Lucid Dreaming

In the framework of Encounter #4 of the artistic exchange POSTHEIMAT at the Gorki theater,  Colonial Neighbours invited artist Lizza May David to engage with our archive.

The Colonial Neighbours‘ FRAGMENTS series is a series of interventions in and out of SAVVY Contemporary’s long term collective archive project on German colonial history. Artists, researchers, activists, and cultural producers are invited to engage with the Colonial Neighbours‘ archive, activating and critically contributing to the project.

In its sixth edition, Berlin based artist Lizza May David explores the notion of representation of domestic workers. In her piece „Looking Inwards“ (2008), we experience an intimate portrait of the working and living space of a domestic helper (the artist's aunt) in Hong Kong. Filming within the interior of her employer's household including the furniture, view from the window and personal belongings, the video visualizes how power relations are interconnected with private space. 

Within the installation at the Gorki, Lizza May David‘s work is set in conversation with objects from the Colonial Neighbours archive. Among them, the journal Kolonie und Heimat (1907–1920), which was published by the Frauenbund der Deutschen Kolonialgesellschaft (Women’s Association of German Colonial Society). It was one of the most influential organizations of the German empire that campaigned for an expansive colonialist policy. It shows clearly how race and gender constructions were established on different levels and fields of colonial policies: on the example of labor policies, education and moralities, through the discourse of hygiene, purity and health and within the field of ethnology, photography and advertisement.

This intervention is a conversation between Lizza May David‘s intimate portrait of an individual that claims space in the process of writing her own story, and the oppressive white narrative of Kolonie und Heimat that perpetually shape the place of the other. The constellation invites to reflect on colonial entanglements in regards to how we give space for other bodies‘ knowledges that are inscribed IN and ON them. 

Lizza May David’s multidisciplinary practices involves autobiographical narratives relating to identity, memory, knowledge and its loss in a personal and collective sense. Responding and resonating to these through mark making on canvas allows her furthermore to question how ideologies run through our bodies, influencing human/nonhuman relations, materialities, and indexical affinities. David studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg and University of Arts Berlin, Germany.