IT MAY SOUND UTOPIAN
04.02. - 23.06.2021
10 Shows, 10 Artists, 4 Guest Curators
This program is designed to support the artists, curators, and creative individuals to fight back against the COVID-19 crisis.
Think about the alarming crises in the world. The spreading pandemic, racism and discrimination, growing far-right propaganda, international terrorism, and climate change are to name a few of the perceived threats to our existence. Some people are paralyzed by uncertainty in this unpredictable time, and yes, we are also confronted with severe socio-economic problems. In addition, this unexpected crisis has, unfortunately, accelerated the rate of restrictions on civil liberties, and mass surveillance methods have uninterruptedly risen.
Even if it may sound utopian, we are forced to think about new models of “how we live” in these perilous times. The image of “Utopia” maybe a romantic and unrealistic concept, but it is an urgent one as we try to revise our current problems.
Under the title ‘It may sound utopian’, DISKURS Berlin launches the second round of the Exhibition-Relay in 2021 to attract, select, and provide an opportunity to artists, curators, and creative individuals. In the first Exhibition-Relay 2020, 16 artists and 2 guest curators were chosen and created 11 exhibitions that received attention from the public and the press. For the past program, please visit.
With the second round of the Exhibition-Relay in 2021, we encourage creative thinkers to create personal utopias in this unpredictable and vulnerable world.
This project is specifically designed to be viewed through the windows of DISKURS Berlin as our doors remain closed. With the exhibitions changing every two weeks, this fast-paced exhibition program aims to support the art scene to fight back against the COVID-19 crisis.
Die ungebremste Ausbreitung der Corona-Pandemie, Rassismus, Diskriminierung und der Klimawandel sind nur einige Bedrohungen für unsere Existenz. Welche Strategie verfolgen wir angesichts dieser alarmierenden Situation in der Welt?
Viele von uns sind in dieser unvorhersehbaren Zeit durch Unsicherheit gelähmt und mit schwerwiegenden sozioökonomischen Problemen konfrontiert. Unzählige Ausstellungen und Projekte wurden entweder verschoben oder gar gecancelt. Gerade Kulturschaffende haben daher kaum mehr Möglichkeiten, ihre Arbeit zu präsentieren.
Auch in Zeiten einer Pandemie braucht die Welt Kunst. Diskurs Berlin will in dieser schwierigen Zeit Solidarität zeigen.
Künstler*innen und Kurator*innen wird daher Zusammenarbeit in einem besonderen Ausstellungsformat angeboten.
In der ersten Ausstellungsstaffel 2020 wurden 16 Künstler*innen und 2 Gastkurator*innen ausgewählt.
Es resultierten 11 Ausstellungen, die Aufmerksamkeit in der Öffentlichkeit und der Presse auf sich zogen.
Unter dem Titel „ IT MAY SOUND UTOPIAN “ startet DISKURS Berlin die zweite Runde des Ausstellungsrelais in 2021.
10 Internationale Künstler*innen und Kurator*innen wurden durch Open Calls IT MAY SOUND UTOPIAN
für 5-monatige Ausstellungsstaffeln ausgewählt. 10 Einzelausstellungen sind für jeweils 2 Wochen von Februar bis Juni geplant.
„Utopia“ klingt vielleicht nach einem romantischen und unrealistischen Konzept, aber mehr als je zuvor brauchen wir es dringend, um diese schwierige Zeit zu überwinden.
Dieses Projekt wurde speziell entwickelt, um durch die Fenster von DISKURS Berlin betrachtet zu werden, während unsere Türen geschlossen bleiben.
Da die Ausstellungen alle zwei Wochen wechseln, soll dieses rasante Ausstellungsprogramm die Kunstszene dabei unterstützen, sich gegen die COVID-19-Krise zu behaupten und die Hoffnung auf eine bessere Zukunft nicht zu verlieren.
Jung Me Chai
Jung Me Chai, Anna Ratcliffe
©Courtesy of Artists & Diskurs Berlin
IT MAY SOUND UTOPIAN / Nr. 10
PRETENDING TO SWIM
10.06. - 23.06.21
In Kooperation mit DISKURS Berlin präsentiert Fabian Reetz seine erste Solo-Ausstellung. Zu sehen ist eine raumgreifende ortsspezifische Installation, die sich aus zwei gespannten, jadegrünen Latexnetzen, schwarzen Schläuchen und Matten aus verwittertem Gummi sowie Luftpumpen, Vibrationsmotoren, Arduino-Boards und Moos zusammensetzt. Durch Luftdruck und Vibration entsteht ein eng verknüpftes Geflecht aus Tönen und Bewegungen. Dabei korrespondieren die elastischen Schwingungen des Latex mit den stark verwitterten, spröden Fundstücken einer alten Industrieanlage. Die feinen Risse in dem schwarzen Gummi, das Moos in den Ritzen und der Rost zeugen von langen Bewegungszyklen. Ihre Funktion ist noch immer in dem zerfallenden Material auszumachen, beständig dringen Geräusche aus ihnen hervor. Das Netz aus Latex bildet eine organische Struktur im Raum, die sich in alle Raumecken verästelt und rhythmisch vibriert. Alle Bestandteile sind durch ein Schlauchsystem miteinander verbunden. Teils überlagen sich die Materialien, die Luftpumpen und Boards verteilen sich über die Oberflächen.
Fabian Reetz, der in seiner bisherigen Arbeitsweise linguistische Diagramme und Modelle zum Anlass für die körperliche Umsetzung komplexer Transformationsprozesse genommen hat, wirft mit den aus der Wand kommenden und dort wieder verschwindenden Rohren und der konstant vibrierenden Netzstruktur Fragen nach der Korrelation der Dinge und ihrem verbindenden Code auf. Verborgen bleibt, ob der Anlass zur Bewegung von den Fundstücken oder dem Netz ausgeht. Der Titel PRETENDING TO SWIM verweist auf den ruhelosen Zustand, in dem die einzelnen Abläufe scheinbar aus sich selbst heraus entstehen.
Fabian Reetz (*1997 Bad Salzungen) studiert seit 2017 Freie Kunst an der Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in dem Bereich Skulptur/Objekt/Installation bei Björn Dahlem und hat bisher an Ausstellungsprojekten in Weimar, Berlin und Halle teilgenommen. Er überführt Modelle aus der Philosophie und Linguistik in raumgreifende, pneumatische Installationen, die durch programmierte Bewegungen und Geräusche zu eigendynamischen Gebilden werden. Seine Zeichnungen, Objekte und Collagen erfassen verschiedene Stadien dieser ständigen Umformung.
In collaboration with DISKURS Berlin, Fabian Reetz presents his first solo exhibition. On view is an expansive site-specific installation composed of two stretched jade-green latex nets, black tubes and mats of weathered rubber, as well as air pumps, vibration motors, Arduino boards and moss. Air pressure and vibration create a tightly interconnected web of sounds and movements. The elastic vibrations of the latex correspond with the heavily weathered, brittle found objects of an old industrial plant. The fine cracks in the black rubber, the moss in the slits and the rust bear witness to long cycles of movement. Their function can still be discerned in the decaying material; sounds constantly emanate from them. The latex net forms an organic structure in the space, reaching out to all corners of the room and vibrating rhythmically. A system of tubes connects all the components. Partly the materials overlap, the air pumps and boards spread over the surfaces.
Fabian Reetz´s previous work has taken linguistic diagrams and models as the occasion for the physical realisation of complex transformation processes. It raises questions about the correlation of things and their connecting code with the tubes coming out of the wall and disappearing the constantly vibrating net structure. What remains hidden is whether the reason for the movement comes from the found objects or the net. The title PRETENDING TO SWIM refers to the restless state in which the individual sequences seem to emerge from themselves.
Fabian Reetz (*1997 Bad Salzungen) has studied fine arts at the Bauhaus University Weimar in sculpture/object/installation under Björn Dahlem since 2017 and has participated in exhibition projects in Weimar, Berlin and Halle. He transforms models from philosophy and linguistics into expansive, pneumatic installations that become self-dynamic entities through programmed movements and sounds. His drawings, objects and collages capture various stages of this constant transformation.
©Courtesy of Artists & Diskurs Berlin
IT MAY SOUND UTOPIAN / Nr. 9
YOU ARE HERE
27.05. - 09.06.
There is something surprisingly charming about the simplicity of a camera-obscura.
We might assume that elements related both to the workings of our own sight, coordinated between the eye and the brain, and the recording of images inside a camera - light, shape, colour, perspective, etc - correspond with a whole swathe of unimaginably complex processes beyond our reasonable field of understanding. And yet, the phenomenon of a camera-obscura is amongst the most effective and simple tools enabling us to not only comprehend but actually experience how a camera works, as here we can physically enter inside one. We can see with our own eyes how light travels in straight lines, infiltrating inside a room and organizing against its surfaces, by passing through an aperture and then filling an interior space with a projection of the outside world. Down is up and up is down inside what Mozi, an early Chinese philosopher in the first known record of a camera-obscura, circa 470BCE, described as the ‘treasure house’.
From a place of both safety and privacy, we can observe a small portion of life existing within the city and, all too easily, become mesmerised by it.
YOU ARE HERE is a camera-obscura installation piece designed for the exhibition relay It May Sound Utopian at DISKURS Berlin in 2021. This installation was on display between May 27th and June 9th. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, the doors to the gallery remained closed and visitors were instead forced to engage with the installation through the windows of the gallery only, thereby positioning themselves within the artwork when standing in front of the lens. The title of the installation acts as both a guide and a cold fact. When observing the projection made by the camera-obscura we are reminded that, undoubtedly, we are here and nowhere else.
As we continue to experience this changing and precarious ‘new normal’ as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, with so many truths and knows under new scrutiny and with an increasing amount of our interactions now taking place on the surface of a digital screen, perhaps modest tools are needed most in order to remind us where we truly are.
You are here, of course.
Jeremy Knowles is a British lens-based artist interested in the city and how we, as inhabitants, activate it. In 2016 Jeremy moved from London to Berlin. He has since made this city the subject of an ongoing photographic study that seeks to give greater visibility to the mundane elements of daily life that usually pass us by. By bringing greater prominence and visibility to the accidental, the miraculous and the comical, we are challenged by Jeremy’s projects and photo series to reconsider the weight of our daily interactions with things and people and meditate on what happens when we think nothing is happening.
Besser Vertikal 02, 2021
Epoxy Resin 240 x 155 x 26 cm
©Courtesy of Artists & Diskurs Berlin
IT MAY SOUND UTOPIAN / Nr. 8
13.05. - 26.05.21
Scroll down for German
With the exhibition Crucial Decisions, Erik Andersen once again considers the process of decision making, from the decisions that weigh on us from day to day, to the structural ones that may be outside of our control. Illustrative of this, is the new large-scale, wall-mounted sculpture, Besser Vertikal 02. Like Andersen’s practice more broadly, his latest work — which takes the form of an oversized stack of paper with permanently curling edges — investigates materiality and process, emptiness and possibility. Rendered emphatically from opaque black epoxy resin and made weighty in its scale, Besser Vertikal 02 is concerned with the status and position of physical news and media and processes in the present. At the same time, it questions the possibilities a seemingly blank sheet of paper may open up — the prospects and limitations such a medium might hold in our digital, pandemic age. Here, Andersen draws not only on the particularity of our current reality but also the very process of making: art, decisions, rules. We, too, are enlisted as participants in the unfolding of this process: faced with limitless paths and no prescribed destination, with the prospect of infinity or else oblivion, as we navigate the uncertainty of the encounter that has been set before us.
Erik Andersen (b. 1977, Freiburg, Germany) lives and works in Berlin. Working in sculpture, installation and painting, Andersen often employs fiberglass and epoxy resin, exploring the nature, processes, and ambiguity of his materials. Through a semi-abstract, minimalistic visual language and tactile surfaces, his work often treads the line between two-dimensional and three-dimensional space, playing on physicality and movement, while promoting the interaction of the viewer. Andersen’s work has been featured in exhibitions in Germany, Europe and the US. His work is currently on view in the group exhibition, Come Back Stuttgart, at Galerie Valentien, Stuttgart, and will be featured in the upcoming Jeonnam International SUMUK Biennale, South Korea (2021).
In der Ausstellung Crucial Decisions beschäftigt sich Erik Andersen einmal mehr mit dem Prozess der Entscheidungsfindung: von den Entscheidungen, die uns von Tag zu Tag beschäftigen, bis hin zu den strukturellen Entscheidungen, die sich außerhalb unserer Kontrolle befinden können. Ein Beispiel hierfür ist die neue großformatige, an der Wand befestigte Skulptur Besser Vertikal 02. Wie Andersens Praxis im Allgemeinen, untersucht auch sein neuestes Werk - das die Form eines überdimensionalen Papierstapels mit sich beständig kräuselnden Rändern hat - Materialität und Prozess, Leere und Möglichkeit. Durch opakes schwarzes Epoxidharz betont materiell und in seinem Maßstab gewaltig wirkend, beschäftigt sich Besser Vertikal 02 mit dem Status und der Position von physischen Medien und Prozessen in unserer Gegenwart. Gleichzeitig hinterfragt sie die Möglichkeiten, die ein scheinbar unbeschriebenes Blatt Papier eröffnen kann - die Aussichten und Grenzen, die ein solches Medium in unserem digitalen, pandemischen Zeitalter haben kann. Andersen bezieht sich dabei nicht nur auf die Spezifik unserer gegenwärtigen Lebenswirklichkeit, sondern auch auf den Prozess des Schaffens von Kunst, Regeln und Lösungen. So werden auch wir als Teilnehmende in die Entwicklung dieses Prozesses einbezogen: Konfrontiert mit endlosen Pfaden ohne vorgeschriebenes Ziel, der Aussicht auf das Unendliche oder das Vergessen, während wir uns durch das Ungewisse der Begegnung navigieren, die vor uns ausgebreitet wurde.
Erik Andersen (geb. 1977, Freiburg, Deutschland) lebt und arbeitet in Berlin. Andersen bewegt sich im Bereich der Skulptur, Installation und Malerei, verwendet dabei häufig Fiberglas und Epoxidharz, um die Natur, die Prozesse und die Ambiguität seiner Materialien zu erforschen. Durch eine halb-abstrakte, minimalistische Bildsprache und taktile Oberflächen bewegen sich seine Arbeiten oft an der Grenze zwischen zwei- und dreidimensionalem Raum und spielen mit Körperlichkeit und Bewegung, fordern dabei Betrachter zur Interaktion auf. Andersens Arbeiten waren bereits in Ausstellungen in Deutschland, Europa und den USA zu sehen. Derzeit sind seine Arbeiten in der Gruppenausstellung Come Back Stuttgart in der Galerie Valentien, Stuttgart, zu sehen und werden Teil der kommenden Jeonnam Internatonal SUMUK Biennale, Südkorea (2021) sein.
Photo ©: Jörg Förster
IT MAY SOUND UTOPIAN / Nr. 7
29.04. - 12.05. ° Lit up from 5 pm to 10 pm
Curated by Peter Ungeheuer
In times of COVID-19, daily life has many aspects of Utopia, the land of nowhere described by Thomas Moore in 1516. We long for another society than the one we currently live in, in many aspects, we are rethinking our world, our politics, economy and daily life, wishing for a better place for our “new normal”. In contradiction to Moore’s ideas, our current thoughts are neither abstract nor ideal, we are mostly just hoping to get back to the status quo ante, thereby somewhat romanticising it. A curtain call has different meanings, which Sandra Hauser is trying to explore in her installation. On the one hand, the performing artists (even stronger affected by the current pandemic than the visual arts) are called to get ready before the curtain rises and to start the show for the audience, sitting on the other side of the curtain. This is the moment of stage fright, nearly inevitable for most of the artists: Is my voice working well, do I remember my part by heart, is the prompter there, are all the props in their place, what is the mood of the audience etc. On the other hand, the curtain call is part of the artist’s compensation, the applause after the performance. Luciano Pavarotti – by the way – holds the world record with 165 curtain calls at the Deutsche Oper Berlin back in 1988. The total duration of his curtain calls was 67 minutes, roundabout half of the duration of the performance itself.
Sandra Hauser’s installation is rather puristic in its appearance. She sets the stage for the public visiting the exhibition to switch roles and become the performer, thereby giving them the opportunity to feel either stage fright or longing for applause. In the middle of the space, the backside of a real theatre curtain can be seen, not fully closed, with some spotlight from the imagined auditorium and some technical behind-the-scenes elements which an audience never sees. This simulates the situation of a performing artist on stage at the moment when she or he is called to confront the audience. Sandra Hauser often works as a stage and costume designer, contributing to creating magic for the audience every night. Behind the scenes, moments of magic are very rare, and this is why a curtain hides those aspects from the audience. The work curtain call can also be seen as the craving of the artists: When will we be able again to step on a scene, prepare a piece and raise the curtain for our audiences? Sometimes, Utopia seems so near and far away at the same time.
- Peter Ungeheuer, december 2020
Sandra Hauser, visual artist, stage and costume designer, was born in Bavaria and studied art at Akademie der Bildenden Künste München with Prof. Stephan Huber and Prof. Hans Op de Beeck. After practising her art from studios in Munich and Rome / Italy, she moved to Berlin. She works in a wide range of different media, ranging from drawing/painting to sculpture/installation and film. Her multi-disciplinary works have been shown mainly in Germany and Italy, but also in other European countries and the US.
Peter Ungeheuer, freelance management consultant, art collector and curator, has organised more than 30 exhibitions featuring around 200 different artists, mostly in Berlin. He has authored catalogue texts, advised artists and gallerists and guest lectured at art schools. Curtain call is his fifth collaboration with Sandra Hauser and his third appearance with DISKURS Berlin since 2017.
Agile Acceleration , 2021, site specific installation , oil on canvas, cardboad
Utopia XXXXIV , 2021, oil on canvas , 280 x 260 cm ( two-part )
Utopia XXX, 2021, oil on canvas, 100 x 150 cm
©Courtesy of Artists & Diskurs Berlin
IT MAY SOUND UTOPIAN / Nr. 6
15.04 - 28.04
Curated by Eleonora Frolov
Please scroll down for the German version!
Inna Artemova's expansive installation 'Agile Acceleration' is posing a question:
"HOW DO WE WANT TO LIVE IN THE FUTURE?"
In the world premiere of the opera 'Violet Snow' ('Violetter Schnee') in 2019, the Russian writer Vladimir Sorokin anticipated the effects of a state of emergency on human existence even before the outbreak of the current pandemic. Society is isolated, sealed off, life paralyzed by a snowstorm, the world order shaken. People experience grueling uncertainty, isolation and are being thrust back at themselves. Time seems to standstill. A year later, we experience how a virus, just like that snowstorm, is tearing people out of their normal lives and displacing them en masse from the cities. Invisible particles provoke the future and accelerate progress. How will we live in the future, and what will our living space look like?
The Italian geologist Antonio Stoppani wrote as early as 1873 that there was "a new telluric power that could rival the great forces of nature in terms of strength and universality". In this context, he spoke of the "Anthropocene Age".
Inna Artemova draws visionary ideas for her imagery from her memory and imagination. In the expansive installation 'Agile Acceleration' she plays out the architectural vision of a future city as a common living space in a thought experiment: in the metropolis, in the country, vertically, horizontally, evolutionary, modular, agile, and changeable. The city as a way of life adapts to our needs and not the other way around; it is always on the move.
Modular cubes float vertically, leave the picture and arrange themselves in space. Being agile, they change their position and adapt to new requirements. Seemingly unpredictable, they follow very specific algorithms to shape a sustainable, humane city. We are watching the process of creation.
The city reflects how a society organises itself. Existing hierarchies have been dissolved by working from home and replaced by networks. According to Niklas Maak, gigantic ruins of modern society are forming in the cities. Urban architecture has often been transformed in the wake of disasters, it has become more hygienic and more resource-efficient. Environmentally friendly and bio-based concepts are being discussed for the future.
In a field test, Inna Artemova designs an agile landscape as a prototype city of the future: flexible, mobile, networked, and self-organized. A call to challenge the complexity of our present and to courageously reinvent the city of the future.
- Eleonora Frolov, curator
Inna Artemova says: "The perspective of the drawings and lines is directed towards the viewer, who is positioned in a marked position in front of the entrance door. This allows them a spatial immersion in the emerging fictional world. At the same time, these drawings and lines dissolve the existing space in its previous form and open up new visual and mental spaces.
On view are utopian landscapes. The square spatial bodies that are central here not only represent a basic geometric form; they also stand for a fundamental spatial form of human coexistence. Their floating state can be read as a metaphor for an aspired utopian ideal state. It also represents a mental openness to new possibilities of living together."
Inna Artemova, born in Moscow, studied architecture at the Moscow Architectural Institute (Marchi). For her diploma project, she received the 2nd prize from the Russian Federation. In 1998 she moved to Berlin and started to focus on her work as an artist in the field of painting and drawing. Recently, Inna Artemova has participated in: the Lahore Biennale, Pakistan (2020), and in 2019, the Kyrgyz National Museum of Fine Arts presented her works in the solo show "Landscapes of Tomorrow". She has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in Germany, Austria, and Italy. Additionally, her works were shown at international art fairs in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, the US, and Japan. Inna lives and works in Berlin.
Eleonora Frolov is an international exhibition maker and works for galleries and for private collections. In her curatorial practice, Frolov examines digital transformation and the new possibilities it opens up for global networking, creating new, accessible, technology-based art, knowledge, and documentation spaces. Most recently, Eleonora Frolov curated an Art Biennale in Worpswede, dedicated to failed technological and social utopias of Russian Modernism and 'The sea used to be here, with Anastasia Khoroshilova.
Frolov exhibitions have a clear thematic focus, such as iconoclasm, among others. 'You shouldn't make a picture 2014, 'The rest' 2015, 'A picture is not a picture is a picture 2016 and 'Once the sea was here' Anastasia Khoroshilova, as well as Matthias Koch's 'Normandy - Atlantic Wall' 2017. She worked with Luc Tuymans, Guenter Weseler, Dieter Hacker, Carla Guagliardi for exhibitions and artist books.
Inna Artemovas raumgreifende Installation „Agile Acceleration“ stellt die Frage: „HOW DO WE WANT TO LIVE IN THE FUTURE?”
In der Uraufführung des Stückes „Violetter Schnee“ nimmt der russische Dramatiker Vladimir Sorokin 2019 die Auswirkungen eines Ausnahmezustandes auf das Menschsein noch vor dem Ausbruch der gegenwärtigen Pandemie vorweg: Die Gesellschaft ist abgeschottet, das Leben ist durch einen Schneesturm lahmgelegt, die Weltordnung erschüttert. Die Menschen erfahren eine zermürbende Ungewissheit, Isolation und das Zurückgeworfensein auf sich selbst. Die Zeit scheint still zu stehen. Ein Jahr später erleben wir, wie ein kleines Virus, analog zu jenem Schneesturm, die Menschen aus ihrer Lebensnormalität herausreißt und massenhaft aus den Städten verdrängt. Unsichtbare Teilchen provozieren die Zukunft und beschleunigen den Fortschritt. Wie werden wir in Zukunft leben, und wie wird unser Lebensraum aussehen?
Der italienische Geologe Antonio Stoppani schrieb bereits 1873, es gäbe "eine neue tellurische Macht, die es an Kraft und Universalität mit den großen Gewalten der Natur" aufnehmen könne und spricht in diesem Zusammenhang vom "anthropozänen Zeitalter".
Inna Artemova schöpft aus ihrer Erinnerung und subjektiven Vorstellungskraft visionäre Ideen für ihre Bilderwelten. In der raumgreifenden Installation „Agile Acceleration“ spielt sie in einem Gedankenexperiment die architektonische Vision einer künftigen Stadt als (Zusammen)Lebensraum durch: in der Metropole, auf dem Land, vertikal, horizontal, evolutionär, modular, agil und wandelbar. Die Stadt als Lebensform passt sich unseren Bedürfnissen an und nicht umgekehrt, sie ist immer in Bewegung.
Modulare Würfel schweben in der Vertikalen, verlassen das Bild und bauen sich im Raum auf. Agil verändern sie ihre Position und passen sich neuen Anforderungen an. Scheinbar unberechenbar folgen sie doch ganz bestimmten Algorithmen, durch die eine nachhaltige menschengerechte Stadt geformt wird. Wir schauen dem Prozess bei der Entstehung zu.
Die Stadt bildet ab, wie eine Gesellschaft sich organisiert. Durch Homeoffice haben sich bestehende Hierarchien aufgelöst, an ihre Stelle sind Netzwerke getreten. In den Städten entstehen gigantische Ruinen der modernen Gesellschaft, sagt Niklas Maak. Die Architektur der Stadt hat sich in der Folge von Katastrophen schon oft transformiert, sie wurde hygienischer, Ressourcen sparender. Für die Zukunft werden umweltfreundliche und biobasierte Konzepte diskutiert.
Inna Artemova gestaltet in einem Feldversuch eine agile Lebenslandschaft als Stadt der Zukunft, flexibel, beweglich, vernetzt und selbstorganisiert. Ein Plädoyer dafür, sich der Komplexität unserer Gegenwart zu stellen und mutig die Stadt der Zukunft neuzuerfinden.
- Eleonora Frolov, Kuratorin
©Courtesy of Artists & Diskurs Berlin
IT MAY SOUND UTOPIAN / Nr. 5
Merani Schilcher - MAKE ME A WEAPON
01.04. - 14.04.2021
Many pacifistically inclined people would agree that in their own private utopias, weapons would not have any right to exist... and one of the countless utopian ideas circling within the heads of dreamers is that art would be made for art's sake and not as a tool to financially enrich people. But when is violence or the threat of a weapon a useful means for protest and change?
This installation is an attack on art dealers and collectors who manipulate modern art for profit, an attack on the commodification of art – tracking a loss of faith in existing structures.
Make Me A Weapon consists of an object of destruction, erected as an extension of this project space, knocking on the door of the inequitable capitalist art market that is speeding towards annihilation, turning the space itself into a quiet aggressor. It is not yet a weapon, instead, it swings back and forth peacefully, lying in wait.
What sets a real weapon apart from an artifact is whoever controls it. This weapon-to-be is not captive to its environment. Instead, it allows anyone passing by to control it, choosing the force and effort put into the interaction by using the controller (found on the website) – the future of this space is in the viewers’ hands. This opens the question as to why humans have a tendency to want to amplify certain actions and to harness destructive potential even though it could mean they themselves are the ones getting hurt.
Merani Schilcher is a media artist and designer from Berlin with a passion for the internet, machines and experiments. Her interests range from the big questions of the universe all the way to more light-hearted ones like “should I make yet another red project?”. Her focus is always somehow related to human characteristics in technology and how we as humans are currently using and connecting with it. She has previously studied in Berlin, Stuttgart, Aberdeen, and Taipei.
DOUBLE TONGUES, 2021, epoxy resin, neon light, print on paper, fly curtain, wood, foam, chain, spring clip, steel pickaxe, dimensions variable
YES and NO, 2020, single-channel video, 5 min 42 sec, color, sound
©Courtesy of Artists & Diskurs Berlin
IT MAY SOUND UTOPIAN / Nr. 4
BROCA´S GARDEN II
18.03. - 31.03.
Curated by Nayun Lee
Kodac materialized the idea of exophony, the practice of writing in a language that is not one's mother tongue, in three videos for <Broca’s Garden> at the exhibition space Seetangraum, Jeju, South Korea. The presented work was called <Yes and No>. It is known that bilingual people often switch between different modes. They turn on the Korean switch and speak in Korean, then they would turn on the English switch to speak in English. Our language is governed by consciousness to the extent that one can control the modes, and Broca’s Area, the portion of the brain linked to speech, is the mediator in the overall flow in sentence production. Perhaps, when bilinguals switch from one language to another, a signal is sent to the domain of Broca's Area. Once the language is switched and speaking starts, it is deactivated.
Kodac is bilingual, speaking both Korean and German, she pictures Broca's Area as a garden where diverse and delicate plants are growing. While thinking about languages, she imagined how she could express her thoughts by blinking an eye. It is a new language created by Broca’s Area in Kodac’s head. Each eye is coordinated to indicate YES and NO. Kodac plays a role in Broca's Garden where she is lying in the garden and communicating by blinking her eyes, searching for the new language, and the means to communicate. Kodac invites you to her utopia, Broca’s Garden.
Kodac Ko was born in 1986 in South Korea. She lives and works in Berlin. She creates media artwork and mixed media installations. Her work focuses on the inability to communicate, the attempt at dialogue, the dissonance between form and content and the dysfunction of language. By investigating communication on a meta-level, she tries to grasp the underlying ambiguity and indistinctness of language.
Her works have been shown at Museum for Photography Braunschweig (DE), Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl (DE), Ibrida Festival of the Intermediate Arts, Forlì (IT), Festspielhaus Hellerau, Dresden(DE) and Kunstforum der TU Darmstadt (DE).
Lee Nayun, a curator and critic, is the author of the books “Fresh Art New York” and “Refreshing Days New York,” “Art Voyage.” In May of 2017, she released the first issue of Seaweed (씨위드), her art and culture journal. In Nov of 2019, she has named as the director in charge of the Jeju Museum of Art.
©Courtesy of Artists & Diskurs Berlin
IT MAY SOUND UTOPIAN Nr. 3
THE ABSTRACT IMAGE OF THE PANDEMIC
04.03. - 17.03.
It slowly sounds commonplace that our lives have been radically transformed by the COVID pandemic for a year now. We all experience its impact in different ways. The prospect that it will last for an unpredictable time can be quite depressing. For me, it appears as a kind of endless loop that returns again and again and wraps around our days. Never before has there been an epidemic about which the amount of news has been as vast and rapid as it is today, and all of this could only have a more depressing effect. The growing mass of daily information is drawn in curves on a piece of paper by a small drawing robot. Each time the word pandemic occurs in the news, the small robot gets the information to draw the next curve. The position of the curves is determined by the time and GPS coordinates of where the news is coming from, following the virus’s current status. Operating this way, an abstract image of the pandemic, an infinite abstract loop is formed during the two weeks the exhibition is on.
David Szauder is a digital artist, designer, and curator. He is currently working as a Curator and art consultant with his studio (ARTPROJEKT BERLIN, Handshape, Publishing Hungary, 2023 European Cultural capital, etc.). As an artist and curator, he participated in many different exhibitions from Berlin to Seoul in the last nine years. Currently, he is developing a kinetic sculpture (Seoul, Berlin London)
He was also a guest lecturer in film at the University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf, where he found his artistic style and created the unique method and the series of ‘Failed Memories’. David Szauder studied Art History and New Media in Budapest and afterward spent a year on a scholarship in Helsinki. Soon after arriving in Berlin, he started to work as the artistic director for the Hungarian Cultural Institute.
©Courtesy of Artists & Diskurs Berlin
IT MAY SOUND UTOPIAN / Nr. 2
18.02. - 03.03.
Curated by Anna Ratcliffe
Wonderland: Construction invites you to peer through the looking glass of DISKURS Berlin, where the white cube has been turned into a black box. The window has been split in two, on one side a ghostly tower looms in the foreground with the vision tricking our eyes as it shifts in space. On the other, the viewer sees a mirror image of the tower, this time the spiralling summit reaching for heaven is not created of man-made concrete but is ethereal and white.
Elinor Sahm has created a theatrical space where nothing is as it seems and the scene is created from light and reflections seen through mirrors and glass. Sahm has an incredible way of making her work emerge as if it has been around for an eternity: objects appear to be from lost cities and environments look as though they are created from amethysts. This all adds an element of wonder which plays a large part in her work, however, the enchanting settings deal with the darker side of human nature.
This installation is no different. The tower echoes that of Babylon, built from a utopian vision, it speaks of how humans and civilizations are ruined by vanity and how miscommunication can lead to decay. Also, how blinkered ambition and hubris can ultimately cause unbearable misunderstanding of a fellow human.
Just as Utopias are aspirational but inherently unattainable, Wonderland: Construction is a contradiction. A wonderland is a finished ideal rather than a work in progress and utopias often turn out to be dystopias when the destination is reached. There is always a disconnect between the idea and reality.
- Anna Ratcliffe
Elinor Sahm, born in 1986 in Jerusalem, is a multidisciplinary artist based in Tel-Aviv and Berlin. She studied at UDK, Berlin, and Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. Currently, she is taking part in the Bezalel MFA. In her work, she uses various materials and focuses on site-specific large-scale installations that define its medium by its concept, with constant use of light as a key material. Sahm has exhibited in various galleries and art fairs in Israel, Russia, Brazil and Germany and is a member of P8 gallery in Tel-Aviv. She is a grantee of the Rabinovich Foundation of arts (2020,2019) and the Lottery Council for arts and culture, Israel. In 2020 Sahm participated in the GlogauAIR residency program in Berlin and exhibited a performance installation during the ‘Open Studios’ event last September.
Anna Ratcliffe is a Berlin-based curator and arts writer and is currently assistant curator at DISKURS Berlin. She also runs tours and events with Art Tours Berlin, highlighting emerging artists and the diversity of the city’s art scene. She received her B.A. and M.A. degrees in the History of Art from the University of Leeds, UK. In England, she worked for many years at the Henry Moore Institute, a centre for contemporary sculpture, and Basement Arts Project, an artist-run project space. As a writer, she has contributed catalogue essays, conducted interviews with artists and curators, and reviewed exhibitions in grass-roots spaces and major institutes.
©Courtesy of Artists & Diskurs Berlin
IT MAY SOUND UTOPIAN Nr. 1
04.02. - 17.02.
If anything, Covid-19 represents yet another momentous challenge to the legitimacy of the nation-state. Covid-19 doesn’t ‘think’ in terms of countries, it largely ignores man-made borders, and exposes a need of globally synchronizing in the battle against the virus. The fact that such synchronizing shows to be an extreme challenge may well point to the obstructive aspects of dividing the world up into ‘countries’. How countries — states with their attached nations — are all a matter of ‘made-up-ness’, has been sufficiently argued. For example by Benedict Anderson (1983) in his imagined communities argument, or more recently by Yael Navarro (2012) about the make-believe work that is involved in maintaining the "Autonomous Turkish Cypriot Administration”.
Pappas’s work “Half-Staff” still carries traces of the context it was originally created in: the size was determined by the dimensions of Schloss Ringenberg's great hall. The castle and its related emblazonry inspired the artist and curators to think about the perpetuation of power structures such as the nation-state with its flag. But just as a nation-state, an artwork is an inherently unstable object. How does the artwork change by presentations in different rooms and spaces? Also, more poignantly, how does it change against the background of radically disrupted times?
In this current moment, Pappas’s work may pose questions like: how does Covid stretch and strain the meanings and the shelf-life of the flag? And consequently, the apparatus of the nation-state that makes the flag an ongoing reality?
- Herbert Ploegman