Nezaket Ekici – Panta Rhei

Installation and presentation of the performance video until 16 January 2022

Nezaket Ekici (*1970 in Kırşehir / Turkey, lives and works in Berlin) is considered one of the most important performance artists in Germany. In the performance “Panta Rhei”, which premiered at the Bröhan-Museum on 6 November 2021, she explores the museum’s porcelain collection on the occasion of the 100th birthday of the collection’s founder Karl H. Bröhan.

In a white room there are white pedestals, on the floor countless objects made of porcelain and buckets with different colors. Ekici picks up individual objects and dips each in one of the colors. She then piles the objects, sorted by their new color order, on the pedestals. The previously white room becomes colorful, not only because objects have been dipped in paint, but also because paint drips onto the floor, onto the pedestals and Ekici’s dress. The more porcelain she piles on top of each other, the taller the resulting abstract, colorful porcelain sculptures become, while the stacks of porcelain on the floor empty out.

Through her work, Ekici raises questions about the practice of collecting and how collections are formed. How do collections evolve? What categorizations are made and invented for objects? What is the labor and pain behind collecting and letting go?

The performance is part of the exhibition “Bröhan Total!”.

Curator: Simon Häuser

Design of advertising motif: Gerwin Schmidt, Munich, using a photo by Nezaket Ekici, National Anthems, video performance, 2 channel video installation 2005, Photo: Andreas Dammertz

About Nezaket Ekici

Nezaket Ekici has won numerous awards and grants for her work in recent years. Among others, she was a scholarship holder at the German Academy Rome Villa Massimo in 2017 and winner of the Paula Modersohn-Becker Award in 2018. She has shown her work in solo exhibitions in Berlin, for example in 2015 at Haus am Waldsee, as well as in galleries in London, Tel Aviv, Toronto or New York.

The student of Marina Abramovićs is known for her intransigence and her powerful, visually stunning works, which are sometimes painful and protracted, sometimes playful and full of wit. Most impressive are her Long Duration Performances, in which she goes beyond her own limits of endurance, achieving special intensity and connection with the audience. 

As a German-Turkish artist, Ekici works in both countries and often deals with questions of origin and identity, with the relationship of man to his environment and with cultural techniques. She documents and comments on cultural transfers, i.e. appropriation processes in which customs and idiosyncrasies of different cultures mix and merge to form new, individual cultural practices. In the process, Ekici often uses everyday objects that serve as carriers of cultural knowledge and make cultural identities visible. Here, there are numerous points of connection to the Bröhan-Museum’s collection, which consists largely of extraordinary pieces of everyday culture from the period around 1900 to the 1930s. 

Nezaket Ekici performed at the Bröhan-Museum already in 2017, as part of the exhibition “Kuss. From Rodin to Bob Dylan”.