Who: Savvy Contemporary

Where: Berlin, Istanbul, Milan, Paris

When: 01.08.2020 - 31.12.2021 

R22 Tout-Monde (with Ateliers Medicis in Clichy/Montfermeil, Un Lieu Pour Respirer in Les Lilas, Rester & Étranger in Saint-Denis)
Arşivden Sonra? / After the Archive?  (Istanbul)
Archive Books (Mailand)

A major challenge of subjugated communities is the question of their archives and processes of archiving. Fragile and under threat, most of their experiences, memories and histories are not featured in narratives of the future.

But these Archives – the fragile, vulnerable ones we are addressing here – are not silent per se. They do have a voice, but one that can be silenced. They do have a voice, but one whose potent airing might not be listened to, as the issue is not whether or not the subaltern is able to speak, but whether or not anybody is listening, to paraphrase Seloua Luste Boulbina. Power plays a role here, as “archival power is, in part, the power to allow voices to be heard” 

In the Vulnerable Archives project, Savvy Contemporary collaborate with archives and organizations that engage in strategies of alternative historiography, dissent, self-organization, and participation through practical solidarity. They form alliances to develop tools that strengthen strategies of speaking and spaces of listening. The project understands vulnerability as a method that has the potential to continuously open up new sources of knowledge.



Enigma#59: Roman
A Retrospective by Bili Bidjocka 
Exhibition in Savvy Contemporary in the framework of Berlin Art Week.
16.09. – 31.10.2021

Is Bili Bidjocka a visual artist? He clearly has writers’ envy. Or maybe he does something writers can’t do? Words in art are things, not units of meaning. The writing on the wall becomes image, and functions differently from, let’s say, the semantic apparatus of a novel. However, Bidjocka flirts with the idea that the (subliminal) meaning in those images convey an enigma. 

The exhibition holds the promise of sovereign indifference to instrumental (practical, functional, political and economic) reason. As a consequence, the exhibition directs its opposition against the exhausting demand for ›meaning‹ and the incessant flow of communicative action and exuberant performativity, towards a via negativa of discomfort and loss, creating a recalcitrant space of subjective and fictional symbolic acts.


Public programme of readings, conversations, performances, music, screenings at Savvy Contemporary

Since 2020, the work of VULNERABLE ARCHIVES has been taking place in Germany with research partners and communities in Turkey, Italy, and France. The project partners have aimed to build dialogues among the communities that have been silenced and denied from archival practices to shed light on the overlooked efforts and unconventional ways of storing collective memories. In September 2021, Savvy Contemporary invites you to an exhibition by Bili Bidjocka, and an INVOCATIONS programme – both highlighting the importance of artistic practices as a transformative force as the culmination of year-long dispersed events. The programme aims at enhancing archival networks and infrastructures through workshops, readings, discussions, performances, screenings and more.