Fossil Experience

Group Exhibition

22.04–19.05.2022: Prater Galerie, Großer Wasserspeicher, Berlin, DE

Ayọ̀ Akínwándé
Monira Al Qadiri
Kat Austen
Marjolijn Dijkman
Rachel O’Reilly

Poetry by Róža Domašcyna, Ibiwari Ikiriko, and others

Further contributions from Christopher Basaldú, Caroline Breidenbach (wasserstories), Ayasha Guerin, Fossil Free Berlin, Fossil Free Culture NL, Rebecca Abena Kennedy-Asante (Black Earth Kollektiv), Klimaneustart Berlin, Maike Majewski (Transition Town Pankow), Philine Wedell (Senatsverwaltung für Wirtschaft, Energie und Betriebe), Elske Rosenfeld, Liz Rosenfeld & Dasniya Sommer, Esteban Servat, Sumugan Sivanesan (Black Earth Kollektiv), The Driving Factor (Daniele Tognozzi, Neli Wagner, Elisa Bertuzzo), and others

Curator: Lena Johanna Reisner
Curatorial advisor: Sonja Hornung

A project by Prater Galerie hosted by

Großer Wasserspeicher
Belforter Straße, 10405 Berlin

Kleiner Wasserspeicher
Diedenhofer Straße, 10405 Berlin

Schankhalle Pfefferberg
Schönhauser Allee 175, 10119 Berlin

Program launch: 07/04/2022, 7–9 pm, Schankhalle Pfefferberg, Loft
Exhibition opening: 22/04/2022, 6-10 pm, Großer Wasserspeicher
Opening hours: 23/04–08/05/2022, 12-8 pm daily, Thursdays 12–10 pm

Fossil Experience addresses a number of the widely divergent – and in part violent – realities generated by the use of fossil fuels. The wealth accrued by specific social groups, nation states, and corporations by means of fossil fuels is inseparable from the ecological disasters at the sites where they are extracted, processed, and transported. In regions with high levels of energy consumption, including post-industrial urban centres such as Berlin, fossil energy and petroleum-based products are ubiquitous. At the same time, the greenhouse gas emissions, toxic waste, and environmental damage arising from the production, transport, and burning of fossil fuels continue to be overlooked, or are downplayed by powerful institutions.

The notion of fossil experience points, on the one hand, to the experience of acceleration made possible by the widespread availability of cheap energy, particularly in the second half of the twentieth century. On the other hand, it refers to the traumas of extraction, exposure, and displacement, which threaten to further escalate as climate change progresses. Fossil experience also bleeds into the long-awaited energy transition as, in the guise of a supposedly green capitalism, this transition is instrumentalised by a number of corporations to continue maximising profits. But it is neither sufficient nor acceptable to greenwash energy technologies that simply repeat dubious extractivist logics. Climate change and environmental devastation can only be addressed by centring demands for social and ecological justice.

Located in a former water reservoir, Fossil Experience brings together artistic works and stories about geographies affected by the speculation and resource extraction involved in energy production. Resonating with the former function of the site, the exhibition constantly returns to the threat posed by large-scale industrial projects to bodies of water.


07/04/2022, 7–9 pm
Panel discussion #1 Local Action for a Climate Neutral, Post-Fossil City for All!
GUESTS: Fossil Free Berlin, Klimaneustart Berlin, Philine Wedell (Senatsverwaltung für Wirtschaft, Energie und Betriebe), MODERATION: Maike Majewski (Transition Town Pankow)
in-person event, Schankhalle Pfefferberg (Loft), in German language

22/04/2022, 6–10 pm
Exhibition opening in Großer Wasserspeicher with a performance by Liz Rosenfeld & Dasniya Sommer and a poetry reading with Ayọ Akínwándé

Exhibition in Großer Wasserspeicher
Opening hours: 12-8 pm daily, Thursdays 12–10 pm

23/04, 05/05, and 07/05/2022, 4–5 pm each
Guided tours through the exhibition with the curators, in German language

24/04, 4–5 pm, 28/04, 7–8 pm and 08/05/2022, 4–5 pm
Guided tours through the exhibition with the curators, in English language

30/04/2022, 6–8 pm
Performance evening
Elske Rosenfeld Statements for the Future and Kat Austen This Land is Not Mine
in-person event, Kleiner Wasserspeicher

05/05/2022, 7–9 pm
Panel discussion #2 “Does this seem like a desert to you?”
GUESTS: Caroline Breidenbach (wasserstories), NN, NN, MODERATION and CO-CURATION: The Driving Factor (Daniele Tognozzi, Neli Wagner, Elisa Bertuzzo)
on-site event, Schankhalle Pfefferberg (Loft), in German language

07/05/2022, time tba
Workshop with Kat Austen Participatory Artistic Research: Exploring Airbourne Microplastics
in-person event in Berlin, venue tba, in English language, registration:

12/05/2022, 6–8 pm
Panel discussion #3 Fossil Gas Is Not Clean
GUESTS: Christopher Basaldú, Rachel O‘Reilly, Esteban Servat, MODERATION: Sumugan Sivanesan (Black Earth Kollektiv)
online event, English language with simultaneous translation into German, registration:

19/05/2022, 6–8 pm
Panel discussion #4 Entanglements of Social, Ecological and Climate Justice
GUESTS: Ayọ̀ Akínwándé, Rebecca Abena Asante (Black Earth Kollektiv), Fossil Free Culture NL, MODERATION: Ayasha Guerin
online event, English language with simultaneous translation into German, registration:

Fossil Experience is supported by Stiftung Kunstfonds, LOTTO-Stiftung Berlin, and the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, kindly supported by Schankhalle Pfefferberg.