Afghanistan is not only dominated by poverty and natural disasters, but also by terror, arbitrary rule, massive corruption, enormous restrictions on freedom, and increased attacks. This threatening situation not only complicates the everyday lives of the people, which are already characterized by violence, concern for loved ones, fear, flight, and resistance, but it also brings artistic creation to a virtual standstill. On top of that, the Taliban have completely banned the artistic depiction of living beings, especially humans. Works of art were and are being destroyed by the artists themselves for security reasons, or they fell victim to looting and targeted destruction during house searches or had to be left behind when people fled. However, many works still exist in secret, others only in documentation. At the same time, artists are still resisting, expressing their opinions through their work - against all obstacles and prohibitions.
In order to enable artists in Afghanistan to participate in the international art discourse and to make their work visible for the world, the Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden initiated a digital exhibition series with solo exhibitions of artists in Afghanistan - hidden behind a pseudonym for security reasons: Hidden Statement.
From May 30th 2023 onwards, in close technical and logistical cooperation with Walter's Cube, anonymised solo-exhibitions will be continuously presented to the world wide public. After two years of invisibility, artists in Afghanistan not only experience a platform of artistic presentation, exchange and recognition, but also have the opportunity to participate in the international art discourse and the professional network. At the same time, an archive of visual art in Afghanistan is being created.
A cooperation of the Nassauische Kunstverein Wiesbaden with the German Academy Rome Villa Massimo, the Goethe Institute Rome, the Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach (Ulrike Grünewald, Yama Rahimi), the Institut for spatial strategies of weißensee school for art and design berlin (Prof. Nasan Tur and Tonderai Koschke) and Walter's CubeNew York.
The first exhibitions were developed in a collaborative workshop with students of both art academies in Berlin in May 2023, we thank the participants: Iqbal Tarnak / Yama Usmani / Yama Rahimi / Jeremy Knowles / Asuman Kirlangic Jourmarin / Soghra Setayesh / Zohal Shuja / Mahsa Fahla.
A very special thank goes to Yama Rahimi, who built the trusting bridge into the art scene of Afghanistan and who significantly enforced the project with his knowledge, skills and above all his endless energy.
Without our partners, the project would not have been possible, our deepest gratitude: