current exhibition


The Mouth Is for Speaking

Cultural critic and writer Olivia Laing once remarked: “The mouth is for speaking, how do you speak if no one’s listening, how do you speak if your voice is prohibited, or no one understands your tongue?”

Freedom and human rights are meant to give individuals a voice. But many people still lack the chance to express themselves and to be heard. The works in the show specifically deal with speaking up or speaking out about the violation of human rights.



02.03.2022 – 25.03.2022

Installation view, Abdulnasser Gharem, The Safe, 2019
The Mouth Is for Speaking, AIA Space, 2022 Photo: Léa Jullien

As muted cry, Abdulnasser Gharem stages a white awning similar to the one to be seen on the security camera that recorded the last moments in the life of journalist Jamal Khashoggi before entering the Saudi embassy in Istanbul.

Installation view, Luke Willis Thompson, (a) breathing: collective noun, 2021
installation view on the facade of the former U.S. Embassy building in Oslo, designed by Eero Saarinen, opposite the Nobel Institute, until December 2021, courtesy Nagel Draxler, Munich/Cologne and the artist

"The first thing you need in order to speak up, is your breath“
Installation view Seline Baumgartner, Apart from Us, The Mouth Is for Speaking, AIA Space, 2022 Photo: Léa Jullien
Luke Willis Thompson's large b/w-photograph is subtly composed of nine exposures showing the mechanics of breathing in a single image thus interlacing individual and collective movements such as Black Lives Matter. Seline Baumgartner traced the traumatic narrative of a survivor of Swiss Administrative Detention, who was torn from her family and held in confinement against her will. Subsequently, the artist and the survivor developed a set of movements through the intermediary of a dancer to evoke these dark memories and lend them physicality. Ishita Chakraborty sheds light on the muted presence of people who found refuge in Switzerland. The immigration account of a young man called Farid is staged as a fragile ceramic sound wave that remains undecipherable, thus becoming a silent monument to those in need of a voice in our society. With kind support of Cassinelli-Vogel-Stiftung and Ernst Göhner Stiftung Artists: Seline Baumgartner, Ishita Chakraborty, Abdulnasser Gharem, Luke Willis Thompson
Installation view, Ishita Chakraborty, Mute Tongue, Who am I without Exile? The Mouth Is for Speaking, AIA Space, 2022 Photo: Léa Jullien
Exhibition view, The Mouth Is for Speaking, AIA Space, 2022 Photo: Léa Jullien


The Mouth Is for Speaking