The practice of vanessa german, who identifies as a citizen-artist, is invested in the possibility of connecting with each other, one person and one moment at a time. The modes in which she works traverse sculpture, performance, installation, community activism, and collective rituals. With RELEASE: a living ritual for letting go she offers viewers an invitation—literally embedded with seeds and the potential of flowering. Take this card, and go on an intentional stroll around HKW. In german’s cosmos, healing and making a new start might be as simple as taking the first steps toward something, without an exact destination. In this ‘intimate pilgrimage’, visitors—in solitary contemplation or brought together in the context of the exhibition—are invited to consider the traumas around us, of the earth, of this city, of the building that houses HKW, and of all the myriad experiences and histories that come together, and take a step towards releasing. What would happen if we would come together and walk hand in hand? With Hand in Hand: a love poem for togetherness german proposes this deceptively simple question, trusting all the possible outcomes of this humble yet most generous of touches: joy, discomfort, a sense of belonging, grace, shared breath, shared steps, dirt under our feet.

Commissioned by Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), co-produced by vanessa german and HKW, 2023.

Works in the exhibition: RELEASE: a living ritual for letting go (2023), participatory performance / score, text printed on paper pulped with flower seeds; Hand in Hand: a love poem for togetherness (2023), participatory walk / collaborative performance. Courtesy of the artist

'Cards of release' for vanessa german's RELEASE: a living ritual for letting go are available at the counter in the Sylvia Wynter Foyer; Hand in Hand: a love poem for togetherness, a participatory walk, occurs on Saturday, 3 June 2023, 13:00–15:00 and 18:00–20:00 with registration at the counter, Sylvia Wynter Foyer.