In her multidisciplinary work, the German artist Hannah Hallermann combines clear and essential forms to express complex social issues. In her sculptures, which partly evoke abstract architectural elements or sports equipment, she explores the relationship between bodies and objects, the contemporary narratives of constant optimization and the need for leaps of faith, new beginnings and breakups. The strong spatial presence in her work immerses the observer in a high metaphorical plane of thought.
“Art invites us to take the journey beyond price, beyond costs into bearing witness to the world as it is and as it should be” (Toni Morrison)
To answer your question: It’s hard to say how I perceive the surreal time of the pandemics as an artist. My job here on earth is being a human and seeking to become more human day by day, engaging in the field of art.
The virus at this point is still a wild mystery to me and the process of trying to make sense of it is complex and sensitive. Juggling with social, economic, ethical and spiritual questions all at once is crucial in trying to win a perspective. One of the aspects that fuel my work is the effect of different starting conditions in life and whom meritocracy favours. I am shocked yet not surprised to see how the crisis hits the poorest the hardest. The protection- and care-system fails many, like refugees, who cannot afford to protect themselves. Young, fit and wealthy people have better chances to stay healthy and keep their standards. The ones in the front line of crises are Health workers, people working in supermarkets and care jobs but they are hardly the ones who profit from the situation. So who is profiting from the crisis?
I want to see a reshaping in values and structures. That health workers, parents balancing home office and home schooling, people who nurse the sick and elderly are honored for their powerful commitment to caring. And with honored I decidedly do not mean just a happily assumed gesture of thank you like clapping and singing out of the window: but that compassion transforms the laws in order to protect, that pay checks reflect the immensity of the work and the costs of care become priority. Statistics showing that predominantly women work in the care sector should lead to an acknowledgement of their contributions and the closing of the Gender pay gap.
Another relevant chance slumbering in the crisis is the opportunity to introduce the bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen basic income guarantee, an idea that I support strongly.
Let the fever of this disease further transformation."
Hannah Hallermann Berlin, Germany. April 17, 2020