b. 1984 in Marburg an der Lahn, Germany – b. 1980 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Berlin-based multidisciplinary artists Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles have worked together since 2009. Their artistic practice encompasses visual art, documentary filmmaking and cultural activism. Their work addresses hegemonic and neo-colonial power structures and representations of the Global North and South, reflecting on the absurdity of the human condition. The pair stage interventions to challenge social infrastructures and institutions through civil disobedience, and pursue a critical re-evaluation of the cultural commons.
The Other Nefertiti (2016) involved the public release of a high-res 3D data file of the Nefertiti Bust, an Ancient Egyptian artifact housed in the Neues Museum in Berlin, so that anyone can study, reconstruct or remix it. The work considers the role of copying in preservation and questions how access to global heritage is controlled. A scale reproduction of the bust was included in the exhibition “A World of Fragile Parts”, curated by the Victoria & Albert Museum at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.
Al-Badri and Nelles have participated in the 3rd Design Biennial (Istanbul), the Something Else, Off Biennale (Cairo), and the Darmstadt Tage der Fotografie (Germany), and have staged public interventions at Biennale 4, Thessaloniki (Greece) and Occupy Frankfurt. They have exhibited in many galleries and project spaces across Germany. Their work has been featured in international media including the New York Times, BBC, Arte, the Times, Le Monde Afrique, Egypt Today, Hürriyet, Wired, Der Spiegel, New Scientist, Dezeen and Artnet.
Nora Al-Badri is a multi-disciplinary artist with a German-Iraqi background. She studied Visual Art at Offenbach University of Art and Design and graduated in Political Sciences at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. Jan Nikolai Nelles is a German multi-disciplinary artist, graduating from Offenbach University of Art and Design in 2011. They have received grants from the Goethe-Institute, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (IfA), German Federal Foreign Office and European Cultural Foundation (ECF).