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Kerstin honeit
My Castle Your Castle
Experimental doc., GDR, architecture | hdv | color | 14'47'' | Germany | 2017
my castle your castle Set up as a somewhat retro TV talk show my castle your castle operates from within the skeleton of the Prussian castle that is currently being re-built in the center of Berlin. Erected on the foundations of the dismantled GDR parliament building called Palace of the Republic, the castle is not only an imperialist architectural remake, in its future function as exhibition space for the “ Ethnographic Collections ” of Berlins National Museums it literally embodies Germany’s legacies of colonial violence. The video engages with the building site as a stage for the material and social construction “ as well as the queer contestation ” of “ nation ” and (white) “ masculinity”: Interviewed by a talk show host over a piece of cake from porcelain dishes with reproductions of the castle and its disappeared counterpart, two construction workers evoke an opaque third in a language of structural matter. Peter Friedrich had supervised the construction (1973-76) of the Palast der Republik, and Gunter Teichert worked as the head of its deconstruction (2006-08). In the matter of fact conversation between the “ makers of the palace ”, their body of work “ in other words architecture, political representation, memory ” disintegrates in the builder’s jargon. However, the material and machinic vocabulary of construction site itself resonates the massive urban reconstructions, redistributions of properties and redefinitions of political meaning through architecture that have followed the disappearance of state socialisms in Europe. This vocabulary is emphasized and queered in short interludes to the talk show in which the talk show host, who is performed by the artist Kerstin Honeit herself incorporating elements of drag, appears sitting on a huge excavating machine or between metal poles that stabilize casts for concrete. (Text by Suza Husse)
Kerstin Honeit was born in Berlin, where she still lives and works. She studied Fine Art and Theatre Design at the Kunsthochschule Weissensee in Berlin. Since 2014 Honeit has been teaching at the Kunsthochschule Kassel (künstlerische Mitarbeiterin, class of Bjørn Melhus). Using video works, performance and installations in her artistic research, Honeit examines worlds of hegemonic image production in the media of information technology and pop culture. Intervening at the boundaries of representation and reception, she questions the construction of social norms. Her recent work has been shown at Berlinische Galerie - Museum of Modern Art, Haohaus Taipei, Stuttgarter Filmwinter - Festival for Expanded Media, Bärenzwinger Berlin, SixtyEight Art Institute Copenhagen, Kunstverein Leipzig, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Arsenal - Institut für Film u. Videokunst Berlin, Monitoring Dokumentarfilm- u. Videofest Kassel, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Videonale.15 Kunstmuseum Bonn, Les Complices* Zurich, Gallery 400 Chicago, CCNY New York, Site Gallery Sheffield.