Hito Steyerl
In Free Fall
4 November 2010 – 19 December 2010
Opening: Thursday 4 November

Chisenhale Gallery presents Hito Steyerl’s first major solo exhibition in London. In Free Fall (2010), a new film co-commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery, Picture This, Bristol and Collective, Edinburgh, incorporates a series of works – After the Crash, Before the Crash and Crash – which employs the setting and characters of an aeroplane junkyard in the Californian desert to tell the story of the current economic climate.

The space of the junkyard allows various ‘crash’ narratives to unfold, with the stories of actual crashes and the remnants and afterlife of these machines becoming metaphors for economic decline. This is an investigation of planes as they are parked during the economic downturn, stored and recycled, revealing unexpected connections between economy, violence and spectacle, finding perfect example in the form of the Boeing 4X-JYI, an aircraft first acquired by film director Howard Hughes for TWA, which was subsequently flown by the Israeli Airforce before finding its way to the Californian desert to be blown up for the Hollywood blockbuster Speed. Through intertwined narratives of people, planes and places Steyerl reveals cycles of capitalism incorporating and adapting to the changing status of the commodity, but also points at a horizon beyond this endless repetition.

A prolific writer, filmmaker, theorist and teacher, Steyerl’s research and interests cover topics as diverse as cultural globalisation, feminism, culture, migration and racism. Her films are a montage of politics and pop, Hollywood and independent film, interviews and voice-over commentaries, which present provocative filmic analyses of the present.

The exhibition also includes two paintings, hung in the foyer of the gallery, by Kevan Jenson; 4X-JYI and Black and White Plane (both 2010).

Hito Steyerl (b. 1966) is based in Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include Picture This, Bristol; Collective, Edinburgh; Henie Onstad Centre, Høvikodden; Villa Stuck, Munich; (all 2010); Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (2009); and Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2008). Group exhibitions include Taipei Biennial; 1st Ural Biennial; Gwangju Biennial; Antiphotojournalism, La Virreina, Barcelona; Horizons, BAK, Utrecht (all 2010); Dispersion, ICA, London; U-Turn Kvadriennale for Samtidskunst, Copenhagen (both 2008); documenta 12, Kassel (2007) and Manifesta 5, San Sebastian (2004).

The exhibition is supported by IFA, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen and Creative Scotland.

Chisenhale Exhibitions Partner 2010: Outset Contemporary Art Fund

We are pleased to announce that Hito Steyerl has received the NEW:VISION award at Copenhagen's International Documentary Film Festival CPH:DOX for In Free Fall. Click here for further details.

Click here to download a copy of Gil Leung's After Before Now: Notes on In Free Fall on Hito Steyerl's new film.

Click here to view a video interview with Hito Steyerl

  • Thursday 2 December

    A screening of November by Hito Steyerl and On Three Posters. Reflections on a Video-Performance by Rabih Mroué.

    Saturday 27 November

    A panel discussion focusing on the notion of the ‘biography of the object’ with Hito Steyerl, Peter Osborne, Professor of Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University, and Eyal Weizman, Director of Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London, chaired by Melissa Gronlund, Managing Editor, Afterall.


    This event is now fully booked. If you wish to attend but have not made a reservation, you are welcome to arrive at the gallery on the day in case of unfulfilled places but we cannot guarantee your attendance.

    Wednesday 17 November

    Mark Fisher, author of Capitalist Realism (2009, Zero Books) and lecturer at Goldsmiths and University of East London, presents a talk in which he asks the question: ‘Can anything genuinely new emerge in a political landscape that is clogged with ideological junk?’

  • AUDIO/VIDEO
  • Chisenhale Gallery
    64 Chisenhale Road
    London E3 5QZ

    T: +44 (0)20 8981 4518 mail@chisenhale.org.uk

    For media enquiries please contact:
    Julia Schouten at SUTTON on +44 (0)20 7183 3577 or julias@suttonpr.com
    Ellen Greig on +44 (0)20 3328 1964 or ellen.greig@chisenhale.org.uk