CHRISTOPHER KULENDRAN THOMAS

NEW EELAM

Installation exhibited in the Akademie der Künste for the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art.
Berlin, June 4 - August 18, 2016.

DESCRIPTION :

Mixed media.
Developed in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann.
Film Production: Klein and West, Mark Reynolds with music by Ella & Florian Zwietnig, produced by Annika Kehlmann and Jelena Goldbach.
Design: Manuel Bürger, Jan Gieseking.
Architecture: Martti Kalliala.
Production Design: Marcelo Alves.
Biosphere: Matteo Greco.
Creative Director: Annika Kuhlmann.
Commissioned and coproduced by Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art.
Thanks to Niklas Bildstein, Christian Weinecke, REC Bauelemente, New Tendency, E15, Fundamental and GIRLOON.

IN A FEW WORDS ...

How does contemporary art relate to economic liberalization-or to the unrealized alternatives thereto? How might nations and national citizenship be reconceived in an age of technologically accelerated dislocation? New Eelam introduces a startup founded by the artist to develop a flexible, global housing subscription that is based on collective ownership. It takes its point of departure from the unrealized possibilities of “Eelam,” the defeated Tamil Sri Lankan homeland that was wiped out in 2009 following a failed neo-Marxist struggle for self-governance, one insistance of a global pattern in which post-conflict economic liberalization has led to an accelerated arrival of global brands and franchises, and, if indirectly, the art gallery system.

New Eelam introduces a startup founded by the artist to develop a flexible, global housing subscription that is based on collective ownership.

Reimagined here beyond national borders, New Eelam is an alternative proposal for how a new economic system could evolve, without friction, out of the present one-through the luxury of communalism rather than private property. The venture is represented here by an experience featuring a show-home environment suite decorated by artworks that incorporate and reconfigure original works of art purchased in Sri Lanka’s recent “peacetime” contemporary art boom. The suite also features New Eelam’s speculative promotional film, which asks: How might a nation be reimagined without territory? How might a state be constituted in corporate form? And how could a brand communicate as an artist?

Christopher Kulendran Thomas is born in 1979. He lives and works in London.