Michael Baers & Thomas Kilpper
Footnotes to the Disappearance of the Right to Have Rights
Michael Baers and Thomas Kilpper are developing a new joint project with drawings that will deal with the issue of migration to Europe, primarily in the period between May 2021 and December 2021. The artists will follow the thread outlining the ideology of ‘Fortress Europe’ (and the militarization of migration policy), linking the influx of migrants to Ceuta at the end of May 2021 with events in autumn and winter 2021 at the border between Belarus and the European Union as refugees attempt to cross from Belarus into the EU. They will make a series of drawings based on media images of these phenomena (with digressions on related topics such as the return of the Benin bronzes by France in November, developments in asylum policy in Denmark, and recent paramilitary and state violence against migrants in the Balkans, Greece and Italy). Each drawing will be numbered and accompanied by a caption describing its origin and context. These will be published in a small booklet accompanying the installation, which exhibition visitors will receive free of charge.
Michael Baers is a Berlin-based artist and writer known for his research-based comics and drawing projects. Since 2010 much of his work has focused on the fraught relationship between the MENA region and the West: ongoing research concerns the mass media and the Western Sahara conflict. He received his PhD from the Academy of Fine Art Vienna in 2014 and since 2020 is an affiliated researcher at Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) in Berlin. Baers has exhibited his artistic work internationally in many institutions, including the Van Abbemuseum, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, and MAK Frankfurt am Main. He has also contributed to numerous books, journals, and publication projects. His 2014 graphic work, An Oral History of Picasso in Palestine was featured at the Third Berlin Documentary Forum.
Thomas Kilpper is an artist working preferably site-related and with a wide range of media – installation, sculpture, graphics, photography, video. He studied Fine Arts at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Nürnberg, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt am Main where he accomplished his ‚Meisterschüler‘ exam at Städel; he received the Hap-Grieshaber Prize in 2003 and the Villa Romana Prize in 2011. Since 2008 he has been developing his long-term project A Lighthouse for Lampedusa!, he lives and works in Berlin. Projects include: The Ring, London (2000), State of Control, Stasi HQ Berlin 2009), SPEECH MATTERS, Pavilion for Revolutionary Free Speech, Danish Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale (2011), A Lighthouse for Lampedusa!, Museum Bozar, Brussels (since 2008, ongoing), War Traces, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2017)
Installation view, Villa Romana, IT. Courtesy the artist, photo Ela Bialkowska OKNOstudio