Freedom of Movement
Evoking the Olympic marathon from Rome 1960, in which the Ethiopian Abebe Bikila conquered the African continent’s first gold medal, running barefoot and becoming a sporting legend and a symbol of the Africa that was freeing itself of colonialism, Fischer & el Sani have recontextualised amidst Rome’s rationalist architecture, a new race involving refugees and immigrants staking a claim to their freedom of movement, also understood as the possibility of being welcomed in another country.
Nina Fischer / Maroan el Sani
The Berlin-based artist duo Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani have been collaborating on their interventional and situationist art practice since 1995. Their investigations revolve around moving images as both impartial documents and involved narrations of our changing societies. The main protagonists of their projects are often urban spaces that bear the burden of collective memory, upon which the forces of historical transition and turmoil have been engraved. The artists’ poetic-filmic and performative investigations of these sites tackle the idea of revisiting blind spots in contemporary society through their artistic reanimation of such places.
With their work Fischer & el Sani focus on transitory spaces and vacuum situations in urban environments, collective memory and vision in various media such as film, video, installation and photography. They critically reflect the rise and fall of modernity, the intense and uncanny relationship between our contemporary society and utopian projects that have driven the evolution of our history, from the past to the future, or the anachronistic merging of both ends. Their work is a permanent pursuit of and negotiation with the transition of time. Fischer & el Sani are interested in exploring the historic traces of urban landmarks, monuments and events that embody such a transition. Several places that were once hallmarks, centers of political culture, avant-garde art, and social developments, have become more or less temporally blind spots in contemporary society. They bring them back to today`s consciousness in their altered, mystified phases: not utopian anymore, not obsolete, but rather not yet redefined. From 2007 to 2010 they were Associate Professors for Media Art at Sapporo City University, Japan. Since 2014, Nina Fischer is Professor for Experimental Film and Media Art at the University of the Arts, Berlin.