THIS IS POOR! Patterns of Poverty


Video, Dur. 20min, HD colour, sound

Kerstin Honeit in collaboration with:
Karin Honeit, Hannelore Honeit, Choir (Members of the Berliner Strassen Chor): Billy Becker, Waltraud Beukert, Xenia Brühl, Dean Mergen, Arcana Moon Schikora, Jessica Páez, Michaela Richter, Emma Cattell, Nadja Hermann, Ljupcho Temelkovski, Eren Aksu, Marlene Denningmann, Antto Logy, Max Schneider, Jochen Jezussek Polepositon d.c., Magda Tuzinkiewicz, Dorothea Tuch a.m.o.

Still: THIS IS POOR! Patterns of Poverty

With her new work, premiered at the KINDL – Center for contemporary Art Berlin, Kerstin Honeit continues her artistic exploration into the portrayal of hierarchies and their associated visual language through various media. The result is an experimental documentary video that weaves loosely connected individual sequences into a revue-like narrative. In
THIS IS POOR! Patterns of Poverty, the artist examines social structures that foster massive economic inequality through the lens of class discourse. In this poetic narrative of resistance, the artist collaborates with members of the Berlin Street Choir and her family, juxtaposing “decors of poverty” from her home interior with the architecture of the Steglitzer Kreisel in Berlin. This iconic victim of luxury real estate speculation was once a communal site as the seat of the district authority and a social welfare office.

Exhibition view – M1 Video Room at KINDL, Photo: Jens Ziehe, 2024

The artist delves into the recurring patterns of structural poverty, simultaneously exploring the formal aesthetics of the visual language of patterns and their potential as a form of resistance. Decors captured on videos and photos from Honeit’s family archive are deconstructed and reconstructed through a kaleidoscopic effect, generating new images that elude static interpretation. This visual strategy rejects simplistic portrayals of resistance as solely violent acts. The kaleidoscopic visuals and clips from the East German educational television programme English for you – which the artist was also able to watch as a child in West Berlin – are projected onto a screen, serving as the backdrop for a staged performance where the artist performs together with her parents.

Exhibition view – M1 Video Room at KINDL, Photo: Jens Ziehe, 2024

In THIS IS POOR! Patterns of Poverty, Honeit lays bare the production processes behind the staged performances – from the artist’s audible stage directions to the repeated rehearsals involving members of the Berlin Street Choir. For Honeit, the rehearsal itself becomes a stage for testing social concepts – practicing an uprising solely defined by gestures of solidarity and care.