Online Reading & Conversation Straight Lines Don’t Make for a Journey: On Cultural Displacement and Resilience

Grabeland © eteam © eteam



A reading of eteam’s artist novel Grabeland

eteam’s novel Grabeland—an engaging travel guide, not to places, but to worlds and ways of travel—is the result of a ten-year engagement with an allotment garden ("Kleingartenanlage") in the East-German region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. When the two members of eteam, Franziska Lamprecht and Hajoe Moderegger, bought the land, it comprised eight garden parcels without access to water, which made it hard for gardeners to grow vegetables reliably. The ensuing collective search for water— metaphorically, the idea of opening a source or updating an old operating system with new software (OS)—turned the landlocked gardens into a cruise ship with which eteam and the gardeners sailed to the United States, followed by a horse-drawn wagon tour through East Germany’s living fascination with America’s history of the Wild West.

Grabeland takes place in a country that no longer exists, in a culture rooted in soil and projections. The story tours the inner exiles of its characters as they test the limitations of their actual existence. Focusing on Germany and the United States, Grabeland dramatizes the formation of national identity and ultimately its dissolution through an accumulation of personal and collective experiences, anecdotes, accidents, propaganda, falsifications, histories, victimizations, inventions, dreams, and hopes.

Moderated by Dani and Sheilah ReStack

eteam is a two-people collaboration that uses video, performance, and writing to articulate encounters at the edges of diverging cultural, technical, and aesthetical universes. Tripping over earthly planes, they trigger transactions between its occupants and establish wireless connections. Their narratives have screened internationally in video and film festivals; they have lectured in universities, presented in art galleries and museums, and performed in the desert, on fields, in caves and on mountaintops, in ships, black box theaters, and horse-drawn wagons. They could not have done this without the generous support of Creative Capital and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Art in General, NYSCA, NYFA, Rhizome, CLUI, Taipei Artist Village, Eyebeam, Smack Mellon, Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the City College of New York, and the Hong Kong Baptist University, among many others. 

Dani and Sheilah ReStack have embarked on an artistic relationship that is formally and emotionally adjacent to their domestic lives, a quotidian zone they share with their young daughter Rose. Both artists have established careers on their own. ReStack collaborations were shown at the 2017 Whitney Biennial, Iceberg Projects Chicago, Toronto International Film Festival, Images Film Festival, Toronto, Lyric Theater, Carrizozo, NM, Leslie Lohman Project Space, Gaa Wellfleet, and The Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio. They have received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Hanley Award and have been residents at The Headlands in Marin County and their newest video Go Ask Joan was made at the MacDowell Colony this summer.