Tropical Fealing
Jan Brokof


2 through 30 April 2017

Jan Brokof (1977) grew up in the former German Democratic Republic. The ‘plattenbau’ apartment buildings and dreary industrial surroundings of his youth play a prominent role in his earlier work. A few years ago he met a theatre group and joined them on their tour of Brazil. During his first stay in Sao Paulo he had a culture shock similar to the one he experienced when he first visited West Berlin after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Brokof subsequently discovered a chronicle of the 16th-century German adventurer Hans Staden’s stay with a tribe of cannibals in Brazil. In his description of this exotic new world, the mercenary at the same time clearly defined himself as a European. Jan Brokof transfers this perspective to the present, connecting his confrontation as an former East German with the west to his first encounter with contemporary Brazil.

In the installation Tropical Fealing he immerses the viewer in a flow of associations concerning cannibalism, capitalism, exoticism an the unknown. In the gallery a gate will be erected that gives access to an unknown, new world. The walls will be covered in jungle wallpaper featuring collages of bodies. The exhibition will also feature a painting of Sao Paulo produced together with the Brazilian collective 44flavours as well as videos from the ongoing Hans Staden TV project. In Tropical Fealing we are confronted with the fear of the unknown that is currently so often abused by populist political forces. In a penetrating and often absurd-comical way, Jan Brokof offers us an opportunity to get to know ‘the other’ and open our minds to things that are alien to us.

On the occasion of the exhibition the publication Tropical Healing is issued.

for review by Cybil Scott see: