Monira Al Qadiri
Poetry by Róža Domašcyna, Ibiwari Ikiriko and Julia Spicher Kasdorf
A project by Prater Galerie hosted by
Belforter Straße, 10405 Berlin
Exhibition opening: 22/04/2022, 6-10 pm, Großer Wasserspeicher
Opening hours: 23/04–08/05/2022, 12-8 pm daily, Thursdays 12–10 pm
Guided tours through the exhibition with the curators, in English language: 24/04, 4–5 pm, 28/04, 7–8 pm and 08/05/2022, 4–5 pm
Fossil Experience addresses a number of the widely divergent – and in part violent – realities generated by the use of fossil fuels. The wealth accrued by specific social groups, nation states, and corporations by means of fossil fuels is inseparable from the ecological disasters at the sites where they are extracted, processed, and transported. In regions with high levels of energy consumption, including post-industrial urban centres such as Berlin, fossil energy and petroleum-based products are ubiquitous. At the same time, the greenhouse gas emissions, toxic waste, and environmental damage arising from the production, transport, and burning of fossil fuels continue to be overlooked, or are downplayed by powerful institutions.
The notion of fossil experience points, on the one hand, to the experience of acceleration made possible by the widespread availability of cheap energy, particularly in the second half of the twentieth century. On the other hand, it refers to the traumas of extraction, exposure, and displacement, which threaten to further escalate as climate change progresses. Fossil experience also bleeds into the long-awaited energy transition as, in the guise of a supposedly green capitalism, this transition is instrumentalised by a number of corporations to continue maximising profits. But it is neither sufficient nor acceptable to greenwash energy technologies that simply repeat dubious extractivist logics. Climate change and environmental devastation can only be addressed by centring demands for social and ecological justice.
Located in a former water reservoir, Fossil Experience brings together artistic works and stories about geographies affected by the speculation and resource extraction involved in energy production. Resonating with the former function of the site, the exhibition constantly returns to the threat posed by large-scale industrial projects to bodies of water.