press release

Chisenhale Gallery presents Hito Steyerl's first major solo exhibition in London. In Free Fall (2010), a new film co-commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery, Picture This, Bristol and Collective, Edinburgh, incorporates a series of works—After the Crash, Before the Crash and Crash—which employs the setting and characters of an aeroplane junkyard in the Californian desert to tell the story of the current economic climate.

The space of the junkyard allows various 'crash' narratives to unfold, with the stories of actual crashes and the remnants and afterlife of these machines becoming metaphors for economic decline. This is an investigation of planes as they are parked during the economic downturn, stored and recycled, revealing unexpected connections between economy, violence and spectacle, finding perfect example in the form of the Boeing 4X-JYI, an aircraft first acquired by film director Howard Hughes for TWA, which was subsequently flown by the Israeli Airforce before finding its way to the Californian desert to be blown up for the Hollywood blockbuster Speed. Through intertwined narratives of people, planes and places Steyerl reveals cycles of capitalism incorporating and adapting to the changing status of the commodity, but also points at a horizon beyond this endless repetition.

A prolific writer, filmmaker, theorist and teacher, Steyerl's research and interests cover topics as diverse as cultural globalisation, feminism, culture, migration and racism. Her films are a montage of politics and pop, Hollywood and independent film, interviews and voice-over commentaries, which present provocative filmic analyses of the present.

Hito Steyerl (b. 1966) is based in Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include Picture This, Bristol; Collective, Edinburgh; Henie Onstad Centre, Høvikodden; Villa Stuck, Munich; Collective, Edinburgh (all 2010); Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (2009); and Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2008). Group exhibitions include Taipei Biennial; 1st Ural Biennial; Gwangju Biennial; 'Antiphotojournalism', La Virreina, Barcelona; 'Horizons', BAK, Utrecht (all 2010); 'Dispersion', ICA, London; U-Turn Kvadriennale for Samtidskunst, Copenhagen (both 2008); 'documenta 12', Kassel (2007) and 'Manifesta 5', San Sebastian (2004).

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Hito Steyerl