Nadia Kaabi-Linke: Seeing Without Light

For her solo exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin-based artist Nadia Kaabi-Linke explores hidden traces of violence that unnoticeably shape our understanding of history and the present time. The exhibition confronts historical erasure and examines the role of censorship and violence in Central Europe’s art and political history. The focus is on the project “Blindstrom-Extrakte” (2023), which refers to a collection of paintings that were censored and confiscated by Soviet intelligence during the 1930s. This collection is now preserved at the National Art Museum of Ukraine. In addition, the new production “Bud’mo,” a video-sound project produced in Ukraine in spring 2023, will premiere at Hamburger Bahnhof.

Nadia Kaabi-Linke, who was born to a Ukrainian mother and a Tunisian father in 1978, will present, among other works, the project “Blindstrom-Extrakte” (2023) at Hamburger Bahnhof. Originally conceived for the National Art Museum of Ukraine (NAMU) in Kyiv, this adapted version deals with the so-called “Spezfond” collection of the National Art Museum of Ukraine. The collection includes paintings from the 1920s and the 1930s, one of which “Harvest Review” (1937) will be included in the exhibition. The Soviet government in Moscow confiscated the paintings due to depicted events of political movements or the formalist styles represented in Ukraine at that time. Despite the persecution, imprisonment, and even execution of some artists, the scheduled destruction of the paintings failed due to the invasion of the German Wehrmacht.

In addition to works from two decades of Kaabi-Linke’s artistic creation, the video and sound installation “Bud’mo” (2023), created especially for the exhibition, will also be shown. The multi-channel projection transports visitors to the so-called “partisan forest” Chornyi Lis (black forest) and the Bronetskyi forest in Galicia. It refers to historical connections and partly forgotten or hidden overlaps of Ukrainian, German, and Russian history.


The exhibition is accompanied by the third edition of the Hamburger Bahnhof catalogue series, edited by Silvana Editoriale Milano.


The exhibition is curated by Sam Bardaouil, Director of Hamburger Bahnhof, and Daria Prydybailo, Curator of Hamburger Bahnhof.

The exhibition is made possible by the Freunde der Nationalgalerie and is supported by Burger Collection, Hong Kong and the TOY family.

A special exhibition by the Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Source : Museen zu Berlin