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Grants for Media Art of the Foundation of Lower Saxony at the Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art 2017

The Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art has awarded three six-months work grants for 2017. The grants of 10.000 Euro are sponsored by Stiftung Niedersachsen.

Stiftung Niedersachsen sponsors the grants at Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art continually since 2001. Many of the works developed in Oldenburg have been shown in international exhibitions and have been awarded various prizes.

With their support Stiftung Niedersachsen intends to encourage one of the leading sites for media art in Germany, in its highly qualitative profiling to make art creation possible and to create international networks as well as local cooperations.

The grants from the Foundation of Lower Saxony at the Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art 2017, each endowed with 10,000 Euro are awarded to:

Noor Afshan Mirza und Brad Butler: The Scar

Stefan Panhans: Because I Said So - That's Why! (Arbeitstitel)

Shirin Sabahi: Memory Pool (Arbeitstitel)


Bassam El Baroni

Stefanie Schulte Strathaus

Edit Molnár

Marcel Schwierin


Jury Statements:

Noor Afshan Mirza and Brad Butler: The Scar

Noor Afshan Mirza and Brad Butler's new three-channel video installation will be the culmination of a long-term research project. It revolves around a major scandal in Turkish political history. In 1996 in the town of Susurluk, a car crash changed the political discourse of the country. The four passengers in the car were the deputy chief of the Istanbul Police Department, the leader of the terrorist group Grey Wolves, a former beauty queen, and a high-ranking member of Parliament (the only survivor). In the wreckage the police found weapons, fake passports signed by the interior minister, and money and drugs. Filmed in three separate genres (experimental realism, feminist noir, and feminist political science fiction) with three different scripts ending in a crash, the work imagines the final fifteen minutes of the passengers' lives before the accident. The artists' proposal suggests a widening of awareness in relation to the so-called deep state by inhabiting a political imaginary that pulls the dramatic situation into an absurdist exploration of the psychology of fascism, the nature of state sponsored disappearance, resistance networks, and the potential of gender revolution. The jury's decision is based on facilitating this suggestion.


Stefan Panhans: Because I Said So-That's Why! (working title)

Stefan Panhans's new video work sheds light on the structural discrepancies of society, manifested as racism, exclusion, celebrity, VIP-oriented culture, etc. Alluding to the structure of video games, Panhans uses the context of a cramped shared bedroom in a backpacker hostel to create a situation in which four distinct stereotypes interact and interchange: a black actor from Kreuzberg and Cameroon, an art historian and underpaid freelance curator from Cologne and Paris, a white actress from Neukölln and Munich, and an ex-Germany's Next Top Model contestant from Offenbach and Munich with Korean parents. These figures are played out by three actors and a computer-generated avatar. This project contributes to an already existing oeuvre that the jury recognizes for its attempt to synthesize popular digital culture, the characteristics of social media interaction, and the aesthetics of gaming with the structural realities of everyday life. The project intersects affect with digital and social vocabularies leading to a subversive imagination.


Shirin Sabahi: Memory Pool (working title) 

Shirin Sabahi's project devises a methodology for artistic research that constructs different entry points into research material. The inquiry involves a historical artwork from 1977, an oil-pool sculpture by Noriyuki Haraguchi permanently installed at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art and originally exhibited at documenta 6. Over time, the oil pool became an object of ritual; an unwilling wishing well and continued to be vandalized endearingly by museum goers. Sabahi brings this up when she mentions that "as a child growing up in Tehran, every trip to the museum ended with throwing something in the pool to unsettle the perfect reflective surface." By focusing on a mapping of this artwork's history and bringing it back into the limelight, the project suggests how artistic research can engage with the work of another artist, the institutional history of a nation, the sensual aspect of memories, and the historical internationalisms that existed prior to the current conditions of globalization. The artist plans to film the movements surrounding the pool's restoration, which in turn is made possible by her work. The final outcome will be a multimedia installation incorporating two films, objects excavated from the pool, and other elements.

Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, Katharinenstraße 23, D-26121 Oldenburg, Tel.: +49(0)441/235-3208, Fax.: +49(0)441/235-2161
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Friday 14:00 -18:00, Saturday - Sunday 11:00 - 18:00, Monday closed
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