Symbiosis – 1.5 Tons of Global Entanglement
View of the exhibition »Symbiosis«: In the foreground, white cabinets, in the background on the wall: white guns
Sat, November 05, 2011 – Sun, March 11, 2012

Symbiosis is an art project that deals with the worldwide problem of small arms, which is defined differently – either repressed or fetishized – by individual groups in civil society, but seldom is the problem ultimately analyzed in detail and resolved. The Symbiosis project builds on this idea and aspires to encourage discourse in the private and public sectors in the context of the problem of small arms.

Depending on the respective exhibition site, Symbiosis consists of up to 150 exhibits that at first sight seem to have the characteristics of multiples. Upon closer examination, this impression proves to be a conscious irritation; the objects are revealed as disabled small arms from the Burundi civil war, which have been repurposed as exhibits. From a distance, the serial character of the objects makes visible the industrial dimension of weapons production. Seen close up, however, a completely different picture is created: with small differences, for example, individualizations made by the user, each exhibit shown from behind a white, innocent camouflage tells its own "story," the threads of which run together from various wars, most recently the civil war in Burundi, and from their use as tools of death.

At the close of the exhibition series, the exhibition objects can be purchased for a minimum of 2,500 euros. The revenue from the sales will be donated directly to Caritas projects in Burundi involving care for victims of, and those affected by, the civil war.

Symbiosis is an art project by Peter Zizka and Matthias Rettner.

Organization / Institution

A cooperation with the Theater PAN.OPTIKUM / Matthias Rettner and Caritas international, Commission de Désarmement Burundi.