les presses du réel


Asad Raza - Diversion
This artist newspaper, edited by Asad Raza and Mathew Hale, accompanies a new work by Raza of the same name, which redirects the river through Portikus and invites the public to interact with and dip in the waters of the Main.
The river is a key protagonist in the planetary water cycle—channeling earth's circulation of water from mountain to brook, from ocean and to cloud. As a source of energy flows, fertility, and new life, the river is often understood as a powerful deity or person, holding historical, economical, socio-political, and emotional importance. In response to Portikus' unique location on Frankfurt's Main island, artist Asad Raza's new work Diversion reflects on the many facets that rivers carry. In an evocative waterscape that spans the entire exhibition space, visitors encounter a continuous stream of the Main diverted through the gallery and flowing back to the current.
At the heart of Raza's practice is the creation of experiences and dialogues. In Diversion, the audience is invited to interact with, dip in, and drink purified water from the river. As in many of the artist's works, human exchange is an integral part of this piece. Custodians, who Raza cast on site, wander with the visitor, explaining scientific facts, telling stories, and carrying out daily rituals, such as monitoring the water quality, analyzing its development, filtering, and remineralizing quantities of it. By bringing together the processual and the relational, Raza emphasizes in this piece the interdependence of humans and their environment.
The notion of transformation—of knowledge and substance—is highlighted by various materials used in the gallery and by actions occurring throughout the exhibition. Inspired by the image of the river delta, all elements are connected like arteries and feeding on each other. Diversion forms an ecosystem, which the artist describes as a metabolism—the synergy of human, plant, and mineral life. Using common materials, such as newspapers, picnic tables, pipes and pitchers, Raza imagines an environment of collective memory, creating a place of gathering and contemplation. In this sense, the title, Diversion, alludes both the literal detour of the Main through Portikus and to the urgency of steering away from the course.
Designed by Studio Pandan and co-published by X Artists' Books and Portikus, this newspaper includes contributions by Liberty Adrien, Arhun Aksakal, Sophia Al-Maria, Shane Anderson, Carina Bukuts, Keren Cytter, Manthia Diawara, Emily Dickinson, Dan Graham, Rufus Hale, Catalina Imizcoz, Prem Krishnamurthy, Wolfram Lotz, Adéla Součková, Joe Stahlmann, Elsa Stanyer, Bones Tan Jones, and more.
Published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition at Portikus, Frankfurt, in 2022.
American artist Asad Raza (born 1974 in Buffalo) rejects disciplinary boundaries in his work, which conceives of art as a metabolic, active experience. Using actions and processes such as soil-making, tennis, and horticulture, his projects create encounters within and beyond the exhibition. His works have been realized by institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art (2017), the Lahore Biennale (2018), Kaldor Public Art Projects (2019), Gropius Bau (2020), the Serpentine Galleries (2020), Urbane Kunst Ruhr (2021), West Den Haag (2022), Grand Union (2021–2023) and the Front Triennial (2022).
Edited by Mathew Hale and Asad Raza.
Contributions by Liberty Adrien, Arhun Aksakal, Sophia Al Maria, Shane Anderson, Carina Bukuts, Keren Cytter, Tacita Dean, Descha Daemgen, Manthia Diawara, Emily Dickinson, Olivia Fairweather, Dan Graham, Mathew Hale, Rufus Hale, Catalina Imizcoz, Holger Jakob, Prem Krishnamurthy, Viveka Kumari, Wolfram Lotz, Astrida Neimanis, Yasmil Raymond, Asad Raza, Yvan Salomone, Adéla Součková, Joe Stahlman, Elsa Stanyer, Bones Tan Jones.

Graphic design: Studio Pandan (Ann Richter & Pia Christmann).
published in September 2022
English edition
35 x 51 cm (newspaper)
20 pages
ISBN : 978-1-73783883-8-8
EAN : 9781737838838
in stock
topicsAsad Raza: also present in

related to

 top of page