November 24, 2014 - Kunsthalle Zürich - Asia Andrzejka Naveen
November 24, 2014

Asia Andrzejka Naveen

Asia Andrzejka Naveen, Lake Dukan, Kurdistan-Iraq,
2014. Courtesy the artist.

Asia Andrzejka Naveen: Sukzessive Monogamie (Successive Monogamy)
December 4–6, 2014, 5pm

Kunsthalle Zürich 
Limmatstrasse 270
8005 Zurich

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Together with the Kadist Art Foundation Kunsthalle Zürich presents the work of the second awardee of the Kadist – Kunsthalle Zürich Production Award for young Swiss artists: Asia Andrzejka Naveen. During three subsequent evenings the Zurich-based artist—together with some of her collaborators*—will introduce selected moments of her activities in 2014. Collaboration, commonality, and a persistent urge to broaden one’s own horizon are thematic as well as practical focal points of her largely performative work. Which perspectives are encouraged by a society’s institutions of conviviality; which ones foreclosed at the same time? To inquire after this critical question of commonality Naveen works on the threshold of normativity by making art that always involves her life, as well as the lives of others.

Asia Andrzejka Naveen’s artistic practice is closely linked to her personal life. In her “living performances” she interweaves personal and biographic aspects with socio-political issues. Her own experience—the conditions and situations Naveen meets in the course of her projects—provide more than a framework but the very core of her work. By actively trespassing the borders of cultural, geographical and social territories, Naveen investigates the cracks within social norms and questions the actual omnipotence of normativity.

In 2010, for example, the artist lived in a centre for asylum seekers in Zurich for several months interviewing the residents. The immigration challanges encountered by a Chinese friend in 2008 also set the stage for Sukzessive Monogamie (Successive Monogamy), Naveen’s long-term project of repeated marriages. In an interview she explained: “It all started when the residency permit of my best friend expired. For the revalidation of the necessary documents the Chinese authorities were requesting specific information: where he lived, for whom he worked—and particularly who his future wife would be. For it was taken for granted that a man in his thirties would want to marry.”

To circumvent this administrative obstacle—which is just one example for the generally sanctioned treatment of civil status—Naveen spontaneously married the friend, and has kept on marrying into various cultural and religios traditions and jurisdictions ever since, without annulling any of the alliances. Performatively and at the same time utterly real Sukzessive Monogamie  sets its focus on the contingency and thus changeability of social norms and their juridical, economic and political but also familial and intimate concepts of privacy and their consequences. “It has indeed been crazy,” Naveen recollects, “I went to Egypt as a fake bride and returned as a real wife, together with the idea of multiple marriage as an artistic project. (…) Sometimes I’m asked whether or not Shams would be my ‘true’ partner. This question occurs strange to me. As if the other people I married weren’t true partners. Even though I maintain sincere and commited relationships with them. Instead of adhering to ‘the one and only’ I share my life with many. And they usually do the same.”

With the Kadist – Kunsthalle Zürich Production Award the artist was able to add two new and unusual marriages to Sukzessive Monogamie: her participation in an Indian mass wedding of transsexuals to the goddess Arawan, and a Shiite time-marriage. In three consecutive events at Kunsthalle Zürich the artist discusses the experiences of this year together with other participants—and us:

Sukzessive Monogamie: Transgendermasswedding
Thursday, 4 December, 5pm
With Queen Quinn and Asia Andrzejka Naveen, moderated by Ann Dyon
Naveen reflects her participation in an Indian mass wedding ceremony, in which transsexuals, who are otherwise excluded from civil marriage, together with hundreds of likeminded persons married the goddess Arawan.

Sukzessive Monogamie: Iran
Friday, 5 December, 5pm
With Tilman Hoffer and Asia Andrzejka Naveen
In Iran, the duration of a marriage can be determined before the wedding. Naveen chose a 99-year Shiite time-marriage without sexual contact with a man that had previously attempted to rape her. She was made aware of this form of marriage by formerly politically active female prisoners, whose friends and family members had been executed.

Saturday, 6 December, 5pm
With Space Monkey One, Mia Wallace, Inaya, Salomé Singer, Paolo Pinkel, Godiva, Frank Godin, Philanthropos, Michelle Michel, Pi, Luxus, Herr Frei, Thirteen Monkeys
Between her travels Salomé Singer dedicates her time in Zurich to a research colloquium that was formed after she delegated all of her bodily decisions to an environmental scientist. Every ten days Fabio Ugolini gave a new instruction to the artist, one of them being the foundation of the Kolloquium. In exchange the group reflects and assess shared introspective borderline experience.

*Due to some participants’ wishes to remain anonymous, all of the speakers use a pseudonym.
Free entry. Further information on our website:

Kadist – Kunsthalle Zürich Production Award nominators and jury members 2014
Maria Eichhorn, artist and Professor at ZHdK, Zurich
Fredi Fischli / Niels Olsen, Directors, gta Exhibitions, ETH Zurich
Simon Maurer, Director, Helmhaus, Zurich
Beatrix Ruf, Director, Kunsthalle Zürich
Sandra Terdjman, Kadist Art Foundation

Kunsthalle Zürich receives generous funding from: Stadt Zürich Kultur; Kanton Zürich Fachstelle Kultur; Zürcher Kantonalbank – Partner of Kunsthalle Zürich; LUMA Foundation


Asia Andrzejka Naveen at Kunsthalle Zürich
Kunsthalle Zürich
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