In her artistic research, Judith Raum has explored the German influence on the economy and culture of the Ottoman Empire in the years before the First World War, looking especially for narratives of alternative economies and local resistance against rationalization and modernization. In 1888, Deutsche Bank, just recently founded, was awarded the concession to build the Anatolian Railway and later the Baghdad Railway, evoking a whole series of colonial and capitalist phantasies. In a new lecture performance, Judith Raum explores the habitus of various figures in the Anatolian Railway strike of 1908. With sculptural acts, she reacts to historical photographs, drawings, and letters and in so doing creates a labyrinthine network of links between aesthetic, social, economic, and colonial history. The gestures and the rhetoric of power, as they appear in the Anatolian Railway project, become an expression of a—vulnerable—economic principle that did not end with the colonial era, but continues today.
[Held in English, 40 minutes]
Judith Raum. eser
eser is a comprehensive publication on Judith Raum’s works, installations and lecture performance texts from 2011 to 2014. It is also a theoretical reader and material collection on the semi-colonial advance of German entrepreneurs and bankers into the Ottoman Empire before World War I in connection with the construction of the Anatolian Railway. In this frame, the logics of capitalism and geopolitical interests connected the engineers’ tasks with less obvious efforts: to get a hold of Anatolian agriculture, archaeology and the working conditions in the country. Judith Raum’s work suggests that gestures and rhetorics of power and domination are the consequences of an economic principle that did not end with the colonial era and in fact persist today. Her paintings, drawings, objects and texts take her research on site and in archives as a starting point, they exhibit an autonomous aesthetic dimension, however, and as such suggest an alternative approach to ‘artistic research’.
eser has recently been presented in installations at Heidelberger Kunstverein and Salt Istanbul, at Salt Ankara and at Haus der Kulturen der Welt: HKW, Berlin. Judith Raum is Villa Romana Fellow 2015 and currently lives in Florence, Italy. The book was co-founded by Einstein Stiftung Berlin.
Judith Raum. eser
Essays by Sabeth Buchmann, Alexander García Düttman, Suzanne Marchand and Iz Öztat (English, German, Turkish)
Design di HIT, Berlin
Judith Raum, am of the opinion strike is useful, 2015
Lecture Performance at
100 Years of Now. The Opening
30.9. – 4.10.2015
© Sebastian Bolesch / Haus der Kulturen der Welt