Lichtinstallation an der Fluchttreppe des Landhauses
We are pleased to present the art installation „REFUGEES WILLCOME“ by Bosnian artist Šejla Kamerić at the escape staircase of the Country House since November 4 as part of the Northeast Southwest art project.
The 5-meter-long and 2-meter-high LED illuminated sign by artist Šejla Kamerić will be displayed beyond the core period of the Northeast Southwest project from November 4 and until March 12 on the escape staircase of the museum building as a current event.
„Refugees Welcome“ was the slogan used in 2015 at many demonstrations, on stickers and posters to counter the misanthropy of right-wing populist movements, which was directed at refugees in words and deeds. Šejla Kamerić’s light installation expands on this slogan: „Refugees Will Come“.
Conceived for the first time in 2020 on a much smaller scale, the work, as an artistic contribution within the framework of Northeast Southwest, directs attention to current occasions of flight, such as the attack on Ukraine, as well as to the continuing movements of people both before and after the refugee crisis. According to the German Red Cross, around 65 million people worldwide are on the run due to war, displacement, poverty and climate catastrophes.
Christiane Mennicke-Schwarz, director of the Kunsthaus Dresden on the installation at the museum:
„It is important and we are grateful that this artistic work can be shown at such a prominent location in Dresden. The artistic work ‚REFUGEES WILLCOME‘ by Šejla Kamerić, whose work is dedicated to the themes of war, poverty and flight, but also the reasons for it, contains an important statement for people today who experience this fate, but also for the future.“
Dr. Gisbert Porstmann, Director of the Museums of the City of Dresden:
„Museums are central places in society where the future is permanently negotiated. Šejla Kamerić’s minimal variation on the slogan „Refugees wellcome“ transforms it into a fundamental fact – not dependent on our approval or disapproval.“
The artist Šejla Kamerić comments on the flashing of the letters „ILL“ in the neon sign: „‚ILL‘ is blinking because the society is ill. The society, in which we have to discuss, wether someone in need (refugees/migrants) should be welcome or not, is ill. Refugees should be welcomed and even if they are not they will come… Therefore ‚ILL‘ are the letters, which are not working, they blink.“
(„‚ILL‘ blinks because society is ill. The society in which we have to discuss whether someone in need (refugees/migrants) should be welcomed or not is sick. Refugees should be welcomed and even if they are not, they will come…. Hence ‚ILL‘ are the letters that don’t work, they flicker).“ The fact that there is any discussion at all about welcoming people in need is an occasion for the artist to raise the question of humanity and the functioning of social cohesion in ours. Whether refugees are welcome or not, in fact further waves of flight are to be expected, we have to face as societies.
The artist as well as the Kunsthaus Dresden position themselves with the presentation of this artistic work, among other things, for a humane treatment of refugees and against a right-wing populist instrumentalization of people in need.
The light installation is shown in the context of the art project Northeast Southwest, an international exhibition project initiated by the Kunsthaus Dresden in cooperation with other cultural partners from Beirut in Lebanon, Bihać in Bosnia and Warsaw as well as Dresden cultural institutions. Nordost Südwest presented exhibitions, art projects, performances and concerts in the robotron canteen as well as in the public urban space of Dresden from September 24 to November 6.