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Nico Joana weber
Tropic Telecom
Experimental video | 4k | color | 24'58'' | Germany / France | 2020
Tropic Telecom reflects contemporary Paris in its hybrid post-colonial reality. The film develops from the Palais de la Porte Dorée, which opened in 1931 on the occasion of the Paris Colonial Exhibition. It is the only building of the exhibition that was preserved after the end of the event, located in the southeast of the city bordering on the Périphérique. Its architectural style presents itself as a synthesis of the formerly modern Art Déco, as well as freely interpreted elements of native art and architectural styles. A crocodile basin is to be found in the still accessible aquarium of the palace that was used to showcase fish from the tropical colonies. As the film proceeds, an albino alligator that the basin houses today, embarks on a surreal journey. It leads the viewer through places of French colonial and migration history, as well as large brutalist and post-modern housing estates on the outskirts of Paris that were built from 1970 onwards and which stand for the residential utopia of a postcolonial Paris. A structure of images emerges that situates the ongoing aesthetic, political and social negotiation processes in a polyphonic communicative field.
Nico Joana Weber (*1983 in Bonn) lives and works in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany. She studied Fine Art and Art History at Goldsmiths College London and completed her postgraduate studies at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne in 2013. By means of different artistic media such as video, installation, photography and drawing, she explores the aesthetic and political characteristics of architecture and landscape in transcultural contexts. Weber's work is fuelled by an unsteady search for historical traces and cultural processes of transformation and appropriation that doesn't arrive at simplistic solutions but rather focuses on zones of ambivalence. Nico Joana Weber has received numerous grants and awards, most notably the Villa Romana Prize (2016) and the Bonn Art Award (2019). Selected exhibitions and festivals include: Kunstmuseum, Bonn (2020), Kunstverein Kärnten, Klagenfurt (2019), Goethe Institute Bulgaria, Sofia (2019), Artothek, Cologne (2018), Temporary Gallery, Cologne (2017), Museum unter Tage, Bochum (2017), Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl (2017), Villa Romana, Florence (2016), Goethe Institute, Paris (2016), Aesthetica Short Film Festival, York (2015), International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (2015).