Not Fully Human, Not Human at All @ Kunstverein, Hamburg

EE-0, installation view @ “Not fully human, not human at all” Kunstverein Hamburg, photo: Fred Dott

October 24, 2020 – January 24, 2021
Soft-opening on October 24, 2020
Kunstverein in Hamburg
Hamburg, Germany

Artists: Saddie Choua, Valentina Desideri / Denise Ferreira da Silva / Arely Amaut, Nilbar Güreş, Ibro Hasanović, Jelena Jureša, Doruntina Kastrati, Kaltrina Krasniqi, Pedro Neves Marques, Christian Nyampeta, Daniela Ortiz, Monira Al Qadiri, Lala Raščić, Kengné Téguia.

Curators: Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, Bettina Steinbrügge

Not Fully Human, Not Human at All takes its name from Donna Haraway’s essay Ecce Homo, Ain’t (Ar’n’t) I a Woman, and Inappropriate/d Others, a text which challenges the “universal” claims of Enlightenment Humanism in order to propose conditions of what she calls “non-generic” collective humanity. In this text, Haraway refers to Hortense Spillers’ description of the levels of dehumanization and of the lack of any legal subjectivity that the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, especially enslaved woman in the United States, were subjected to.

The group exhibition looks into processes of dehumanization that have been taking place in Europe. Dehumanization is generally understood as the degradation of human life, performed by human beings upon one another. A number of recent occurrences have led to stricter policies of immigration, new forms of nationalism, limits on universal access to healthcare, neo-liberal pressure on state economic policies, the erosion of rights for foreign workers, and the consecration of what defines Europe historically, culturally and geographically. These occurrences are coexistent with an implicit reevaluation of who decides who is considered human at all. For this exhibition, the European colonial and imperial history offers both the geographic and conceptual framework for reflecting on the dehumanization that characterizes many of the activities that humans have been doing in the name of “humanity” within and beyond its borders.

The exhibition is organized in collaboration with KADIST, and an adaptation will be presented in Paris in 2021.