Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau (*1986) is a German-Colombian artist whose practice shifts between film, performance, and media art. Their work focuses on the intersection of decolonial themes and queer cultures. Paetau studied at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne and at the International Film School (EICTV) in Cuba.
The Berlinische Galerie is exhibiting three works that have been created collaboratively since 2021. In these works, Paetau envisions utopias of resistance against heteronormative and (post)colonial structures.
Mojana (2021, 18 min., with Nadia Granados) is an associative re-interpretation of a Colombian myth. The film centers on the seductive, man-eating Mojana – a mermaid-monster that is both desired and punished. The film denounces the violence against this female mythical creature and raises it as a symbol of transfeminine resilience.
Aribada (2022, 30 min., with Natalia Escobar) blends documentary film and fiction. The eponymous mythical beast meets Las Traviesas, a group of indigenous trans women of the Emberá people in Colombia, for whom the magical, the spiritual, the dreamlike, and the performative coexist on equal terms. Enchanted by their beauty and strength, Aribada decides to join the Traviesas to create their own trans*futurist community.
Mourning Stage (2022)
These two narrative works are complemented by the performative video Mourning Stage (2022, 16 min, with Carlos Motta), in which Paetau is the protagonist. Based on drawings with various depictions of feminized demons and the devil in hell, Paetau uses their body and facial expressions for a ritual performance of great intensity. It can be read as a work of mourning and anger in response to the imposed colonial dictates of the Catholic Church regarding sexual orientation and gender identity. Simultaneously, it also serves as a tribute to the resilience of the body, fetishized and colonialized by morality.
IBB Video Space
Since 2011 the IBB Video Space has been screening artists who work with time-based media. The programme features not only established names in contemporary video art but also up-and-coming artists rarely seen in museums to date. For these, the Berlinische Galerie seeks to facilitate an institutional début. Each month brings a new encounter with work that raises questions about the medium and about social or political issues. Importance is attached to including marginalised perspectives and to shedding light on the impact of power structures.