New Eelam Christopher Kulendran Thomas. Tensta Konsthall. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Beranger 2017
Description of the exhibition
New Eelam, by Christopher Kulendran Thomas (London) in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann (Berlin), is a long-term artwork in the form of a start-up—a real-estate technology company founded by the artist to develop a flexible, global housing subscription that aims to make homes as streamable as music or movies. Based on collective co-ownership rather than private property, it aims to rewire property relations through the luxury of communalism rather than of individual ownership.
Kulendran Thomas’s work deals with the structures for the production and distribution of art. In New Eelam, Kulendran Thomas reflects particularly on the issue of citizenship, the right to belong somewhere which is linked to specific nations and, in his case, specifically to the Tamil Tigers' (unsuccessful) struggle for a separate nation in Sri Lanka. What would happen if technology instead allowed a more liquid form of citizenship, regardless of frontiers? Such a state would work primarily through contemporary art’s transnational networks and art’s ability to develop prototypes for new lifestyles. New Eelam thus imagines a future citizenship in an accelerated technological era, where companies can operate as states and brands communicate like artists.
Biography of the participants in the exhibition
Christopher Kulendran Thomas (London)
Christopher Kulendran Thomas is an artist whose work manipulates the processes of circulation and distribution by which art produces reality. Thomas’s work has been included in the 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016), the 9th Berlin Biennale (2016), “moving is in every direction”, Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (2017), "Bread and Roses", Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2016), "Co-Workers: Network As Artist", Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2015) and "Art Turning Left: How Values Changed Making", Tate Liverpool (2013).
Annika Kuhlmann (Berlin)
Annika Kuhlmann is a curator who works predominantly through long term collaborations. As Artistic Director at New Eelam, she has been collaborating with artist Christopher Kulendran Thomas on exhibitions for the 9th Berlin Biennale, the 11th Gwangju Biennale and Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart. Together with curator Anna Frost she established the curatorial project planes.sx; and as an artist and founder of Brace Brace she has exhibited at MoMA Warsaw, Auto Italia in London, KM Temporär and for DIS magazine. She is currently working with Tino Sehgal on an upcoming exhibition as part of the ‘Immersion’ programme at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin.
Symposium: Citizenship, the Nation State and Universal Basic Income: Scenarios in Art, Architecture, Anthropology and Sociology with Christopher Kulendran Thomas & Annika Kuhlmann, James Holston, Jennifer Mack, Roland Paulsen, and Maria Lind
Symposium: Hugo Palmarola, Erik Stenberg, Helena Westerlind, Christopher Kulendran Thomas, and Annika Kuhlmann