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Yours, KOW

Duty Free Art 2015

Lecture and 3 channel HD video installation

"Duty Free Art" strikes deep into art’s social function. Free-trade zones, where speculative art commodities are bought and sold invisibly and tax free, are, like civil wars, an important backbone of the international art business. Both facilitate the redistribution of public property into private hands, and are catalysts of global inequality. Furthermore, Steyerl uses WikiLeaks documents to show how the Louvre, British Museum, and star architect Rem Koolhaas served the Syrian Assad regime as museum planners and gentrifiers. She describes all of this as the top-down organized production and communication conditions of contemporary art hidden behind the art itself. Steyerl proposes a reversal of perspective to unveil one’s own reality bottom-up.

Camera: Christoph Manz
Assistants: Micha Amstad, Savas Boyraz, Salih Selim, Leyla Topraz Supported by: HEAD, Geneva; Hendrik Folkerts, Lo schemo del Arte Florence; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Frank Westermeier
With thanks to Richard Birkett, Ovul Durmosoglu, Fulya Erdemci, Adam Kleinman, Aya Moussawi, The Moving Museum Istanbul, Sener Özmen, Simon Sakhai, and Anton Vidokle

Documentation of a lecture (prerecording) given at Artists Space, New York, March 2015

This lecture is not for sale. Institutions can add it to non-profit collections against a donation for Kurdish municipality refugee relief efforts.

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Works by Hito Steyerl

Hito Steyerl was born in Munich in 1966. She studied in Tokyo, Munich, and Vienna before she moved to Berlin, where she lives and works today. As a filmmaker, visual artist, and author in the field of essayist documentary video, Steyerl is a frequent lecturer, has published influencial writings, and participated in numerous international exhibitions and biennials. She exhibited at documenta 12 in 2007 and in the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2015.