Elephants in the Room (2017)

In collaboration with Janina Scgultz. Painted ceramics, wooden table and display cabinets, dimensions variable

While common in English, Arabic and Hebrew, the elephant in the room – an expression denoting an obvious presence or reality which nonetheless remains unspoken – is not in wide use in German. Realized in connection with weekly sessions held at the Jewish Museum with artists coming from different backgrounds, among them refugees, this series of small ceramic elephants similarly elides the topics that stood at the center of the meetings.

Although the project revolved around migratory experiences and displacement, these were not made a binding topic to the works in the concluding exhibition, with all those involved free to respond in their own way to the encounters. In addition, the notion of Syrian, Iraqi, Kurd or German artists in the context of the Jewish Museum was never discussed directly, but was clearly “in the air.” In the end, the works presented cannot be seen separately from this context and the biographies of each artist – a problematic that “Elephants in the Room” playfully hint at.

Realized as part of The Blue Room, a yearlong program and concluding exhibition with refugee and Berlin-based artists at the Jewish Museum, Berlin, 2017
For further reading: Art and Sanctuary: An Encounter Project in the Blue Room