Sa, 31.7.21

Overflowing Environments: Submerged Continuities (Field Trip)


Artists  Deborah Jeromin & Clemens von Wedemeyer

Time  14:00

Curated by  Nanna Heidenreich & Marcus Held

This field trip is part of the pro­ject Overflowing Environments

This is an invi­ta­ti­on to walk, to wan­der off, to mean­der, to unlearn the fix­a­ti­on on a wag­ging fin­ger, and to learn how to rela­te to “natu­re out the­re” wit­hout hier­ar­chies and wit­hout lear­ning objec­ti­ves. Field trips allow us to expe­ri­ence and under­stand on mul­ti­ple levels; we will use this approach for asking ques­ti­ons in our envi­ron­ment and of our envi­ron­ment. In two dif­fe­rent are­as, we will make con­nec­tions bet­ween peo­p­le, films, the­ses and approa­ches that we hope hold the poten­ti­al for expe­ri­en­cing and reflec­ting on the rela­ti­onships bet­ween humans and natu­re, bet­ween natu­re and cul­tu­re, and bet­ween non-humans and humans.

In doing so, we will also con­sider our move­ments, our appro­pria­ti­ons, and our gaze and ter­mi­no­lo­gi­cal regimes. Artists, theo­re­ti­ci­ans, envi­ron­men­tal and natu­ral his­to­ri­ans will bear us com­pa­ny, help to shape the field trips and set the pace. Our paths will lead us from the phy­si­cal to the cine­ma­tic world and vice versa.

Submerged Continuities

The con­cept of Lebensraum (“living space”) refers to all types of eco­lo­gi­cal com­mu­ni­ties: bio­to­pes, eco­zo­nes, habi­tats, bio­sphe­res. In colo­nia­list and National Socialist con­texts, it was used to make natio­na­list and racist claims that left their marks even in the land­scape. Current eco­fa­scist move­ments demons­tra­te that even terms like natu­re pro­tec­tion or ani­mal wel­fa­re can’t be used wit­hout poli­ti­cal impact and his­to­ri­cal bur­dens. Cyclic “natu­ral” time is con­fron­ted with a “his­to­ri­cal” time mark­ed by vio­lent inter­rup­ti­ons, obli­vi­on, and memory.

We’ll start at a site whe­re silkworms were bred for the pro­duc­tion of parach­u­te silk for the Wehrmacht. Our next stop will be Lindenau Harbor. Construction of the har­bor basin star­ted in 1933, but the ori­gi­nal pro­ject of con­nec­ting it to the Saale Elster Canal and ulti­m­ate­ly to the North Sea was never com­ple­ted. Ammunition that was dum­ped in the canal after World War II has been re-sur­fa­cing sin­ce the end of 2020, among other reasons becau­se it has been sys­te­ma­ti­cal­ly sear­ched for. We aim to extend this search for con­scious­ly and sub­con­scious­ly sub­mer­ged con­ti­nui­ties to con­cepts and ideo­lo­gies of nature.

Verwundene Fäden/Μπερδεμένες κλωστές (Riven Threads), artis­tic docu­men­ta­ry, 40 min, 2020

Mulberry hedges can still be found in one of the allot­ment gar­den sites in Leipzig. They were plan­ted in the late 1930s for the Nazi silk pro­duc­tion. An edu­ca­tio­nal film about silk cul­tu­re was also pro­du­ced in Leipzig at that time. The film Riven Threads traces the silk from the allot­ment gar­den site to its desti­na­ti­on, the tou­ristic island Crete. Hardly any pla­ne had been seen the­re befo­re, but in May 1941, within only one week 10.000 paratro­o­pers jum­ped onto the bar­ren island. Contemporary wit­nesses recall memo­ries of the Battle of Crete and the ter­ror of the German occu­pa­ti­on. They cut the sil­ken parach­u­tes and recy­cled them as hand­ker­chiefs and dres­ses. The hand­craft pro­ces­ses are time units that are inscri­bed into their bodies and that have struc­tu­red their memories.

The artis­tic docu­men­ta­ry Riven Threads traces the rou­tes of parach­u­te silk—from the Nazi silk pro­duc­tion as a pro­pa­gan­da pro­gram to the Battle of Crete in 1941, whe­re parach­u­tes were later reu­sed by hand­craf­ting women to make handkerchiefs.

Die Pferde des Rittmeisters (The Cavalry Captain’s Horses), Germany, 2015, 10 min, HD, trans­fer­red from 16mm film, colour and black-and-white, sound, 10 min
16mm foo­ta­ge from ama­teur film-maker Harald von Vietinghoff-Riesch’s estate

This com­men­ted chro­no­lo­gi­cal mon­ta­ge com­bi­nes foo­ta­ge of Wehrmacht hor­ses and of civi­li­ans fle­e­ing from the Wehrmacht into a pic­tu­re of war. The film is part of the pro­ject P.O.V. (Point of View) by Clemens von Wedemeyer which exami­nes the cinematographer’s sub­jec­ti­ve view behind the front line.

Program Details

Meeting point: allot­ment gar­dens “Hoffnung West”, club house
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14:00—15:15 Talk with Deborah Jeromin about her work on Nazi silkworm bree­ding and the rou­tes of German parach­u­te silk to Crete (KGV Hoffnung West)
15:30—16:15 Time for wal­king to Lindenau Harbour
16:30 Keynote by Anna-Katharina Wöbse
17:15—18:15 Break/time for wal­king to the cinema
21:30/22:00 LURU, open-air cinema
Film scree­ning: Deborah Jeromin: Verwundene Fäden (Riven Threads) (40min)
Film scree­ning + talk: Clemens von Wedemeyer: Die Pferde des Rittmeisters (The Cavalry Captain’s Horses) (10min)


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