The Huffington Post Maghreb interivews Nadia Kaabi-Linke ahead of her first solo exhibition in Germany titled Reading What Was Never Written that will be held at the Kunstmuseum Bonn, which houses a collection of works by renowned German modern and contemporary artists.
Kaabi-Linke has created six new works for the exhibition that relate to the history of Germany, specifically to the city of Bonn, which was the capital of the German Republic from the end of the war until the fall of the wall and dissolution of the Soviet Union. "Moving the capital of one of Europe's most influential countries to a mere provincial town remains a challenge for most of the city's inhabitants," the artist opines. Her artistic research and focus for this exhibition centers on the understanding of the present as a subject that is shaped from the substance of the past, making the city the subject of original research.
The exhibition will explore themes of bureaucracy, nationalism, fascism even, the war of the past forgotten, obliterated and resurrected. The artist examines these subjects from material anchored in the urban fabric from which she works, from Berlin, Bonn and Dresden. These are mainly themes that she addresses in her new work. Bonner Mythologies undertakes this aspect from the administrative buildings that have been transferred to Berlin, Modulor III deals with the issue of confinement, the disciplinary society and the habitat in the form of modules, Gekochte Erde (Terracotta) deals with the question of the obliterated wounds of the past and the danger of returning to fascism, Nervoese Bank deals with the issue of latent stress that eventually becomes contagious and Kula: Common Fuel addresses issues of renewable energies that are still not renewed,
Kaabi-Linke will also present existing works that relate to Germany, such as The Altarpiece, and Parkverbot (Looted Art), which thematize the central question of 'how history is written’, alongside works that reference narrative strategies in Hai Khalil and Butcher Bliss, and the video NO which links religion to bureaucracy, by drawing parallels between the rigorous visa application process for entry into the UK to the history of the Holy Inquisition.
The artist will also present A Colour of Time which visualizes and reveals the layers of time that are part of a building's history and finally Stretched Perm, which comprises a series of ongoing prints of inked hair bundles in 52 frames, which line up to create the impression of an infinite continuity, thus illustrating the concept of history, the representation and construction of past events as a continuous process and often as a narrative plot.