Jan Nikolai Nelles
»The Beheaded Buddha«

Jan Nikolai Nelles gives voice to his Beheaded Buddha. Countless times the Buddha’s head has been forcefully separated from not only its body but also its cultural context. It becomes the marker of »cultural fracking,« the forceful removal of cultural heritage providing the subtext of many museum collections of the Global North. Underpinned by the artist's own experience visiting Angkor Wat, Nelles's 3D data objects have been generated by AI-driven waypoint technology and photogrammetry. They render visible the mathematical pictures and invisible space of AI and MI systems. In this poetic repositioning of the Buddha and its biography, Nelles seeks to liberate the spiritual figure from the concept of universal heritage and deconstructs the fiction inherent in dominant institutional narratives.

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