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
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