In Normannenstraße 19 – a building of the former Ministry of State Security – an oversized ‘linoleum cut’ will be made in the floor covering; 800 m2 PVC floor covering will be the starting material.
I cut into the found substance of this charged place in order to ‘appropriate’ it. Images emerge from the context of ‘state surveillance and strategies to counter it’. I inscribe them in this place and thus transform its ‘base’ – the ground – into a stamp. A controversial, abandoned place in contemporary history is reoccupied, revived and redefined.
PVC-flooring – Normannenstraße 19 – Stasi-HQ – Berlin
dispari&dispari project is pleased to invite you, to the opening of the exhibition “A Lighthouse for Lampedusa”. This is the first show in Italy of Berlin artist Thomas Kilpper (born Stuttgart). With this project, the artist reflects on the current phenomenon of immigration focussing on the extraordinary case of Lampedusa. On this island, just 80 nautical miles away from the African Continent, this year more than 30.000 refugees have reached (about 50% more than in 2007) – mostly in heavily overcrowded little boats. For them the shores of Lampedusa became a Synonymon for the dream of a better life in Europe. But often their “journey of hope” turns into a deadly tragedy – help organisations estimate one out of ten die during their dangerous crossing.
“A lighthouse with a maximum strength beam can provide essential orientation at sea and help to reduce the danger to life. Over the last months, Thomas Kilpper developed this idea for a new art project with a double function: in collaboration with architects, engineers and local people he wants to build a lighthouse with an adjacent cultural center on Lampedusa.
A tower and a landmark building, capable of hosting a diverse and transnational programme of communication, negotiation, exhibitions, concerts and other cultural events on its ground floor; a place that attracts not only new visitors to the island but also local people – making Lampedusa not just a location to talk about, but also somewhere to learn from and listen to each other…”
To understand the situation on the ground and to start to develop a network of contacts and relations with local people Kilpper travelled the island. On his second trip a meeting with interested “Lampedusian’s” on this project could be held. With ‘A Lighthouse for Lampedusa’ Kilpper proceeds with his site related and socialy engaged interventions like ‘Al Hissan – The Horse of Jenin’, 2003 in Israel / Palestine and ‘Pigisback’ 2006 in London. At dispari&dispari project ‘A Lighthouse for Lampedusa’ will be presented to a wider audience for the first time – as a sketch for an utopian idea to come true in the near future. A Lighthouse for Lampedusa is an event produced by dispari&dispari project of Reggio Emilia and the artist Thomas Kilpper. Thanks for support and cooperation to: The German Institute for the Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa), the House of Artists Villa Romana in Florence, the Lampedusa and Linosa commune and Radio Delta in Lampedusa. The exhibition is open until 14 February 2009 from Tuesday to Friday from 10.00 – 13.00 and 15.00 – 19.00. Saturday and Sunday by appointment.