Cherries have tender skin, meat and a kind of bone inside them. Their juice is red like blood. When you treat them like humans sometimes treat other humans, then they become human themselves or at least animate objects, which invite you to identify yourself with them. Inspired by fairy tales, where sometimes objects come to life and so become a projection screen for your own experiences and fantasies. In the performance „Death is Certain“ Eva Meyer-Keller has installed sweet cherries as her protagonists. The stalks are removed from the fruit, but they are not washed or stoned. Instead they are being killed. She takes care of this business manually, in a way which turns the everyday into something brutal.
The viewer is reminded of deaths from films, but also the reality of executions, how they really happen: associations from individual and collective experience in the face of sweet death at the kitchen table.
In her performance, the Berlin artist Eva Meyer-Keller cuts up, fragments and burns cherries in a minutely finicky operation, subjecting them to numerous forms of torment. The fruits are stylised into subjects, and everyday objects become instruments for killing, which the viewer is inclined to associate with a torture scenario. Meyer-Keller alienates thumbtacks, plastic cups and pins, putting them to work on the cherries and so setting up the discursive framework for this game of vicarious roles. No one, it seems, can feel safe, for we all have concrete images in our memory – images from films, experiences, news items, matters that in the end lend their significance to these actions, bringing the cherries to life and making chocolates figure as a graveyard. The consistency and colour of the cherries seem particularly well chosen, making them an ideal symbolic vehicle for the experiments to which they are subjected. Meyer-Keller engages in a savagely ironic game with the collective and individual images of killing that populate the imagination of every individual. Here, she uses the cherry as a paradoxical stylised figure for the black humour that is involved.
Freiraum is an initiative of Goethe Institute and Kanuti Gildi SAAL will organise a series of events related to the topic of freedom in Tallinn. Freiraum as sphere of freedom or free zone unites 53 partners from culture, science and civil society all over Europe who in more than 40 cities of Europe will be grappling with the concept of freedom in our contemporary world. Paired European cities are developing projects to be presented to the public in a series of events in 2018 and 2019. Kanuti Gildi SAAL dialogue partner is Kunsthaus Dresden and they formulated question - against the backdrop of the increasing use of the city and public space as a setting for right-wing populist initiatives since late 2014, what can art, as a language of freedom, do in times of widespread resentment? Kanuti Gildi SAAL posed a question: are we wrong to be happy? Focusing on the nexus between freedom and responsibility as well as on positive aspects of free private and public life. https://www.goethe.de/prj/fre/en/index.html