Helen Cammock | behind the eye is the promise of rain

Feb. 26 - May 22, 2022

Installation view, Helen Cammock. behind the eye is the promise of rain 2022, photo: Raimund Zakowski
Installation view, Helen Cammock. behind the eye is the promise of rain, 2022, Photo: Raimund Zakowski

The artist Helen Cammock (*1970 in Staffordshire, England) gives unheard protagonists a voice and tells their marginalized stories. Cammock explores complex, historical narratives and reflects on them in the exhibition behind the eye is the promise of rain in film, performances, and large-scale text-based graphics. Her works often interweave different perspectives with her own view of history. The fragmentary and non-linear narratives make clear that in Cammock’s view history is never finished, but is always the foundation of—and thus part of—our present.

The focus of the film There Is a Hole in the Sky Part II: Listening to James Baldwin (2016) is an imaginary conversation with the writer and activist James Baldwin (1924–1987), who discusses racism, sexism, and class differences in Western societies. The film addresses the forced or voluntary migration of African-American writers and dancers who moved to Europe in search of work and greater recognition. Cammock layers a variety of different experiences on top of one another and explores the dynamics of appropriation and power.

They Call It Idlewild (2020) is a film and text installation that Cammock developed after her stay at the Wysing Arts Centre in Cambridgeshire, England. Inspired by the forgotten stories she found in the archive, the film reflects on the politics of idleness and what it means to be idle. In a time of massive overproduction, the artist invites us to slow down, linger, and dream. “If something is only political, that’s not enough for me,” says Helen Cammock. “I want to make people think and feel.” A poster series is also intended to shake the audience awake emotionally: In poetic statements on a large, colorful background, Cammock reflects on our human reactions to the global crises of the present.

The architectural installation in the large domed hall will serve as a stage for Helen Cammock’s new opening performance, which will be repeated over the course of the exhibition. Cammock is also developing a performance specifically for the exhibition in cooperation with the Unter einem Dach initiative from Hanover, which implements innovative concepts for integration and participation. This joint performance will take place at the closing of the exhibition.

Before studying photography at the University of Brighton and the Royal College of Art in London, Helen Cammock initially worked as a social worker. As an artist she also engages with issues such as structural oppression and inequality, which she learned about during this time. Cammock’s works have been featured in numerous solo exhibitions at institutions including the Wysing Arts Centre in Cambridge (2020), the Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia (2020), Whitechapel Gallery in London (2019), Turner Contemporary in Margate (2019), VOID in Derry, the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin (2019), and Cubitt in London (2017). Her works have been shown in many group exhibitions at institutions including the Kunsthaus Bregenz, the Hamburger Kunsthalle, Somerset House in London, Hollybush Gardens in London, and Firstsite in Colchester. Cammock received the Turner Prize in 2019 along with three other recipients and the Max Mara Art Prize for Women in 2018. She lives and works in London.

Learn more about Helen Cammock in the exhibition handout.

Installation Images

Installation view, Helen Cammock. behind the eye is the promise of rain 2022, Photo: Raimund Zakowski


Performace "Gathering" by Helen Cammock

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Goseriede 11, 30159 Hannover
COVID-19: The health of our visitors is important to us. Please note the current information for individual visits to the exhibition, guided tours, events and children's workshops.

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