Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Now that I can hear you my eyes hurt (Tumult), Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau München, 2023 / Courtesy the artist / Photo Lukas Schramm, Lenbachhaus
Natascha Sadr Haghighian: Now that I can hear you my eyes hurt (Tumult)
May 23 – Oct 8, 2023
Munich, Germany

The question of collectivity recurs throughout Natascha Sadr Haghighian’s work. She regards her mostly installation-based works as spaces for a sensual renegotiation of community, which call on us to understand migration as a constituent part of existence. A collaborative working method and ramified, at times deliberately obscured authorship are characteristic of her approach. For her work for the German pavilion in Venice in 2019, she adopted the pseudonym Natascha Süder Happelmann – a condensation of the accumulated misspellings and autocorrections of her Iranian name – and wore a papier-mâché rock on her head that demonstrated the absurdity of national representation with a sense of comedy.

The whistle is at the center of the works Natascha Sadr Haghighian is presenting at the Lenbachhaus. The simple signaling instrument is used both by authorities and as a means of protest against them. The whistle demands attention and embodies urgency without taking a stand for or against the existing order. In this way, it makes order renegotiable and becomes a poetic tool. The large-format banner “Now that I can hear you my eyes hurt (Tumult)”, which lends the exhibition its title, is dedicated to the activist Hassan Numan, who died last year. Together with others, he deployed whistles as instruments of solidarity in the fight against deportation. A tumultuous feat of collective action.

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