<p>2017-19<br />
TRADITION</p>
<p>2017-19<br />
TRADITION</p>
<p>2017-19<br />
TRADITION</p>
<p>2017-19<br />
TRADITION</p>
<p>2017-19<br />
TRADITION</p>
<p>2017-19<br />
TRADITION</p>
<p>2017-19<br />
TRADITION</p>
<p>2017-19<br />
TRADITION</p>
<p>2017-19<br />
TRADITION</p>
<p>2017-19<br />
TRADITION</p>
<p>2017-19<br />
TRADITION</p>
<p>2017-19<br />
TRADITION</p>
<p>2017-19<br />
TRADITION</p>
<p>2017-19<br />
TRADITION</p>
<p>2017-19<br />
TRADITION</p>
<p>2017-19<br />
TRADITION</p>
<p>2017-19<br />
TRADITION</p>
<p>2017-19<br />
TRADITION</p>

TRADITION is a photography project, part documentary, part artistic research. It is a playful deconstruction and cataloguing of traditions in the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) and connecting them to events in the German history of the past decades.
An excerpt of the project description that sums up my research and media analysis and is the basis of my work can be found here (in German).
Currently in development, see mock-up renderings.

Project summary in English
A strike of silver in the 15th Century rang in an era of extraordinary prosperity in the Ore Mountains, a narrow strip of wooded area that closes Saxony to the Eastern border. When profits in the mining business began to dry up, families took up woodworking crafts. The combination of mining and woodcraft has produced a unique ensemble of christmas decorations and traditions that center around darkness and light. One characteristic shape is the Schwibbogen, an illuminated arch symbolizing the dark adit opening into the mine. Another is an orientalist figure called 'Turk'. The relationship between shadows and light plays an important role in the self-portrayal of the region.

Historically, German nationalism is partly rooted in the republican movement propelled by the Grimm Brothers' interest in the early 19th Century in researching, collecting and circulating German folklore, which culminated in a magazine called 'Altdeutsche Waelder'. The themes of 'German Woods' and 'Heimat' are momentarily experiencing a renaissance in right wing and liberal art institutional narratives alike.

In 2014, news began making the rounds of a revitalization of the political right in the East part of Germany, especially Saxony, after the 2013 'Lichtellauf' in Schneeberg/Ore Mountains, an anti-immigrant rally organized by the extremist NPD. Other displays of extremist right-wing politics followed each other in quick succession, from which eventually the movement PEGIDA was grown, that gained lots of media attention.

In 1990, shortly after I arrived with my mother from Bulgaria in Berlin, reports of racist attacks in the newly reunited Germany started to populate the evening news. In former East Germany, Neo Nazis became a commonly known threat. We lived in the former East Berlin. My mother stopped wearing her Armenian sounding name and instead adopted a generic German one and worried about my safety. In the 90s, I was subject to xenophobia in my school. My longstanding interest in the Ore Mountains region stems from my own fascination for the wooden christmas decorations that I admired as a child. These new developments, that have their roots still in the reunification 30 years ago, only deepened my interest in the examination of the region's history.

Artistically I engaged with the region for the first time in 2015 where I curated an exhibition: Erzgebirgisches LaserAtomKraftwerk mit Pigmentfenster

Exhibition history
2020
Forthcoming Die Vertraute Welt. Artist in Residence at Zona D for Gegenwarten / Presences. Chemnitz, DE G