Curator's statement by Kattrin Deuffert
When I was introduced to the project IDENTITY.MOVE! on Thursday, 26 October 2013 in Athens, I saw a geographical representation of the so called Eastern Belt. I was shown a white map of Europe as well a small part of Russia in the East and a bit of the Middle East in the South. All the Eastern European countries of the Belt were in violet so together they created a nicely visible figure. To me, the shape of the Belt looked like the ghost that escapes from the bottle as you know it from various representations in fairy tales and films. The jinn is a ghost that does not like to follow ghost rules in general. Therefore it is punished by other ghosts and put inside a bottle. Only a human can open the bottle and free it but if this happens, the ghost has to serve the human for the whole life or at least fulfil his three wishes. This is a fairy tale, of course. But since the image captured my mind, I cannot get rid of it. I am not saying that I consider countries to be ghosts but I think the project IDENTITY.MOVE! joins capacities of countries that otherwise would have stayed invisible. It liberates a certain political and artistic energy that needs to be grasped or it will vanish very soon.
To work within IDENTITY.MOVE! requires curiosity and not fearing of the unknown.
It requires social and political capacities because we all need to think the unthinkable and we need to think and act towards the future without denying the past. Much like the ghost that sits in the bottle, a new idea is waiting to pop up and briefly appear and then disappear or come to a ground of actions.
IDENTITY.MOVE! needs strong ideas and new artistic action.
It is not an activist project but a project that demands activity from each participating party. To be active means also to leave the comfort zone, which is familiar and shared, and to venture into the unknown and the unforeseeable. What we can achieve with IDENTITY.MOVE! is a shared familiar outside zone, a trustworthy external variation of what we call “mine” or even “ours”. This can make IDENTITY.MOVE! make one step beyond what we could call our own certainty. We don’t sit on our identities like we sit on a chair steadily because we learned sitting very early on in life. Identity is constructed via egress and reappearance. If we stay in our homes all the time, we will not see the future but stay eternally in the past. We should rather carry our house in ourselves like a snail, which allows us to move. Artists should be the people that actively embrace this movement – be it physical, mental, political, aesthetic, social, sexual, cultural or real. As a summary, I want to come back to the image of the jinn – throughout the history there have been numerous bottles where things were caught up, even including ghosts. Mostly the bottles broke but the ghosts stayed.