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Hito Steyerl

Tent / Texture II, Kharkiv


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Hito Steyerl is a filmmaker, visual artist, and writer whose work often explores issues of militarization, the role of the media in globalization, and the mass proliferation and dissemination of images brought on by digital technologies. Steyerl created these images of Freedom Square, the central square in Kharkiv, Ukraine, using 3D scans produced via a smartphone app. Instead of a seamless rendering of the square, Tent / Texture II, Kharkiv presents a tableau of digitized fragments: fractured images of sandbag piles, building sections, pavement, and a yellow-and- blue tent (the color of the Ukrainian flag) for volunteers in support of the government’s Anti-Terrorist Operation. With its close proximity to Russia, Kharkiv has been an important bellwether of the tensions between Ukraine and Russia. The scattered, disconnected images enhance the disjunction between real and virtual realities and the condition of unpredictability that has defined everyday reality in Ukraine since 2014. On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, repeatedly targeting Ukrainian civilians. On March 1, the Russian army heavily bombed Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine. The precarious image of Freedom Square as visualized by Steyerl in 2015 presaged the violence and inhumanity of the terrorism reigning throughout Ukraine today. [Permanent Collection label, 2022]

  • Artist Hito Steyerl (German, b. 1966)
  • Title Tent / Texture II, Kharkiv
  • Date 2015
  • Medium UV pigment print on Dibond
  • Edition description 1/5
  • Dimensions unframed | 39 3/8 x 39 3/8 in.
  • Credit line University purchase with funds from Barbara M. and David W. Detjen, 2016
  • Object number WU 2016.0012

Disorderly Materials / Contingent Objects
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 09/01/2023 - 12/31/2023

Received 10/31/2016; Presented to Art Collection Committee 11/17/2016
Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York (HS16-008.1)

Label Verso on backing board at LRC, white paper label with gray and black printing, signed in black ink: [left justified, in gray] ANDREW KREPS GALLERY / 537 WEST 22ND STREET/ NEW YORK, NY 10011 / [left justified, in black] Hito Steyerl [in bold] / Tent/Texture II, Kharkiv, 2015 [title italicized] / UV pigment print on dibond / print: 39 3/8 x 39 3/8 in (100 x 100 cm); frame: 40 3/4 x 40 3/4 / x 1 1/2 in (103.5 x 103.5 x 3.8 cm) / Edition 1 of 5, with 2 APs / (Inv# HS16-008.1) [artist’s signature in black ink over inventory number]

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