A Potent Drop

Anna Ehrenstein, Rebecca Pokua Korang + Heiko-Thandeka Ncube

​Aleksandra, Andreas, Arezo, Ariyan, Bana, Ben, Dana, Dhuha, Emilio, Fikret, Hamza, Wasim, Yasmin

The collaborative project A Potent Drop uses the space of a city library to fabricate a resulting video art installation creating an imaginary library that expands the already existing canon. The library belongs to all of us. But who actually decides what the archive of the library shows? Anna Ehrenstein, Rebecca Pokua Korang and Heiko-Thandeka Ncube, video artists, together with 13 young people aged 12-15, have critically read and speculatively expanded the archive of the central library in Schöneberg. What seems archival enough? What is considered worthless and left out? Where do the power dynamics and historical trajectories that construct our current canon come from? Can our current archive explain the intricacies of our planetary crisis? What happens when we canonize our personal biographies? Different artistic methods such as biographical theater and free writing, painting, video collage and the experimental use of digital technologies and social media are used in the multidisciplinary work as technologies of actively writing history. In this way we create an imaginary archive, which is based on radical inclusion and active hope and materializes in the exhibition space via a textile and video work as well as an artist book.

Anna Ehrenstein, Rebecca Pokua Korang, Heiko-Thandeka Ncube (l.t.r.). Photos: Courtesy the artists

Anna Ehrenstein (*1993 in Berlin) lives between Berlin, Tirana, and the Cloud. She studied photography and media art and attended curatorial courses in Valletta and Lagos. She explores how technology and digitally informed material cultures reshape power relations, forms of knowledge, and their constructions through South-South collaborations and the redistribution of resources of the Global North. Her work foregrounds collaborative approaches and process-based artistic research and mediation. Among others, she has exhibited at: Office Impart, Berlin (2022); Screen City Biennial, Berlin (2022); Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2022); Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna (2022); Stadt Galerie Saarbrücken (2022); Landesmuseum Francisco Carolinum, Linz (2021); KOW, Berlin (2021); Ural Biennale, Ekaterinburg (2021); Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Berlin (2021); C/O Berlin (2021). In 2022, she received the INITIAL grant for artistic mediation with Tools for Conviviality; in 2021, the research grant of the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe; and in 2020, the C/O Berlin Talent Award 2020 for New Documentary Strategies.

Rebecca Pokua Korang (* in Berlin) is a multidisciplinary artist. She has been working in the field of performing arts since 2012. In 2017, she completed her Bachelor of Arts in dance at Kingston University, London. Her work includes: Sentimental Bits – This Magic Is In Spite Of Me with Gloria Höckner (2022); Patterns with Magda Korsinsky, Ballhaus Naunynstraße, Berlin (2022, 2019); Albanian Conference: Home is Where the Hatred Is with Anna Ehrenstein (2021); Hold a Ghost with Sunny Pfalzer (2020), or: Sitting on a Man's Head, Berlin Biennale (2018) with Okwui Okpokwasili - and showed multimedia installations at Who Cares Art Festival, feldfünf, Berlin (2022). She founded the theater collective Thesmophoria in 2020. Until 2022, Korang directed the group Active Player, Act e.V.’s youth theater project at Heimathafen Neukölln, Berlin.

Heiko-Thandeka Ncube is an artist, writer, and filmmaker based in Berlin. His practice investigates how cultures derive meaning through suffering and how narratives, drawn out of collective memories, coincide with acts of violence. Thereby Ncube’s work unfolds along the intersections of political oppression, the Abrahamic religions and Bantu mythology, in particular the lines along his Ndebele ancestry. He studied art history and philosophy at the Free University of Berlin and is currently studying fine arts at the Berlin University of the Arts in the class of Prof. Dr. Hito Steyerl. In the season (2021/22) he is responsible for the video design for the theater mobile project The Sense of Belonging and his short film “The early rains which wash away the chaff before the spring rains” is currently being premiered at the Berlinale Forum Expanded (2023).

Realized with the support of Sonderstipendium INITIAL 2 - Neue Kooperationen. Akademie der Künste, Berlin. In collaboration with Mittelpunktbibliothek Schöneberg "Theodor-Heuss-Bibliothek".