Know Hope, "The Truth, as Told in our Mother Tongue" Show at Die Kunstagentin Gallery Cologne

In May 26, 2016, Die Kunstagentin Gallery will present the works of Addam Yekutieli aka Know Hope titled “The Truth, As Told in our Mother Tongue”. The show focuses on the current refugee crisis issue. I had the chance to get a hold of Addam to inquire what his upcoming show is about.

Interview by Mark Changco.
Photos provided by Die Kunstagentin Gallery.

In this show, “THE TRUTH, AS TOLD IN OUR MOTHER TONGUE”, you will be tackling the refugee crisis.  What was it like living in Israel, being in the middle of it all and witnessing everything ? Can you elaborate to us on how you arrived to this title.

Know Hope: While in Israel, the refugee issue is very present, it is only part of a larger happening taking place on a global scale. With some countries more than other on a practical level, but internationally on a moral level.

I feel that many times the discussion on issues such as this take place while using a polemics-ridden dialect, eventually obstructing the possibility of dialogue. I believe in addressing and perceiving political and social structures or situations as emotional mechanisms. This not only broadens the participation in this discussion, but allows it to be an actual dialogue, one that takes place on an emotional or even intuitive level and can be communicated with empathy being the driving force.

Generally, dealing with the notion of territory and ‘homeland’ makes me think of nostalgia and disillusionment- how one can have an abstract perception or image of a homeland and what it seemed like,  that stands in harsh contrast with a current state.

In the case of this exhibition I decided to loosely correspond with the current refugee crisis in Syria and the odyssean journey made by the displaced towards European countries. It is very common for the reasons and narrative of this process to be narrated by those external to these circumstances and situations, in European or western countries, while the actual circumstances the provoked this dangerous and desperate journey are not experienced by those same narrators.

I chose to use the term ‘mother tongue’ in tandem with ‘the truth’ in the title of the exhibition to portray a juxtaposition illustrating the contrast between what is many times seen as an objective understanding of a situation and the contingency of what brought to a certain act- in this case the desperate and life-threatening situation in the refugees homeland of Syria and the decision to embark on this dangerously audacious path towards the hope of finding a safe future.

We all have our own versions of the truth and only we can speak it for ourselves, in our native tongue based on personal experience and this exhibition hopes to communicate the emotional complexity of displacement.

You have a site-installation at the show. Can you describe it to us and what is it about?

Know Hope: The installation is comprised of a large wall-piece made of paper cut-outs depicting the image of a migrating flock of birds, with the silhouettes revealing the bare brick of the gallery walls. The vision of this flock of birds is hindered by layers of wire fences spanning a large portion of the gallery space. In each layer of the fence there is a hole cut through the tangled wires, suggesting a passage through these obstacles. In an farther area of the gallery space is a birds nest, made out of the unraveled wires taken from those same holes in the fence, with a group of birds nesting inside of it.

All this is a metaphorical allegory for these very real issues- the silhouette flock of birds being those who embarked on the journey to no avail, whereas the nesting birds suggest an overcoming, an ad-hoc adaptation to circumstance forced upon them.

The image of a fence is predominant in this exhibition. What intrigues me about fences is that while they define territory and divide, they can be seen through, making them transparent and seen-through, ultimately stripping them of their essential powers. It is because this reason that I chose the title of the main body of canvas work in the exhibition, the Transparency Series, in which collage canvases with the a fence pattern are painted over in white paint, creating silhouettes of my iconography, with the fence ‘composing’ the body of the figure in the pieces. This creates a personification of these political situation all while urging a sense of empathy and recognizing.

Is there a specific piece in the show that you are most excited about? Why?

Know Hope: More than a specific piece in the exhibition, I have a favorite part- I would say that it would be the holes cut through the fence. This is an image that communicates the triumph of the small and powerless over the overbearing and divisive. It suggests a paradigm shift, and through the building of the nest from the wires of the fence the transformation of our perceptions of the reasoning behind territories and segregation.

“The Truth, As Told In Our Mother Tongue” will open May 26, 2016, 7-10 PM and it will run through July 16, 2016. For more information about the show, email:

Anne Scherer
Die Kunstagentin
Maastrichter Str. 26
50672 Köln
+49 221 888 99 099

KNOW HOPE, “Our Unpoliced Hearts” Special Edition Print Release

Our Unpoliced Hearts, 2016
Edition of 50
50 x 70 cm | KH035 | 400€ inkl. MwSt (ohne Rahmen)

UPDATE: Following Addam Yekutieli aka Know Hope’s “The Truth, as Told In Our Mother Tongue” Show is a print release titled “Our Unpoliced Hearts”. There will be an edition of 50 prints sold through Die Kunstagentin Gallery.

For information about this print please email or call +49 221 888 99 099

Our Unpoliced Hearts, 2016
Special Edition of 10
50 x 70cm | 500 € inkl. MwSt

Again, if your interested in purchasing please email or call +49 221 888 99 099

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