• The Other Nefertiti

    The Other Nefertiti” is an artistic intervention by Jan Nikolai Nelles and Nora Al- Badri. “With the data leak as a part of this counter narrative within our investigative practice we want to activate the artefact, to inspire a critical re-assessment of today’s conditions and to overcome the colonial notion of possession in Germany's museums”. With regard to the notion of belonging and possession of material objects of other cultures, the artists intention is to make cultural objects publicly accessible and to promote a contemporary and critical approach on how the “Global North“ deals with heritage and the representation of “the Other”. The work also questions originality and singularity of those diasporic objects: “We should tell stories of entanglement and Nefertiti is a great case to start with to tell stories from very different angles and to see how they intertwine.“

    At this link you will find a torrent to access the dataset under a public domain:

    http://nefertitihack.alloversky.com

    Here you can watch, how we scanned the bust: https://vimeo.com/148156899

  • We Refugees

    We Refugees gathered photographic fragments of individual escape stories whose paths cross in Berlin. The title of the exhibition is based on the eponymous essay by Hannah Arendt in 1943. Therein refugees are referred to as the “vanguard of their peoples”. Photographs that have been brought by refugees or have been taken during the escape, have been arranged by the artists Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles to a narrative. The real threat of the so-called floating combat zone, for some refugees also consisting in Germany, is reflected visually in the exhibition. In order to protect the refugees and their families from further persecution, the people who are still living were anonymized in the photographs and visual overlays were made . The faces we can look at because they are not anonymous, belong to dead people. The exhibition tells us of unspeakable experience. The family pictures and flight diary of phone images are evidence of loss and death, as well as of happiness and hope. It is an approach to the Brechtian refugee talks and his concept of ‘Inzwischenzeit’. Transferred it means ‘Inzwischenfotografie': fragmentation, fragility and ironic commentary are giving impulses to oppositional thinking. “We Refugees“ curated by Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles with: Ajmal, Ali, Amer, Daniel, Hassan, Husam, Mohamed, Muhammad, Noor, Omar, Rami and Rawia. C-prints, bronze, plaster.

    We Refugees versammelt fotografische Fragmente individueller Fluchtgeschichten, deren Wege sich in Berlin kreuzen. Der Titel der Ausstellung ist an den gleichnamigen Essay von Hannah Arendt aus dem Jahr 1943 angelehnt. Flüchtlinge werden darin als die „Avantgarde ihrer Völker” bezeichnet. Fotografien, die von Flüchtlingen mitgebracht oder auf ihrer Flucht aufgenommen wurden, sind von den Künstlern Nora Al-Badri und Jan Nikolai Nelles zu einem Narrativ arrangiert worden. Die konkrete Bedrohung der sogenannten erweiterten Kampfzone, die für einige Flüchtlinge auch in Deutschland besteht, schlägt sich visuell in der Ausstellung nieder. Um die Flüchtlinge und deren Familien vor weiterer Verfolgung zu schützen, wurden die noch lebenden abgebildeten Personen auf den Fotografien anonymisiert und visuelle Überlagerungen gebildet. Die Gesichter in die man blickt, da sie nicht anonymisiert wurden, gehören Toten. Die Ausstellung erzählt von Unaussprechlichkeiten des Erlebten. Die Familienbilder und Fluchttagebuch-Handybilder zeugen von Verlust und Tod, ebenso wie von Glück und Hoffnung. Es ist eine Annäherung an die Brechtschen Flüchtlingsgespräche und seinen Begriff der ‘Inzwischenzeit’. Übertragen handelt es sich um ‘Inzwischenfotografie’: Durch Fragmentarismus, Brüchigkeit, ironische Kommentierung werden Impulse zum widerständigen Denken gegeben.
    Von Nora Al-Badri und Jan Nikolai Nelles mit Ajmal, Ali, Amer, Daniel, Hassan, Husam, Mohamed, Muhammad, Noor, Omar, Rami und Rawia.
    C-Prints, Bronze, Gips.
    Mit freundlicher Unterstützung von Petra Rietz Salon Galerie und d’mage.
  • Small Rewards

    Small Rewards zeigt den absurden Versuch, Waffen mit Waffen zu zerstören, während die Maschinerie der Waffenproduktion an anderen Orten der Welt unablässig weiterläuft. Die kontrollierten Explosionen werden aus sicherer Distanz in der Einöde gezündet und verwandeln diese für wenige Momente in einen Ort des Spektakels. Die Munition und die Waffen werden weitläufig versprengt. Das sog. „Small Rewards Programm“ der USA ist ein Aufruf an die Bevölkerung in Post-Konflikt Gebieten wie dem Irak oder Afghanistan ihre Waffen gegen Bezahlung und ohne Strafe abzugeben. Die Serie verdeutlicht einen Zyklus, der niemals aufzuhören scheint und der Fragen nach der Ökonomie des Krieges aufzuwerfen versucht. Die ursprünglichen Bilder stammen aus Original-Footage von Soldaten, das von der Künstlerin digital weiter verarbeitet wurde. Fine Art Prints, verschiedene Größen, 2014.
  • Untitled

    Brotlose Kunst - Breadless Art. Bronze, original size slice, 2014.
  • Dattel Denkmal

    The memorial for the date fruit refers to the war situation in Iraq and it is dedicated for all the palm trees, which were destroyed in the past decades through war. Iraq experienced an environmental disaster with the soil being contaminated for millennia through uranium-depleted ammunition. Before the destruction, Iraq used to be the biggest exporter of dates in the world and it was certainly part of the Iraqi identity. For the diaspora the date was one of the few things, which were available outside the country. The date palm (phoenix dactylifera) originates from Mesopotamia and it takes years until a palm carries fruits. Bronze, 65 cm, 2014.
  • Living Equestrian Statues

    The work deals with the historical role models and the representation of power through equestrian statues: The photographic series recreates nine well-known statues. Equestrian and horse are posing at the split of a second the exact pose of the original model. The images are about rulers like Kaiser Wilhelm I, Felipe IV (the first rearing statue), or Jeanne D’Arc. Also early and influential statues like Marc Aurel or drawings by Leonardo Da Vinci are included. The artists replaced the rulers... 2013
  • Dying A Second Death

    Cairo, 2013, videostill, two channel video installation loop.
  • Nuda Veritas

    Cairo, June 2013 /// Three photographs of German wheatfields (c-prints, 105x77 cm, 107x47 cm, 49x39 cm) with Jan Nikolai Nelles. The mural was done on 28th of June in collaboration with the Egyptian artists Ammar Abo Bakr, Alaa Abd El Hamid and Sameh Ismael Tawfik. The intervention was in Downtown at Qasr Al Nil around 200m away from Tahrir square. On the 30th masses were passing the street. Der Titel der Arbeit bezieht sich auf eine gleichnamige Arbeit von Gustav Klimt.Drei Fotografien zeigen Weizenfelder gerahmt in großen verkohlten Holzrahmen, die uns auf den Straßen Kairos in die Hände gefallen sind. Die Rahmen zeugen von einem in die Öffentlichkeit gebrachten Innenraum. Es ist eine Anspielung auf etwas Privates und Museales. Denn beides spielt in dieser Zeit keine große Rolle mehr. Das Leben und der Protest finden auf der Straße statt. Auf dem Hauptbild ist der halbe Körper einer nackten Frau inmitten eines Weizenfeldes zu sehen. Die Frau, die erst bei genauem Hinsehen entdeckt wird, lenkt den Blick des Betrachters vom Weizen ab. Eine Woche bevor das Bild im öffentlichen Raum angebracht wurde, hielt der ehemalige Präsident Mohammed Mursi eine Rede in einem Weizenfeld - das Bild schwirrte tagelang durch die Medien und hat schließlich auch die Rezeption dieser Arbeit beeinflusst. Die Bilder sind auf dem weißen Hintergrund eines Billboards befestigt und verweisen so auf die Werbestrategien, mit denen globale Firmen Kairos Stadtbild verändert haben.
  • Unnamed

    is a temporary memorial for the migrants, who were lost and drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on their way to Europe. The series of fragile cast masks of mortally scared expressions popped up at a public place at Aristotele square in Thessaloniki by the seaside during the Performance Biennale. After a while passers-by stepped on the faces or kicked them in the sea (or took them away)… "Unnamed" is a collaborative work with Jan Nikolai Nelles. 2013
  • Explizit Book

    The photobook Explizit deals with the representation of death and life-endangering injuries as a result of war, which the German military (Bundeswehr) uses for training purposes of their soldiers as well as with the public-figuratively representation of war and it’s consequences through the German Ministry of Defence. The second part of the book is concerned with the photographic portrayal of dead and dying people in German media and the fine line between taboo and sensationalism. The book was generaously supported by the Deutsche Presserat and it is a collaborative work of Jan Nikolai Nelles und Nora Al-Badri from 2013   .
  • Greetings from Iraq

    Postcards, 10 motifs, edition of 200, 2012 /// They are not the top ten sights in Iraq. Just a small part, which is reserved to combatants and unfortunate residents. The exhibited postcards show motifs based on snapshots from American soldiers, which were processed and finished as postcard pictures. Places like Babylon, Bagdad or Ur accommodate historical treasures of human history. Now they serve as places of idleness of the soldiers. Up-to-date pictures are almost only available through the military context. The places are built by the Sumerian, but also by Saddam Hussein himself. Hurt or destroyed in many wars. The Iraqi Diaspora is one of the biggest in the world, but without danger of life they can't visit their homeland or the second generation discover the country of their ancestors.
  • Herrscherbilder

    2011 was the year of the revolution in the Arab world. Spring has arrived and illegitimate ruler had to step down their thrones, succeeded by the people. Now rulers tremble all over the world. The strength of the movement and the actual fact for caducity of power inspired us to develop a work about the representativeness, self-staging and the balance of power. Photography is the figurative part of history, a collective memory of images, which outlives generations and also the mapped protagonists. The manipulation of the material is almost as old as photography itself. The best-known example might be Stalin, who retouched Leo Trotzky and others from already published images who he didn’t reckon among his friends anymore. The disappearance of the political image area of disgraced persons is understood in the documentation of the images. In one part of the series we are working with the same “weapon”, the same instrument and remove the protagonist representing the centre of power. Referring to the photographic collages of the conceptual artist John Baldessari and his deconstruction of the postmodernism, the pivotal individual vanishes out of the found footage. The selection is an excerpt of the demonstration of power and the notorious self-staging of the powerful position, their propaganda and of the media, which picks up and publicises. The images operate as an ikon or merely incidental. The ruler as the protagonist of the image is erased and the coulisse is eventually becoming the centre point. The original reason is gone and the after-image is the motive. The arisen vacuum is filled with the collective memory, a historical awareness and typifies the finite nature of power. In an antiseptic presentation the images of the children act lost and small in proportion to the large white passe-partout. Surrounded with white, which represents the ampleness of evocative associations with the latter story of the children. An indissoluble conflict is evoked in the beholder: innocence of children and love vs. brutality and terror of these human beings. They are some of the few non-staged pictures taken of the rulers. Therefore they are particularly of interest and let the beholder gain more insight into their being then any future images of them. The third part of the work is a virtual portrait of the despots, a digital collage. The image consists of pieces of photo-optical images of dead and alive dictators, despots, and autocrats – subsumed under the term ruler. It is the accumulation of the previously erased parts of images. The seamless transition of the different parts evokes at a first glance the impression of an effigy of a human being. As the beholder comes closer to the large-sized image she or he will unmask the dissonance and the monstrous nature - a result of the aesthetic surgery. The different types of skin, the shades of colours, the large-pored structures, riddled with veins and the pale or partly clean-shaven parts reveal the artificial creation. Like Frankenstein the human construction material is processed. The moronic façade, which is emphasized, is understood in dependence on the Renaissance painting, because the image concentrates all characteristic traits of the rulers. An allegoric image characterized through fear, insanity, vulnerability, and human abyss reflecting the outrunning of the individual. 2010