CDS Lectures

Andreas Siekmann - In the Stomach of the Predators

Twelve images and one video tell the ¬story of the monopolization of seeds. This work on the progressive privatization of common property began with the opening of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in 2008 in Norway. Alice Creischer and Andreas Siekmann examine the problematic nature of this development by drawing on historical investigations on economics and politics and their critical graphic portrayal during the world economic crisis of the 1930s.

Their work covers developments from the beginnings of the agro-industry during the «Dust Bowl» in the USA in the 1930s to the current impact of seed monopolies on global agriculture. It’s a story of disasters and catastrophes in which those who caused the catastrophes in the first place go on to exploit their dynamics to create new «demands» and productivity regimes. The point of departure for the research was the opening of the Global Seed Vault in Spitsbergen in 2008, which claims to preserve the planet’s seed diversity, but is in fact financed by the world’s biggest seed monopolists: Syngenta, Monsanto and Pioneer. The work has been produced for Kunstraum Lakeside, 2005 and 2014/15.
Andreas Siekmann (Hamm, Germany, 1961) studied History and History of Art at the University of Munich, and was awarded his doctorate in Art at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Since 1987 he has taken part in many exhibitions, some as important as Documenta in Kassel. Since the 90s he has done collective works, some in association with the German artist Alice Creischer. He lives and works in Berlin. Siekmann, whose work always reveals a clear political stance, has done a number of works on the forces of exclusion and zones of repression, issues he always tackles with ingenuity and an outstanding associative logic.