Hito Steyerl Art Institute Chicago
Commissioned by Hito Steyerl and the Art Institute of Chicago
Artworks by Hito Steyerl
With the collaboration and support of Tracy Parker, Kevan Jenson, Ben Thorp Brown, Vincent Grunwald, Nikolaus Hirsch, Leon Kahane, Maike Banaski, Anna-Victoria Eschbach, Selim Yildiz, Neman Kara, Christoph Manz, Ali Can, Tina Leisch Ottokarl Muck, Wilfried Lentz, Laura Hamann, Esme Buden, Alwin Franke, Laura Barlow, and Josh Altman.
- Designed by Studio Miessen
- Project Leader: Markus Miessen, Diogo Passarinho, Yulia Starsev
- Production Team: Jason Stec Tracy A. Parker, Lisa Dorin
- Photography by Hito Steyerl
For the year of 2012, Studio Miessen worked with Hito Steyerl on a series of exhibitions internationally featuring a new work "Adorno's Grey", along with several older works. Presenting six new and recent video installations, two exhibitions—the 28th installment of the Art Institute of Chicago’s focus series— organized in conjunction with Hito Steyerl on view at e-flux, NY, took place within the United states.
Further works were organize for Wilfred Lentz Gallery in Rotterdam and Overgaden Contemporary art institute in Copenhagen. The earliest work on view, November (2004), is a self-reflexive video that examines the role of images in the post-revolutionary moment, primarily through the figure of Andrea Wolf, a friend of the artist’s from her teenage years who eventually fought alongside Kurdish rebels. Steyerl tracks the increasingly unstable transformations of Wolf’s image following her death at the hands of the Turkish government. Lovely Andrea (2007) follows the artist’s quest to find a bondage photograph she posed for while in Tokyo as a film student. The film explores ideas of bondage and domination as they extend to self-identification, popular culture, and politics. In Free Fall (2010) similarly takes on questions of continuous circulation as Steyerl uses the story of a particular Boeing 707 to analyze the social relations enmeshed in processes of production, consumption, destruction, and reuse. Abstract(2012) is a return to the contested narrative of Wolf’s death with the artist traveling to Kurdistan in search of information about her friend's murder. The work links cinematic shooting and military warfare together, implicating Germany’s role in the operation.Adorno’s Grey (2012) expands outward from an infamous protest that took place during one of philosopher Theodor Adorno’s last lectures in 1969, wherein three female students bared their breasts amid widespread student demonstrations. In her most recent piece, Steyerl turns her focus to the overlapping structures of security and culture. Guards (2012) was shot on location at the Art Institute and features interviews with museum security personnel who have military backgrounds. Intermingled with new and found footage, the interviews explore the officers' experiences of protecting art and protecting the nation.