moving spirits


The media art exhibition moving spirits came into existence in the context of the 300 anniversary celebration of the Danish-Halle-Mission in South India at the Francke Foundation in Halle (Saale) Germany.

The mutual influence of spiritual ideas between India and Germany is the leitmotiv for the commissioned artworks and the art grants and also the starting point all nine videos and installations have in common. Yet, the artworks are produced entirely independent from one another. Interestingly, nearly none of the participating artists have explored the theme along the lines of traditional world religions, like Hinduism and Christianity. On the contrary, in their works, the artists explore the labyrinth of individual and also new belief systems. They focus on biography, self experiment and anthropological, etymological and cultural research. The results of these investigations are presented in the exhibition.

Five commissioned works from Indian and German artists are presented as videos and installations: In her interactive video installation untitled, Shilpa Gupta invites the viewer to engage with a spiritual reflection similar to Plato’s Cave Allegory. In Ka, Amit Dutt explores the influence of spiritual texts on his visual imagination. Merle Kröger and Philip Scheffner’s video installation India in Mind looks at various projections of India that can be found in Germany. With Shanti Plus Dorothee Wenner and Urmi Juvekar attempt to find out what Indians in a small village on the coast of Goa really think about hippies, while Peter Zorn embarks on a self experiment with A Spiritual Journey through South India.

In addition, four individual research residencies in India and in Germany are supported with art grants. The grantholders are invited to present these projects at the Francke Foundation as either realised works or proposals for still evolving processes. Sonia Khurana’s project five visits which is being carried out in the present moment explores the nature of a near-spiritual experience that was initiated five years ago through her chance encounter with a taxi driver in Berlin. The multimedia collective Desire Machine (Sonal Jain and Mriganka Madhukaillya) discovers in Aliyah one of the lost tribes of Israel, the Bnei Menashe, living at the borderland between India and Myanmar (Burma); Beate Terfloth asks performers in Remembering Schlegel: a visual Hindi-German Dictionary to enact with sign language words that have a common Indo-Germanic root and Florian Zeyfang investigates the community of believers (denomination) of the Indian alternative film scene in Spirit.

The Francke Foundation and the Werkleitz Gesellschaft want to express their gratitude to all those who helped to realise moving spirits. First of all our supporting partners Khoj Studios in New Delhi, in particular to Pooja Sood, as well as to the Hochschule für Kunst und Gestaltung Burg Giebichenstein in Halle (MultiMedia VR Conception) and to our sponsors: The Federal Culture Foundation, the State of Saxony-Anhalt, Lotto-Toto GmbH Saxony-Anhalt, the Institute for Foreign Affairs (IFA) and the company Film in Magdeburg.