From Showing to Doing: For Example,



Arno Auer brings to light other possibilities

of treating foreigners by bringing the concept

of hospitality into play. His project Daïmé

was developed together with the Syrian refugee

Orwa Alkhateeb and the Hanover coffee

roaster “Panama.” It refers to an everyday ritual

of hospitality in Syria, where it is customary

to offer coffee to a guest. The recipient of this

gesture responds with the word of gratitude

Daïmé, which can be translated as “forever” and

expresses the hope that this hospitable house

will always remain so generous. Thus Daïmé

stands for the possibility of a successful ex-

change.The project arose out of Auer’s own con-

versations with Alkhateeb, who also participated

in the development of the coffee, which

is prepared with cardamom and sweetened

water, so that it approximates as closely as

possible the taste of the coffee served in Syria.

During the exhibition at the Kunstverein

Hannover, coffee is available to the visitors

in the exhibition spaces ; in addition, the project

is supposed to be continued in various forms.

As in the aforementioned work to be installed

within reach of a public webcam, Auer involves

himself here as an active participant. The work

of art fulfills a bridge-like function extending

from the action-free exhibition space out into

the sphere of actions, decisions, and responsibilities

— i. e. into the real space of the potentialities

inherent to daily life, where the exercising

of hospitality, the culture of a critical

evaluation of daily occurrences and the questioning

of simple identificatory offerings can

make a genuine difference. Auer uses the

mode of the exhibition in several regards as

a medium of display: conventionally for the

presentation of aesthetically based constella-

tions ; as an instrument for the experimental

conveyance of knowledge ; as a critical-discursive

space of thought ; and finally, also in the

sense that various scenarios, behavior patterns

and possible actions are shown, in fact are

demonstrated by being played out. In that process,

the individual is not conceived of and

addressed as the other-directed particle

of a mass, but as a mature, responsible subject

whose behavior impacts in this or that direction

and thus has real consequences.