and pre-colonial past.

The works in 2 or 3 Tigers approach collective experience by explicitly questioning the historical nature of mediation, including its means of representation. Several works thus reflect on the changing nature of mass media. Against the phantasm of universal mediatization through digital technologies in an age of computer generated imagery and ubiquitous animation, they are in search of complex images that serve
as sites for shared experiences of history. Rather than reinforce identitarian divides, the works bring the past into the present and in so doing transfigure the image of history itself.


With works by HO Tzu Nyen, James T. HONG, Chia-Wei HSU, IM Heung-soon, Jane Jin KAISEN & Guston SONDIN-KUNG, Minouk LIM, PARK Chan-kyong, Lieko SHIGA, Yuichiro TAMURA.

The exhibition is curated by Anselm FRANKE and Hyunjin KIM.

An ever-growing online publication has been launched with a free download of the magazine articles by writers such as Kevin CHUA, Jow Jiun GONG, Hongkoo HAN, Ho Tzu Nyen, James T. HONG, Yuk Hui, Yogwoo LEE, PARK Chan-kyong, Filipa RAMOS, SHABBIR Hussain Mustafa, Etienne TURPIN, as well as Anselm FRANKE and Hyunjin KIM. In English: www.hkw.de/tigers_publication

Paralell to 2 or 3 Tigers, the exhibition “Misfits”: Pages from a loose-leaf modernity is on view. It introduces three artists from Southeast Asia. Today, the oeuvres of Tang Chang, Rox Lee and Bagyi Aung Soe stand at the threshold of art historical canonization. They stand for transnational trends that prevailed before the art market began to push for globalization.

Flights from the Empire
Talks, lectures, experimental film
June Sat 17 – Sun 18, 2017, each 4 – 10pm

2 or 3 Tigers 
Exhibition, discourse
April 21 – July 3, 2017

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