Hito Steyerl: HellYeahWeFuckDie / Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017

For Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017, the artist Hito Steyerl created the work HellYeahWeFuckDie.

Hito Steyerl: HellYeahWeFuckDie. Skulptur Projekte Münster, June 10, 2017.

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Info text:

The location Steyerl chose for her installation is the Westdeutsche Landesbausparkasse (LBS savings bank) with its futuristic technocratic architectural style. It was built in 1975 at the northern end of the old zoo by the banker Ludwig Poullain. In what used to be the cashier’s hall and lobby there are kinetic works by Heinz Mack, Günther Uecker, Otto Piene, etc., from the LBS collection, which has been made accessible to the public again within the framework of Münster’s Skulptur Projekte. Steyerl has installed tubular steel barriers and corrugated steel partitions in the lobby of the modernistic building. Compiled audiovisual sequences can be seen on three monitors: documentary lab footage showing computer-simulated or actual physical force applied to humanoid robots to test their balance behaviour. The videos begin with the animation of a fragmented sentence: HELL YEAH WE FUCK DIE—which according to the online magazine Billboard are the most frequently used five words in the English language music charts of the past decade. They provide the basis for the musical compositions and also appear in neon lettering encased in concrete. In the smaller cashier’s room in the back there is a further installation with the same elements and an additional video: footage from south-eastern Turkey of the Kurdish town of Cizre on the Syrian border, which now resembles a ghost town following numerous skirmishes of escalating intensity between the government and the PKK. It is the native town of the Arabic writer and engineer Al-Jazari, who wrote a book about mechanical apparatuses in 1205 to convey knowledge about ingenious devices, a work known as Automata in Western culture. Steyerl combines the pictures of the town with questions addressed to SIRI, the software installed on the mobile phone: What role does computer technology play in war?

N. T.

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