Arjuna Neuman: So this is Heimat - exhibition & performance - SEVEN SWANS perspectives 23. Mai, 19 Uhr

So this is Heimat

Vernissage und Performance: 23. Mai 2013, 19 - 22 Uhr

Ausstellungsdauer: ausschließlich 23. Mai! 

SEVEN SWANS perspectives 
Mainkai 4 
60311 Frankfurt am Main 

SEVEN SWANS perspectives is pleased to present the Los Angeles based artist Arjuna Neuman. "So this is Heimat" is the fourth exhibition of the perspectives series and Arjuna Neuman's first solo presentation in Frankfurt. 

Arjuna Neuman's work starts with research: "Each project examines the connections between subjects and across ideas. Sometimes the distance between parts is too great and the work collapses. Other times a cluster of thinking, materials and actions make up an esoteric system full of feedback loops and false starts. In our age of the hyper-networked, these systems attempt to describe reality, current power structures and the histories of today."

Neuman takes the authenticity of a specific place as point of departure for an artistic process. The story of So this is Heimat begins at Frankfurt am Main Airport. In the course of Neuman's research, the alleged stability of this geographic terra firma eventually proves to be ambiguous, unresolved - dangerous drift sand. In Arjuna Neuman's topology every place is shrouded by a dense network of narrations - whether official histories and alleged truths, or popular imaginations and private experiences. Frankfurt am Main Airport is haunted by the story of Naimah. Naimah, the Algerian refugee, who committed suicide in May 2000. For more than seven months she had been held in the airport's Transit Area Detention Centre, a space considered as 'exterritorial', non-national terrain - a strange, vague 'no-place'. 

The airport is an uninhabitable, transitional space. Its pretentious glass and steel construction is designed to subtly compel travellers not to rest, but to keep moving - through squares, up and down escalators, through security checks, visible and invisible thresholds and gates of various kinds. Even in the purposefully cozy atmosphere of the Frankfurt am Main Airport Hotel - with its carpets carefully absorbing the sounds of our steps - we can't help but sense that this temporary retreat will only make us feel at home for one night. Apart from the fleeting presence of the passersby, the vast space of the airport seems intrinsically empty. There is just the faint, incessant squealing of the escalators, which transport travellers with equal indifference as luggage carousels carry bags and suitcases on and on in endless circles. Naimah becomes the allegory of a structural paradigm - the paradigm of haunting, of an unfulfilled, restless longing for home: Heimat. 

In Arjuna Neuman's psycho-geographical mapping, Frankfurt am Main Airport turns into a purgatory of compulsive repetition and eternal return, in which histories, anecdotes and involuntary observations form a hidden web of haunting correspondences. Looking out of the window of the hotel room, we may - from the corner of our eyes ­- intuitively recognize this structure: In the dark curtains and their irresolvable entwined, repetitive ivy ornaments.
Arjuna Neuman (*1984 in Yeovil, UK) studied art at the California Institute of Arts in Los Angeles and English Literature at the University of California Davis. In 2011 he initiated "Concord", a Los Angeles based platform for exhibitions, discourse and international encounters as an ongoing socially engaged, transgressive art project ( Recent solo exhibitions: "VideoRow" (Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles, 2012), "In Our Sights" (Machine Project, Los Angeles, 2012), "Breaking and Entering" (Human Resources, Los Angeles, 2012). Upcoming exhibition: "Transpositions" (Verge Gallery, Sydney, 2013). Arjuna Neuman lives and works in Los Angeles.