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A Sense of Hope

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With its first ever exhibition, entitled "Fragile Sense of Hope", Deutsche Telekom will be presenting works from its collection, Art Collection Telekom. The exhibition reveals the storytelling power of the art scenes of Eastern and South Eastern Europe and will be open from October 10 to November 23 ("me Collectors Room" at the Olbricht Foundation in Berlin, Auguststrasse 68, Tues-Sun, 12 noon to 6 p.m.).

"Fragile Sense of Hope" conveys the aesthetic and intellectual story of the emergence of a young collection that places its emphasis on contemporary art from Eastern and South Eastern Europe. The exhibition provides insights into the storytelling power of an art scene that is still largely unknown. It offers surprises and discoveries at a high artistic level which is often defined by a different, Eastern European, art-historical development.

Four years in the making With its collecting activities, Deutsche Telekom aims both to follow the exciting artistic developments as they continue to unfold in the countries of Eastern Europe and to shed light on the social and political changes that have occurred since the collapse of the Iron Curtain. The Art Collection Telekom was founded in 2010 and spans all media such as drawing, painting, photography, and video/film. Since collecting activities began, specific topics and narrative threads have evolved, which now come to the fore in the "Fragile Sense of Hope" exhibition and the 70 works by 20 artists it contains. The exhibition's title is borrowed from a work by Šejla Kamerić and gives voice to the underlying tone of an entire region.

Forms of self-stylization The exhibition thus expands the horizon of our perception and also makes us reflect on the fragility of many private and public hopes in Europe. Three generations of artists are represented in the Art Collection Telekom, with a particular focus placed on promoting younger artists. These include Zofia Kulik (*1947, Wrocław, Poland). Her final-year project, created at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and entitled "Instead of Sculpture: Lady Halina and Cones" (1968/1971), was a rebellious act against the dominant form of academic teaching.

Forgetting and remembering The exhibition features three other self-portraits by the Bosnian artist Šejla Kamerić (*1976, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina). The break-up of the Republic of Yugoslavia and the resulting conflicts form the background of many of her works. In the war-torn areas and for the entire duration of the 1,400 day-long siege of Sarajevo, from 1992 to 1995, many residents protected their window panes from shattering by sticking adhesive tape across them, which left irregular traces once it was removed. The 2013 work whose title has inspired today’s exhibition, "Fragile Sense of Hope", replicates the different diagonal, vertical, and grid-like structures. Forgetting and remembering – identity and social responsibility

Artists and program of events The five artists highlighted here embody the various issues that resonate throughout the exhibition: forgetting and remembering, the reconstruction of history, questions of identity and social responsibility, and the emergence of a new language of forms. Accompanying the exhibition is a program of events, developed in cooperation with the Polish Institute and the Romanian Cultural Institute.

The exhibition can be seen from October 10 to November 23 in the "me Collectors Room" at the Olbricht Foundation in Berlin, Auguststrasse 68. Opening times: Tues-Sun, 12 noon - 6 p.m.

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