13.05.22 – 04.06.22
Umut Azad Akkel, Pegah Keshmirshekan, Dana Rabea Jäger, Moana Vonstadl, Zhé Wang

An uncontrolled inner return to the situation,
known primarily from a distance through memory,
panic attacks,
feeling of dullness,
being frozen,
feeling alien in your own body.
A delayed response follows.

Giving up control, 
feeling powerless and angry at the same time.
All there is, is hopeless despair.

Often a traumatic experience cannot be processed cognitively nor consciously. Background Noise is an approach of the artists Umut Azad Akkel, Pegah Keshmirshekan, Dana Rabea Jäger, Moana Vonstadl and Zhé Wang to find a level of communication to describe, discuss, speak about what is happening to us while experiencing trauma, why these experiences can be painful and how it may be possible to channel them through art to help to understand them and ourselves better.

The general definition of trauma is a paradox, a sudden and overwhelming experience of a catastrophic event. However, daily experiences of discrimination, violence, suffering and the subtle and open degradation that come with it also have an imense traumatizing potential. Even though normative patterns of perceptions shape trauma-therapeutic knowledge production, which contribute to the general definition of trauma, there is seldom a level of communication about how it feels to experience and deal with trauma. For individuals everyday struggles can appear as a constant background noise, which one cannot easily escape, due to relationships of power and domination in society. 

How can experiences that have been shaped through time and contact with discrimination, violence and/or catastrophic events, that are resulting in displacment and isolation, be discussed? How can we as artists make parallels to our artistic work visible? How can an inclusive idea of mental health be created rather than finding solutions to overcome trauma in an instant? 

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