Mediation of Realities: The Society of Friends of Halit

Carried out as part of documenta 14 in Kassel, The Society Friends of Halit focused on the crimes of the National Socialist Underground (NSU) and its belated prosecution. Though it received overwhelmingly positive reviews, it has been frequently discounted as not belonging to the field of art. One part of the installation, a video produced by the group “Forensic Architecture,” deconstructed the testimony of a secret agent of the German Domestic Intelligence Agency. Though the video was nearly recognized as legal evidence, ultimately the court rejected it as inadmissible. The piece interrogates this defensive reaction as part of a practice of “silencing.” It counters such silencing by producing knowledge that is based in a spirit of solidarity, and generated by migrants directly impacted by the NSU. The experiences of “choristers,” documenta 14 mediators, also became a part of the work: how did they deal with situations that arose in which the visitors applied racist preconceptions to the mediators or to the work of art? In this context, Güleç proposes transferring Spivak’s notion of “affirmative sabotage,” a practice employed by many of the relatives of NSU-murder victims, to a practice of resistance in art education.

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