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Hurd's Bank, 2020


Hurd’s Bank (2019) was commissioned by the art space Blitz Valetta in Malta. The 14-minute film deals with oil smuggle on the Maltese coast, the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, and the question of what of it all we can and cannot see. Tobias Zielony went to the far borders of the EU and used a telescope to film movements of ships at Hurd’s Bank, miles away, where tankers from Libya and other ports trade crude oil in international waters, and sell it in questionable ways. He observes a space beyond legality, looking for explanations for the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the intertwining of the Mafia with politics, the oil trade, corruption and international law. While the images capture the distant sea in front of the island, Malta expands into a space that evades law, creates its own rights, kills and at the same time stays untouched.

Hurd’s Bank (2019) entstand als Auftragsarbeit für den Kunstraum Blitz Valetta auf Malta. Der 14-minütige Film befasst sich mit dem Ölschmuggel an der maltesischen Küste, mit dem Mord an der Journalistin Daphne Caruana Galizia, und der Frage, was von all dem wir sehen können und was nicht. Tobias Zielony begibt sich an die Grenzen der EU und filmt durch ein Teleskop die Bewegungen der Schiffe an der meilenweit entfernten Hurd’s Bank, dort wo in internationalen Gewässern Tanker aus lybischen und anderen Häfen Rohöl parken und auf fragliche Weise vertreiben. Er beobachtet den Raum jenseits der Legalität, späht nach Erklärungen für den Mord an Daphne Caruana Galizia und für das Ineinandergreifen von Mafia, Ölhandel, politischer Korruption und internationalem Recht. Während die Bilder das entfernte Meer vor der Insel erfassen dehnt sich Malta zu einem Raum, der dem Recht entgeht, sein eigenes Recht schafft, tötet und dabei entrückt bleibt.

single-channel HD video, 14:55 min, color, sound
edition of 8 + 2AP

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Tobias Zielony

Born in 1973 in Wuppertal, Germany, Tobias Zielony studied Documentary Photography at the University of Wales, Newport, before he continued with artistic photography at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig under Timm Rautert in 2001. Tobias Zielony is known for his photographic depiction of juvenile minorities in suburban areas – a subject he already set out with during his studies in Newport. For his first book project “Behind the Block” (2004) he then extended his research to a total of four European cities to observe adolescents in public spaces often during night times. Themes and social realities his research touches upon include structural change, migration and drug abuse, as well as sexwork as shown in “Big Sexyland” (2006-2008) and “Jenny, Jenny” (2013). For “Manitoba” (2009-2011) Tobias Zielony spent time with adolescents of indigenous origins living in Winnipeg and the province of Manitoba, Canada. His critical approach to documentarism manifests in a specific aesthetic and relationship with fiction. People are often portrayed in a casual fashion that is sensitive of the visual language, gestures and poses a person uses to set their stage. In 2015 the artist participated at a group show for the German Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale with his work “The Citizen” (2015). He had group shows for example at Bozar Center for Fine Arts, Brussels (2015) and the 2nd Montevideo Biennial (2014) and solo shows at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2011) and Berlinische Galerie (2013). He participated in the International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York, and was awarded the Karl-Ströher-Preis in 2011. In 2021 he hold his first retrospective "The Fall" at the Museum Folkwang in Essen.

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