Lisa Rave. Europium

Europium is one of the elements, called "rare earths". Although it is named after the continent of Europe it was not found yet on this continent. The phosphorescent features of Europium cannot be imitated artificially, and its radiating brilliance is used as a marker of authenticity on Euro banknotes. It is also used for displays of phones and computers. An international consortium plans to start a deep see mining on the ground of the Pacific Ocean around Papua New Guinea. Since colonial times it is called Bismarcksee. Part of the technology will be delivered by a German company.

Lisa Rave parallelizes western fetish cult and indigenous spiritualism as well as she varies colonial past on the basis of the Nautilus shell and traditional shell money. It is called ‘Taboo’ or ‘Diwarra’. It inherits a fundamental spiritual religious concept which is still important for ceremonies like marriage and funeral.

Rave weaves several historical elements in her film and reflects the complexity of human culture, their local economies and globalisation. She focuses on colonial heritage and todays exploitation of resources, juxtaposes mundane consumerism, the subjugation of supposedly primitive indigenous peoples and inconsiderate environmental destruction.

In addition to her film Lisa Rave chose shell money from the ethnographic collection of the Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt. Among them is a collar, which is densely occupied with Nassa snails. It origins from Birara, former New Mecklenburg, today Niu Ailan / New Ireland. In 1904 it came as a gift of land surveyor Rudolf Schmitt amongst other goods.

Lisa Rave is born in the UK in 1979 and lives in Berlin. She studied experimental film in Berlin and photography in New York; and had scholarships at TBA21 Academy Vienna, 2017; at Academy Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart; 2014. She won the Bremen Award for Video Art in 2014.She teaches at the Academy of fine arts, Nuremberg. Her most recent exhibitions included Transmediale festival in Berlin 2018, Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore and Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF) 2017.

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Event Venue

Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt
Galerie der Kunst nach 1945
Friedensplatz 1
64283 Darmstadt


Dr. Gabriele Mackert
T 06151 1657-012

Running Time

June 1 until June 30 2019

Gallery Talk

Sunday, June 2, 2 pm
with Lisa Rave and
Dr. Gabriele Mackert