Anselm Franke

A master of the essay-exhibition: rich, sprawling topographies of imagery, research and speculation

Back in 2012, Franke said that he conceived his Animism project to question the story of modernity, wanting to ‘break free from the “frame” of colonial modernity and its narratives’, a theme that is further explored in The Interrupted Survey: Fractured Modern Mythologies, now in the middle of a two-year run at Gwangju’s Asia Cultural Center. The head of visual arts and film at Berlin’s Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), his recent exhibition Nervous Systems, part of HKW’s ‘100 Years of Now’ programme and curated in collaboration with Stephanie Hankey and Marek Tuszynski from the Tactical Technology Centre, sought to ‘explore the impact of data economies and the quantification of life on our understanding of the social’. Including works such as !Mediengruppe Bitnik’s Delivery for Mr. Assange – Assange’s Room – an example of how data is used as a weapon by governments and those who question them – it (arguably) went further than the DIS-curated Berlin Biennale in questioning the conditions of our present world.