09.09. - 04.12.2021
Opening hours: Thursday - Saturday, 1-7 pm
We are closed on September 25 & 30 due to an unexpected staff shortage.
Erik Andersen, Inna Artemova, Birte Bosse, Jérôme Chazeix, Sandra Hauser, Gregor Hildebrandt,
Bethan Hughes, Yukiko Jungesblut, Zinu Kim, Jeremy Knowles, Kodac Ko, Jay Lee, Jeewi Lee,
Yiannis Pappas, Fabian Reetz, Thomas Rentmeister, Elinor Sahm, Laura Schawelka,
Merani Schilcher, Lorina Speder, David Szauder, William Winter, Hana Yoo
Anna Ratcliffe, Peter Ungeheuer
Currently, restricted public access due to COVID-19 regulations
FFP2 Mask & Social Distancing Required
Present a Negative Test or proof of full vaccination
Please scroll down for the German version!
Wiedersehen - The joy of reunion
WIEDERSEHEN is a group show uniting the artists who have shown their works through the windows of DISKURS Berlin during two series of exhibition relays, "Solidarity, FightBack, SunGoesUp" in 2020 and "It May Sound Utopian“ in 2021. Interestingly, most of the artists have never met before in person. It is the first opening after 18 months of closed doors and sets the stage for a post-pandemic phase, without knowing what remains and what changes.
The eyes, associated with seeing (“Sehen“) are, since Aristotle, considered the most important of our five senses and for sure the one which first comes into one’s mind when we think about art. But “Wiedersehen” has the connotation of meeting again, which comprises all of our senses: we encounter something familiar in a different way, in an unprecedented context, with new expectations and reactions.
As we say in German: “Wiedersehen macht Freude” or the joy of reunion is something that we all hopefully experience these days – seeing each other again. While keeping contact in smaller circles and virtual meetings, a physical “Wiedersehen” seems irreplaceable for us since we longed for it.
- Peter Ungeheuer
Wiedersehen translates most accurately into ‘meet again’: an optimistic farewell. During the pandemic, the idea of meeting again and ‘Wiedersehen’ have taken on more gravitas due to social distancing, travel restrictions and frankly death. In England, the song made famous by Vera Lynn in the second world war had a resurgence with the iconic lines ‘We'll meet again. Don't know where. Don't know when. But I know we'll meet again some sunny day’ capturing both the uncertainty and need for hope felt by many.
This wartime rhetoric continued in many other places. The German government took on a satirical approach, making adverts depicting elderly men talking of medals and the fate of the country, only to discover that they are speaking to us from the future looking back on 2020, stating: "Our couch was the frontline and our patience was our weapon". Additionally, in Denmark, the word ‘samfundssind’ has had a revival. Meaning community spirit or civic-mindedness, ‘samfundssind’ entered the dictionary in 1936 and was used in speeches leading up to WWII but was utilised by the current Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in March 2020 to speak about the pandemic and the word has boomed since. All of this is to say, society’s rhetoric changed. There was now a need for a collective mentality that hasn’t been seen in many western European countries since wartime.
The ideas of individualism and collectivism are often seen in direct opposition to each other, but they can be complementary constructs. In Germany, we live in a country that places importance on the hopes, freedoms and self-expression of the individual. However during the pandemic, the group became the priority over the self. Certain rights and liberties had to be conceded for the protection of the whole, giving way to social distancing, mask-wearing and adherence to rules. It is often seen that individualism leads to innovation and puts value on self-expression and civil freedoms, all positive attributes, but the pandemic has come at a time of hyper-individualism where self-interest has taken over with a disregard for society. As we stand in the face of the pandemic, along with global crises like climate change, inequality and increasing wealth gaps, ideas of collectivism could aid us as we move forward.
To mirror this in the group exhibition, artists that took part in the mainly solo exhibition series come together. The 23 artists, that previously had individual platforms, sacrifice a bit of autonomy to form a collective and exhibit alongside each other.
- Anna Ratcliffe
Wiedersehen macht Freude
WIEDERSEHEN ist eine Gruppenausstellung mit Künstlern, die sich überwiegend nicht persönlich kennen: Die Zusammensetzung ergibt sich aus denjenigen, die an den Ausstellungsreihen „Solidarity, FightBack, SunGoesUp“, 2020 und „It May Sound Utopian“, 2021 bei DISKURS Berlin teilgenommen haben und dort an den zwei Ausstellungsserien während des mehr oder weniger milden Lockdowns teilgenommen haben. Die erste Ausstellungseröffnung seit eineinhalb Jahren soll der Auftakt zu einer wie auch immer gearteten post-pandemischen Phase sein, ohne genau zu wissen, was sich ändert und was bleibt.
Die Augen und das damit verbundene Sehen betreffen nur einen der fünf Sinne, zugegebenermaßen derjenige, der, wie wir seit Aristoteles vermuten, nicht nur in der Kunst die dominante Rolle spielt. Aber ein Wiedersehen in der eigentlichen Bedeutung betrifft alle Sinneseindrü>
Wie heißt es so schön? Wiedersehen macht Freude. Das gilt für die Kunst, die Künstler, den Ausstellungsort und natürlich die Besucher. Auch wenn wir uns in kleinen Kreisen persönlich und ansonsten mehrheitlich virtuell getroffen haben, nichts ersetzt das lang erwartete persönliche Wiedersehen.
- Peter Ungeheuer
„Wiedersehen" lässt sich am besten als ein optimistischer Abschiedsgruß verstehen. Während der Pandemie haben der Gedanke des Wiedersehens aufgrund der sozialen Distanz, der Reisebeschränkungen und offen gesagt des Todes noch mehr an Bedeutung gewonnen. In England erlebte das durch Vera Lynn im Zweiten Weltkrieg berühmt gewordene Lied mit den ikonischen Zeilen "We'll meet again. Don't know where. Don't know when But I know we'll meet again some sunny day“ eine Wiederauferstehung. Dieses Lied spiegelt sowohl die Ungewissheit als auch das Bedürfnis vieler Menschen nach Hoffnung wider.
Diese Kriegsrhetorik setzte sich an vielen anderen Stellen fort. Die deutsche Regierung wählte einen satirischen Ansatz, indem sie Werbespots schaltete, in denen ältere Männer über Medaillen und das Schicksal des Landes sprachen. Nur um dann festzustellen, dass sie aus der Zukunft zu uns sprechen und auf das Jahr 2020 zurückblicken, indem sie erklären: "Unsere Couch war die Front und unsere Geduld war unsere Waffe". Außerdem hat in Dänemark das Wort "samfundssind" ein Revival erlebt. Samfundssind" wurde 1936 in das Wörterbuch aufgenommen und in Reden im Vorfeld des Zweiten Weltkriegs verwendet. Die derzeitige dänische Ministerpräsidentin Mette Frederiksen nutzte es im März 2020, um über die Pandemie zu sprechen, und seitdem hat das Wort Hochkonjunktur. All dies bedeutet, dass sich die Rhetorik der Gesellschaft geändert hat. Jetzt war eine kollektive Mentalität gefragt, die es in vielen westeuropäischen Ländern seit dem Krieg nicht mehr gegeben hat.
Die Ideen des Individualismus und des Kollektivismus werden oft in direktem Gegensatz zueinander gesehen, aber sie können komplementäre Konstrukte sein. In Deutschland leben wir in einem Land, in dem die Hoffnungen, die Freiheiten und die Selbstverwirklichung des Einzelnen einen hohen Stellenwert haben, doch während der Pandemie hatte die Gruppe Vorrang vor dem Individuum. Bestimmte Rechte und Freiheiten mussten zum Schutz des Ganzen aufgegeben werden und wichen sozialer Distanzierung, Maskentragen und dem Einhalten von Regeln. Es wird oft behauptet, dass Individualismus zu Innovationen führt und Wert auf Selbstdarstellung und bürgerliche Freiheiten legt – alles positive Attribute, aber die Pandemie ist in einer Zeit des Hyperindividualismus aufgetreten, in der das Eigeninteresse die Oberhand gewonnen hat, ohne Rücksicht auf die Gesellschaft. Angesichts der Pandemie und globaler Krisen wie dem Klimawandel, der Ungleichheit und dem sich verschärfenden Wohlstandsgefälle könnten uns die Ideen des Kollektivismus helfen, voranzukommen.
Um dies in der Gruppenausstellung widerzuspiegeln, kommen Künstler zusammen, die an der Reihe der Einzelausstellungen teilgenommen haben. Die 23 Künstler, die zuvor individuelle Plattformen hatten, opfern ein wenig Autonomie, um ein Kollektiv zu bilden und nebeneinander auszustellen.
- Anna Ratcliffe
Erik Andersen - Besser Vertikal 03, 2021
Epoxy resin, stone powder, pigments, metal, 76 x 96 x 15 cm
Inna Artemova - Utopia # 4145, 2020
Ink, marker, pencil on paper, 75 x 110 cm
Birte Bosse - Walldrawing_1, 2021
Brass, iron, 90 x 80 x 20 cm
Jérôme Chazeix - Code, 2017
Fine art print on silk, 90 x 90 cm
Sandra Hauser - Soul, 2020
wire, plastic, metal, 150 x 22 x 21 cm
Gregor Hildebrandt, Disco, 2021
107 x 2 x 2 cm
Bethan Hughes - Kauchuk caudex (petrified), 2020
Latex on kozo paper, 40 x 31 cm
Yukiko Jungesblut - Kirin Quest / Station 3: The Cave (The Old Ones) , Hiraodai, Kitakyushu, Japan, 2019
Fine art print on paper, 120 x 80 x 5 cm
Zinu Kim - Home, 2021
Oil and glittering stone on canvas, 50 x 60 cm
Jeremy Knowles - Small Victories, 2021
Mixed media installation: photographic prints, chipboard sheets
21.2 x 17.4 cm (six pieces)
Kodac Ko - The Room In-Between, 2021
Single channel video, color, sound, 5’00“
Jay Lee - 2 halves, 2013
4 C-print, Monitor, Media Player, 200 x 60 x 50 cm
Jeewi Lee - Baobab sacré_05, 2021
Chinese ink, Tabkon Printing Technique on Hanji paper, 94 x 64 x 3 cm
Yiannis Pappas - Erinyes, 2011
Fleece, polyester, wool, eyelashes, 40 x 60 x 20 cm
Fabian Reetz - untitled (outgrown) Object, 2020
Weathered latex on glass, 42.5 x 30 cm
Thomas Rentmeister - ohne Titel, 2021
Polyester resin, 59 x 84 x 34 cm
Elinor Sahm - Holy Water (closed) & Holy Water (open), 2018
Alcohol Ink On Synthetic Paper, 40 x 50 cm
Laura Schawelka - Shot Silk / Cast Skin, 2021
Archival inkjet prints, shot fabric, glass headed pin center image: 'Moulage sur nature d'une épaule gauche d'homme / Life-cast of a man's left shoulder" by Adolphe Victor Geoffry-Dechaume, c. 1840, 59.4 x 42 cm
Merani Schilcher - after hours, 2020
LED Strips, 150 x 40 cm
Lorina Speder - REPEAT, 2021
Video collage, 0’37’’
David Szauder - Failed Memories, 2021
Digital, VR glass
William Winter - Best Face Forward, 2021
Resin, plexiglass, plaster, laminate, 150 x 120 x 100 cm
Hana Yoo - Muju - not staying, 2020
Single channel video, HD, color, stereo, 8’15’’
AES+F - Lost, Hybrid, Inverted
Opening - September 3rd, 2021
Jeonnam Museum of Art
Sungwang-ro, Gwangyang-eup, Gwangyang-si, Jeollanam-do, 57758, Republic of Korea
Jung Me Chai, Yeonwoo Lee
Jung Me Chai, director of DISKURS Berlin and Yeonwoo Lee, curator of Jeonnam Museum of Art, curated the solo show of
AES+F, "Lost, Hybrid, Inverted", at Jeonnam Museum of Art.
Jeonnam Museum of Art
For more information about the exhibition "Lost, Hybrid, Inverted "
and Jeonnam Museum of Art
Please scroll down for the German and Korean version!
A World Where Hidden Things Are Revealed
There are many kinds of losses. Here, I would like to discuss collective amnesia rather than individual amnesia. We are living in a world of amnesia. The memory of the world wars, the fact that the earth is the only place that embraces human beings, and the harmful consequences of turbo-capitalism; this is all fading like a mirage.
In the medical sense, amnesia could be treated with medicine. There seems no specific treatment for the selective amnesia of a society.
Hybrid, originating from the Latin word ´hybrida´, is defined as crossbreed, mixture and/or monster. Whereas today the word is often used in the automotive or technical sector, it appears in diverse beings throughout Greek mythology: a Chimaera is a crossbreed of man and animal, the Centaur is half-man and half-animal, Achilles is the son of a goddess and a human king, these are all are good examples of hybrids. Let's imagine that there is a living hybrid creature. From the perspective of these hybrids, the Chimaera or Centaur, regardless of biological perspective, human beings may be seen as a subtle mixture of essence and phenomenon. Even though this is an interpretation of extreme perspectivism, it remains that there are indeed many mixtures and crossbreeds of creatures in the universe.
To "invert" or an "inversion" is a term used widely in various areas, including the humanities, mathematics, chemistry, biology and medicine. In general, an inversion is understood to mean inside out, the switching of positions, or countercurrent. Almost everything changes its position and meaning with time. Each phenomenon taking place through human cognition, ethical controversies, historical interpretations, and structures such as "normal" standards, types of evaluations can always be overturned and have different meanings depending on the political, social, and historical environment. There is nothing fixed. In addition, hidden things are sometimes revealed in the process of being overthrown.
In each era of human history, those in power define the world of values, creating the "norm" or standard according to their ideas, spreading their perspective as the only truth. They control and create standards about everything, such as religion, ethics, morality, and sex. Those who try to question or move outside of this structure are exiled from the system. We find examples of this in the past, such as through the discrimination and persecution of the Jews, and in the present through examples such as the only recent legalization of female driving in Saudi Arabia. Homosexual love remains a crime in quite a few countries, sexual jouissance is criticized as immoral behaviour and ridicule of those in power is punished without exception. Right and wrong depend on the period and the will of those in power.
Reverso Mundus consists of multichannel images, objects, and photographs; in work, everything is overturned, and a refined apocalypse is implemented. In the imaginary city where the past and the future coexist, chimaeras fly in groups, pigs butcher humans, and beautifully dressed women in playful poses with handsome men inside structures resembling torture devices. The faces of the men tied to or locked inside of the minimally designed torture machines and the women on the outside exclude emotions. On the medieval style splendid bed, LGBTQs and heterosexuals hold sexual poses. In this situation, the dichotomous definitions of good and evil are lifted. This is a world of loss where the perspectives of the ruling system have collapsed, a new world that represents the perspectives of the previously subordinate or the weak. As a work that attracted a great deal of attention at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015, Inverso Mundus undresses and sheds a world of concealment and encompasses refined sensuality.
An airport is a place through in which we can move through different time zones. Although the space is not an enormous portal like those often appearing in sci-fi films, there is certainly transformation within the situation. In Roman Catholicism, there is a state of being named "purgatory." Within Roman Catholic doctrine, interpretation of the state of purgatory includes the four themes: apocalyptic death, the last judgement and Heaven and Hell.
Giovanni Bellini, an Italian Renaissance master of the 15th century, created a painting about purgatory entitled Allegoria Sacra, meaning sacred allegory. In Giovanni Bellini's Allegoria Sacra, a lake fills two-thirds of the cliffs, and a wooden cross stands on top of a strong wall. People of different religions, sexes and ages stand on a wide terrace that appears to be made of marble stone, and they do not look at one another, nor do they seem to be communicating with one another. Instead of the lake or a terrace, AES+F's Allegoria Sacra (2012) takes place within an international airport using the location as its background. Airplanes that are supposed to be on the runway are covered with snow or with plant vines as if they are in a jungle. An aircraft with a dragon head and a UFO are drifting on the water, and it is unclear whether they will float or sink. The airport is full of people that represent various civilizations, religions, races and professions. In AES+F's Allegoria Sacra, centaurs that are usually portrayed as aggressive creatures appear with red hair and pale-looking torsos and with muscular lower-bodies also spotted in red. Women dressed in stewardess uniforms from Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey care for a crossbreed baby of humans and reptiles and native people who are shaking in the cold. This is a situation where combined an imaginary world of "A Space Odyssey" representing cutting-edge technology and crossbred babies and primitive people.
There is an iconic scene in A Space Odyssey where an ape throws a piece of bone in the air and then the setting switches to a satellite floating in space in a dark universe. In Allegoria Sacra, a piece of tree thrown by a native man is transformed into a round flying object in the sky. These two events look similar but, what has been thrown into the air returns and does not leave the earth. Flight attendants take care of a crying crossbred reptile baby, and an older man facing death is near the landed object.
The beginning of humanity seems to be marked by its relationship to death. An ownerless suitcase, which became a symbol of death and terrorism, is blown up by a man who appears to be a security guard, and the head of the airport is neatly strewn without a trace of blood.
Passage or gateway, the basic function of an airport, has disappeared and become chaos. Symbols of a complicated economy, politics, culture and society within the contemporary world are satirized throughout the space and the figures in the airport. This is a contemporary version of purgatory.
From the time of the Persian empire until now, angels represented in artworks have held the role of messenger between God and humans. These angels, including both adults and babies, have transformed in their appearance. The angel created by AES+F is a hybrid of an angel and a demon; it is a black shining object that looks covered with oil. In Angels-Demons produced in 2009-2012, the angel appears as a hybrid of a human baby and a reptile with wings. While the angels in classic works are described as having bird's wings, the angels of Angels-Demons have wings that look like bats. One cannot say that bats are demons, but the angels presented here give off a dark and evil impression. This work seems to show the subtle relationship humans have with diabolical phenomenon regarding "infant" and "evil." In their concept notes, AES+F says, "We present an apocalyptic parade. "We present an apocalyptic parade, which does not constitute the end of the old world. Welcome to the new age. "A "present an apocalyptic parade" can be understood as the essential function of the messenger, or the angel, and "to the new age" can be understood as the changing world itself today. Is the hybrid nature of this angel-demon the function as a messenger that reveals hidden things?
Turandot 2070, created in cooperation with Teatro Massimo in Italy in 2019, is a multi-channel video work that reinterprets Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot. The original story of the opera is that the mother of princess Turandot was raped and killed by a foreign man. After experiencing this trauma, the princess presents riddles to her suitors from other countries and then kills those that are unable to solve it, but in the end, the keyword "love" brings beauty to the finish. Turandot 2070 follows the same basic plot, but the year is now 2070. It is not easy to envision China fifty years from now as the country is changing day by day. Imagined by AES+F, what will China be in 2070? No matter how it is described, it will be a future where historical facts and current perspectives overlap in the contemporary world. China started to grow sharply in the 1990s and now has a stronger economy than Russia. Even if AES+F have not experienced this political ideology, it is not unusual for anyone living in the western world to be concerned about the drive of China's economy and military. Turandot 2070 reinterprets this tense status from a perspective of contemporary aesthetics presenting a feminist narrative of revenge about the abuse of power by the powerful.
The creatures appearing in these works construct a story through their collective time, space, and event network. Humans or chimaeras have almost perfect physical appearances regardless of the aesthetic perspective. These creatures have the characteristics of a robot or humanoid with no emotional ups and downs. They are equipped with functional elements but seem to have no relationship with the other entities. They are together but play apart. AES+F create specific conditions in their work, such as using an airport as the background, the use of a murderer princess and the existence of an upside-down world. For example, in Allegoria Sacra, the beheaded bodies and heads of humans are represented as clean, there is no blood. Historically, beheading was used for public executions with the main purpose to be a warning to the people. The purpose of this type of execution is more effectively delivered when pain is visible. The heads detached from the bodies in the AES+F's work show no emotion. The creatures have gotten rid of emotions, and in a strange way, the chaotic airport provides clues to understand the situation. In the end, independent and unconnected creatures connect within the network of the artwork.
“We live in the time of artificial constructs and false ideologies. It is the idiosyncrasy of our time - the coexistence of contradictory, ambiguous, and synthetic beliefs.” AES+F
In the artworks, one can see how 'artificial social structures and the 'coexistence of manipulated artificial beliefs' are presented through symbolic devices using paradoxical methods. This can be seen in the work Inverso Mundus where it appears as though torture is taking place. Torture is a crime when used for political purposes. However, when torture is agreed upon by both entities involved, it can be a pleasurable activity, sadomasochism for sadistic and masochistic pleasure. Through a loophole, this work sharply attacks general sexual prejudices referring to a system of moral standards, commenting on society's roles. This configuration is unfamiliar; we are not used to strange things. However, the space between familiar and unfamiliar is tiny. What do you feel familiar with? We are familiar with the spirit, ideology, morality, ethics, and lifestyle of the times we live in. There must have been such familiarity, too, during the Renaissance, Baroque and neo-classical periods. Individuals living in contemporary times are used to virtual media such as digital games, VR (virtual reality), NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), fashion and video games. These artificial beliefs or patterns of thinking provide comfort, block us, keep us in a comfort zone, and prevent us from looking deeply into our reality to analyze it. This artist group does not see excessive consumption or hedonism as negative but rather reveals the phenomenon by exaggerating it and presenting opposing logic. We are living in a time of oblivion. Oblivion causes us to lose our memories and, at the same time, hides essence. The world where hidden things are revealed is AES+F's dystopian utopia. Dystopia is a precondition for utopia. Thus, in this exhibition, Lost, Hybrid, and Inverted must exist.
Jung Me Chai
Translated by Kyungtae Lee