N*A*I*L*S hacks*facts*fictions

18/04/2019 — 02/06/2019

Photo: Liane Aviram

Collaborative publication on nailwork, art and migration.

By and with Anna Ehrenstein, Ayşe Güleç, DAMN / Deutsche Asiat*innen Make Noise, Dovilè Aleksaitè, Ferdiansyah Thajib, Inia Steinbach, Jinran Ha, Johanna Michel, Katja Kobolt, Kim Bode, Liane Aviram, Mareike Bernien, Suza Husse, Thao Ho, Yen Le, Vicky Truong

LAUNCH 18 April 8.30 pm
and presentation within the exhibition: Phuong Linh Nguyen: Trúng Mú – White Mist in Foreign Country

Opening hours of the exhibition: Wednesday to Friday, 3-7 pm


The magazine NAILS hacks*facts*fictions gathers different contributions that imagine the nail salon as a queer site of critical, trans-cultural practices and intersectional care politics.

Through the collected essays, interviews, collages and art works, nails are approached as a collective interface for getting in touch with the conditions liquefied in nail aesthetics and embodied in care work. An interface that is for hacking the ‘magic’ of commodity, for troubling biopolitics.

The collaborative publication combines reflections on the nail studio economy within migration histories in Germany and dialogues on nail design between artistic and survival strategies and diasporically situated knowledges. From mineral nail lacquer examinations to a perso*nail*ity test for finding one’s manicure persona and exercises in unlearning taste, from speculative architectural proposals for a nail workers congress to conflicts and responsibilities of art and knowledge making in relation to social and ecological vulnerabilities, from nail salon objects speaking their mind about racialized, gendered and classed circumstances they find themselves in to the histories of nail polish as industrial byproduct of car and film industries, from Cold War migration movements, aesthetics and economies to counter-sexual hand jobs – the diverse contributions move through hacks, facts and fictions, perspectives, embodiments and histories towards speculative imaginaries.

From within the conflicts and constraints of 2018/2019 daydreams and propositions open up to a future/present nail cosmology based on a fundamentally different metaphysics, in which hybrid hands crack open the outer shell of binary files, egos are abolished, conflicts are open ended, dance and hand movements interrupt colonial and patriarchal violence, care is an exchange at a molecular level between animate and inanimate bodies passing one another, stones can fly and the nail is a convivial organ.

As a space unfolding through and beyond its pages, N * A * I * L * S hacks*facts*fictions emerges from collaborative and open-ended artistic and activist research processes and conversational and manicuring transactions that began in spring 2018 and has involved Anisha Müller, Anna Ehrenstein, Ayşe Güleç, DAMN! / Deutsche Asiat*innen, Make Noise!, Dovilè Aleksaitè, Ekaterina Reinbold, Ferdiansyah Thajib, Inia Steinbach, Isabel Gatzke, Jana Koslovski, Jinran Ha, Johanna Michel, Katja Kobolt, Kim Bode, Liane Aviram, Mareike Bernien, Nanna Lüth, Nguyen Phuong Linh, Sugano Matsusaki, Suza Husse, Thao Ho, Yen Le / Le Nails Education Centre Berlin, Vicky Truong.



NAILS hack*facts*fictions collaborative publication

Zine inlay: Dialog of the objects. Komische Fragmente by Jinran Ha & Johanna Michel


NAILS hacks*facts*fictions was initiated in 2018 by Ayşe Güleç, Katja Kobolt and Suza Husse as a transdisciplinary research project between UdK Berlin (Klasse Monica Bonvicini), the exhibition project no stop non stop at Lothringer13 Munich and the intersectional education project Caring for Confict by District Berlin and Institute for Queer Theory, funded by Projektfonds Kulturelle Bildung.