Fossil Experience

07.04. – 19.05.2022

Ayọ̀ Akínwándé
Monira Al Qadiri
Kat Austen
Marjolijn Dijkman
Rachel O’Reilly

Poetry by Róža Domašcyna, Ibiwari Ikiriko and Julia Spicher Kasdorf

as well as further contributions from Christopher Basaldú, Caroline Breidenbach (wasserstories), Ayasha Guerin, Fossil Free Berlin, Fossil Free Culture NL, Rebecca Abena Kennedy-Asante (Black Earth Kollektiv), Klimaneustart Berlin, Anna Lena Kronsbein (Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries), Maike Majewski (Transition Town Pankow), Elske Rosenfeld, Liz Rosenfeld & Dasniya Sommer, Esteban Servat, Sumugan Sivanesan (Black Earth Kollektiv), The Driving Factor (Elisa Bertuzzo, Daniele Tognozzi, Neli Wagner), Wassertafel Berlin-Brandenburg, and Philine Wedell (Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises).

A project by Prater Galerie hosted by

Großer Wasserspeicher
Belforter Straße, 10405 Berlin

Kleiner Wasserspeicher
Diedenhofer Straße, 10405 Berlin

Schankhalle Pfefferberg
Schönhauser Allee 175, 10119 Berlin

Program launch: 07/04/2022, 7–9 pm, Schankhalle Pfefferberg, Loft
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

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.

More information on the artistic works and the program can be found in the brochure.


07/04/2022, 7–9 pm
Panel discussion #1 Local Action for a Climate Neutral, Post-Fossil City for All!
GUESTS: Fossil Free Berlin, Klimaneustart Berlin, Philine Wedell (Senatsverwaltung für Wirtschaft, Energie und Betriebe), MODERATION: Maike Majewski (Transition Town Pankow)
in-person event, Schankhalle Pfefferberg (Loft), in German language

22/04/2022, 6–10 pm
Exhibition opening in Großer Wasserspeicher with a performance by Liz Rosenfeld & Dasniya Sommer and a poetry reading with Ayọ Akínwándé

Exhibition in Großer Wasserspeicher
Opening hours: 12-8 pm daily, Thursdays 12–10 pm

23/04, 05/05, and 07/05/2022 (cancelled), 4–5 pm each
Guided tours through the exhibition with the curators, in German language

24/04, 4–5 pm, 28/04, 7–8 pm and 08/05/2022 (cancelled), 4–5 pm
Guided tours through the exhibition with the curators, in English language

30/04/2022, 6–8 pm
Performance evening
Elske Rosenfeld Statements for the Future and Kat Austen This Land is Not Mine
in-person event, Kleiner Wasserspeicher

05/05/2022, 7–9 pm
Panel discussion #2 “Does this seem like a desert to you?”
GUESTS: Caroline Breidenbach (wasserstories), Anna Lena Kronsbein (Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries), Wassertafel Berlin-Brandenburg, MODERATION and CO-CURATION: The Driving Factor (Elisa Bertuzzo, Daniele Tognozzi, Neli Wagner)
in-person event, Schankhalle Pfefferberg (Loft), in German language

07/05/2022, time tba
Workshop with Kat Austen Participatory Artistic Research: Exploring Airborne Microplastics
in-person event, venue tba, in English language, registration: studio@katausten.com

12/05/2022, 6–8 pm
Panel discussion #3 Fossil Gas Is Not Clean
GUESTS: Christopher Basaldú, Rachel O‘Reilly, Esteban Servat, MODERATION: Sumugan Sivanesan (Black Earth Kollektiv)
online event, English language with simultaneous translation into German, registration: anmeldung@pratergalerie.de

19/05/2022, 6–8 pm
Panel discussion #4 Entanglements of Social, Ecological and Climate Justice
GUESTS: Ayọ̀ Akínwándé, Rebecca Abena Kennedy-Asante (Black Earth Kollektiv), Fossil Free Culture NL, MODERATION: Ayasha Guerin
online event, English language with simultaneous translation into German, registration: anmeldung@pratergalerie.de

CURATION: Lena Johanna Reisner
TEXTS: die Kurator:innen, Künstler:innen und Dichter:innen
TRANSLATIONS AND EDITING: Gegensatz, Bradley Schmidt und Anna Förster
GRAPHIC DESIGN: fertigdesign
PRODUCTION: Carolina Redondo
TECHNICAL TEAM: Claudio Aguirre, Carlos Busquets, Marcos Mangani, Francisco Martínez, Studio Kat Austen und andere
TEAM PRATER GALERIE: Katharina von Hagenow, Lena Prents und Julie Rüter

Fossil Experience is supported by Stiftung Kunstfonds, LOTTO-Stiftung Berlin, and the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, kindly supported by Förderband Kulturinitiative Berlin and Schankhalle Pfefferberg.

The presentation of Stranger to the Trees by Kat Austen in cooperation with postgallery.online is supported by Neustart Kultur.

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