The actors who populate the works by Olaf Nicolai, Hito Steyerl, Tobias Zielony, and Jasmina Metwaly / Philip Rizk are figures of revolt.
We are confronted by these figures in all four works—be they theatrical, photographic, filmic, virtual, and / or physical in nature.
As a site-specific installation—particularly as a floor piece—they can also be interpreted as a reference to earlier works in the German Pavilion.
, 2015 For the duration of the Biennale Arte, three people will reside on the roof of the German Pavilion.
For the sculptural work , Metwaly and Rizk have removed a number of the original marble floor slabs and replaced them with the tiles from the Cairo roof, onto which the factory floor plan has been drawn.
The tiles are a monument to the occurrences they witnessed in their previous form; however, having being dismantled, they are no longer able perform their original function.
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It is important too that the roof appears as a heterotope, as ‘another place’, in which freedom is evoked.
Olaf Nicolai puts the roof on show as the setting for a seven-months-long action.
His protagonists perform a mysterious activity, a shadow economy enacted under a glistening sun.
Instead, the duo pursues a form of theatre, an enactment, based on the experiences of the collective and the power of the imagination.
On the rooftop terrace of an apartment block in central Cairo, they invited a group of workers to enact the privatisation of a public factory, interspersed with experiences from the actors’ own lives.