No History at All
Taking its cue from writer and theorist Ariella Aïsha Azoulay’s recent book Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism (2019), Dina El Kaisy Friemuth’s first institutional solo exhibition sets out to critically investigate the Western imperialistic power structures implicated in the act of history writing and archiving.
Presenting a new body of work – including video, statement posters, comics, and a large façade banner – the exhibition unfolds around a monumental floor carpet decorated with poetic and political quotes. The centerpiece of the exhibition is El Kaisy Friemuth’s new video work House of KA (2021). Filmed in the Neues Museum, Berlin and starring the artist and their closest relatives looking at Egyptian artifacts that were stolen through colonization, El Kaisy Friemuth’s film resuscitates the lived history of the artifacts through their mother’s stories.
El Kaisy Friemuth’s practice often revolves around creating conversational environments, centering queer and non-white voices, and decolonial and institutional critiques. Furthermore, the exhibition presents a series of panel discussions and talks taking place on the carpet. Here, El Kaisy Friemuth makes space for additional voices, including The Union, a newly founded union for racialized cultural workers in Denmark.
Dina El Kaisy Friemuth (b. 1988) lives and works in Berlin and Copenhagen. They hold an MFA from the Royal Danish Academy of Art in Copenhagen and UDK in Berlin (2016) and are a co-founder of the artist collectives FCNN (Feminist Collective with No Name) and D.N.A. together with Anita Beikpour and Neda Sanai. El Kaisy Friemuth is a part of the Berlin Programme for Artists 2021–23 and has lately exhibited at Gasworks (London), the 11th Berlin Biennale, Ariel (Copenhagen), 1-1 (Basel), Bergen Kunsthall, and 55-11 Gallery (New York).