Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Im Land der kleinen Spiegel (2014)


Im Land der kleinen Spiegel – Gedanken über Nation, Grenzen und Heimat

Dokumentarfilm + Künstlergespräch
(51 Minuten, HD, Polnisch mit Deutsche Untertiteln)

4. Januar 2014, 19 Uhr, Angerstraße 11, 04177 Leipzig
Eintritt frei

Polen ist vielleicht nicht mehr die imaginierte Geografie exilierten Schriftstellern wie es in 1775-1918 war, aber es hat dennoch eine der größten Diaspora in der ganzen Welt. Auf der Suche nach einer gemeinsamen Identität, einem wesentlichen Element der polnischen nationalen Identität muss sicher die Begegnung mit einer Welt der kulturellen und ethnischen Vielfalt sein, und doch wurde dieses Element vollständig niedergehalten. Das Land sieht sich als 98% katholisch und völlig ethnisch "polnisch", als ob die ganze Geschichte nie statt gefunden hätte. Während die Grenze der herablassenden Ost-West-Aufteilung sich nur verschoben hat, scheint ein Anstieg von rassistischen Angriffen und eine arrogante Haltung gegenüber Ländern des Osten und Süden Polens, so ist die Grenze eher scheinheilig. Es ist nicht so lange her, da waren die Polen selbst die Rezipienten jener gleichen rassistischen Angriffe.

Gefördert durch die Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen

Sunday, 30 June 2013

The Others (Installation 2013) / (Screen 2014)

"Die Anderen" (DE) / "The Others" (ENG) (2013)

3-Channel Split Screen HD Film Projection (9 x 2.5m)
(A single version is also available for cinema screenings)
16:50 min

Short Abstract  

An experimental film on the topic of Polish identity caught up in the polarised narratives of nationalism and religion. Dipping in and out of bombastic political commemorations and the elusive remains of multiculturalism, we ask, what alternatives can we construct?

Long Abstract  

The events surrounding the Smolensk catastrophe saw the polish ex-president Kaczynski equated with Jesus, and Poland became the blood-sodden ground of the forgotten innocent howling for revenge! Although this tired image of Poland is something that sickens most young Polish people today, the dramatic events of the nation's past have been drummed into it's subconscious to such a degree and with such poetical furore, that an alternative is very difficult to construct. "The Others" takes the footage and expands or displaces it somewhat across three screens. The subtitles linger a little longer than the images, the screens switch on, change, move, and although a traditional narrative is still kept within the film, the triptych highlights not only the fictional nature of the documentary, but of national identity in general. Rather than facilitating the desired return of a "true" national past, the re-enactment of myths and narratives through poetically-infused remembrance days, paradoxically highlights the fictitious nature of a nation's identity. As such - in this constant process of self-fictionalisation, in a pendulum between the East and West: Can Poland's attempt at self-definition be seen as emancipatory reminder, that the 19th century Western concept of "nation" and the East-West hierarchies on which the country currently depends on, are based on fiction? In this light, can new narratives be created? The film ends with two groups holding flags. The three little pigs, blank faced, bereft of a stage script, wait for the story to begin...

Premiered on the 4th July 2013, HGB Gallery, Leipzig, Germany 
12th July - 24th August 2013 HGB Gallery, Leipzig, Germany 
21st - 25th June 2015, SIEF2015 12th Congress: Zagreb, Croatia

Suggested projection plan 

Image of set up before the exhibition at the HGB

Friday, 15 February 2013

Eine Arbeit / The Work (2013)

For the Rundgang exhibition of 2013, the class for Intermedia showed an installation entitled “Work”. The spatial installation, which also took place within the original class room, dealt with the theme of art education today and focuses on its practices and strategies. It was based on a type of analysis and reflection about one’s own actions and transforms conversations, in part individual words as well as snippets of conversation and the resulting issues that arise in the context of teaching, into an audio-spatial-sculpture. The starting point of this work was the question: How is an art-theoretical discourse run today? What are the assessment criteria? To what extent can a work be analysed? Is it at all desirable to dissect visual works verbally, or does the theoretical analysis detract from the core, the essence, that which emotionally touches us? So how does reflection and communication function in the art world? To “see” as a child of the light and therefore the opening of the visual world, which the students of an art academy deal with, as well as its opposite: “darkness” are the media of the installation.

Listen to the work HERE

Audio Composition:
Clelia Patrono
Katya Lachowicz
John Mirabel

Gottfried Binder

24 members of the class

15th - 17th February 2013, HGB Leipzig

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Protest Archive- Colectivo Campo del Cielo (2012)

The Protest Archive (2012) by the group Colectivo Campo del Cielo used the HGB Rundgang in Leipzig, Germany, as a platform in order to spread information to a wide public. It consisted of a research table with articles about the problematic accompanied by a monitor showing a series of videos.

The issue discussed in the archive illustrated the misinformation involved in the project artist-duo Faivovich and Goldberg had proposed for Documenta 13. The duo wanted to transport the second largest meteorite in the world "El Chaco" from Argentina to Germany in the name of art, without recognising that this meteorite is a large part of the culture and history of the Moqoit (Mocovi) people, an indigenous population based in the town of Chaco, Argentina. The Moqoit people were protesting against the transfer of the meteorite but were nevertheless not represented in any decision making processes. The project seriously violated the rights of the indigenous people, as it did the international conventions (ILO Art.169) and the Argentine Constitution (art.75 - Inc.17). It was a disgrace to Germany, Argentina and the Art World itself. But the scandal did not reach European news until it was released by Documenta 13 that they had finally reached the decision to suspend the transportation. Nothing was mentioned about the Moqoit's protest, not even in Documenta's press text on their website, entitled "El Chaco". In fact, the text has even to audacity to state that the Moqoit were in favour of the project, which aims to "denounce the theft of cultural and natural heritage by repeating and reversing the colonial trajectory of goods, materials and people". A rather perverse idea.

The Protest Archive (2012) intended to discuss the issue with the visitors of the Rundgang exhibition and express that the battle was not over, despite the success the protesters had in stopping the transportation. Most of the visitors could not believe that such a situation existed and had not been addressed in the media. They were glad to have received the news, and congratulated all of the protesters involved. There were however two visitors who did not perceive it as a problem to de-contextualise an important cultural object of the Moqoit to show it at the Documenta 13. 

Months later, close to the opening of the Documenta press conference on the 6th of June 2012, an article was published in Monopol and Art Magazin, explaining the reasons why Faivovich and Goldberg's project failed. The article "Die Himmelstürmer" written by Heinz Peter Schwerfel featured in the June edition of Art Magazin, was written in the form of a laid-back holiday reportage, describing a journey made to Argentina with the artists, which concluded in the following manner:

"Then came the Indian separatists, incited by an ethno-astronomer, who preached that during the 100 days of the Documenta exhibition, the lack of magnetic radiation in El Chaco would result in a major infringement in the balance of nature." 

"Doch dann schalteten sich indianische Separatisten ein, aufgewiegelt von einem Ethno-Astronomen, der predigte, die während der 100 Tage der documenta fehlende Magnetstrahlung des EI Chaco sei ein wesentlicher Eingriff in das Gleichgewicht der Natur."   

The comment sounded like a scene from a Western. Not only was this phrase clearly insulting towards the Moqoit indigenous people and the astronomer involved, it also banalised the entire protest movement.

When you take an object like El Chaco and decide to place it in another context. You cannot avoid it being a political action, and having political consequences. These cannot be ignored for the sake of simplicity because you do not intend to make a political art work. It is arrogant to assume that you can 'clean' a given object from its historical, political, cultural contexts, or pick which parts you prefer. And it is exactly the taking of this almighty standing point that has been criticised as colonialist in regards to El Chaco.

But the arrogance never ceased.

During the press conference on the 6th June, a corespondent part of Colectivo Campo del Cielo asked Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev whether Documenta had made any self criticism in regards to the development of the Chaco project. She replied in a patronising tone "Thank you for reading that question from your iPhone. I addressed this very carefully at the beginning so i urge you to get a copy of the lecture". On receiving an answer to her first reply, she commented, "I appreciate your second speech which was spontaneous".

Nor have the artists used the opportunity of the failed transportation as a possibility to examine the power structures they were involved in. Why did they not make another work for the exhibition based on self-critique and reflection? Why did they chose to suppress the problematic and lament the failure by displaying a cube in the position where the meteorite was supposed to be placed? Even the official Documenta 13 catalogue entry for Faivovich and Goldberg (printed 5. April 2012) describing the meteorite positioned on the field in front of the Fridericianum, was not updated, as if they had still hoped that the meteorite would indeed still find its way to Kassel. And yet the transportation had been abandoned in January 2012. Why this exactly happened is still unclear. Unfortunately, just as with the chief editor of Art Magazin, whom we contacted to get a rewrite of Schwerfel's article, the curatorial assistant of F&G has not replied to any correspondence. Our effort is great, our impact successful, but our voice remains unheard, as once again another scandal is wiped underneath the carpet.

More info in regards to the Chaco scandal in English, Spanish and German:„el-chaco“-aus-argentinien-abtransportieren/#comment-115

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The Making of History, Present and Future Nr. 2 (2011)

4 speakers installed in foyer, audio cable, amplifier

The Making of History, Present and Future (2010) was shown as part of the Begehungen Festival Chemnitz 18. - 21.08.2011 entitled "You are Leaving the Area of Responsibility". This time in form of a shorter audio installation with four speakers inconspicuously installed in the entrance of the Kaßberg prison, a former Stasi prison for political prisoners. The audio guide was played as a type of 'official welcome' message for the visitors of the prison-turned-art festival which was heard before proceeding to view the other works of art allocated in the cells on the left and right of the atrium. The work questioned the very placement of an art exhibition about social responsibility in a former prison. To what degree was the social responsibility upheld by the Begehungen Festival?

Thursday, 7 October 2010

The Making of History, Present and Future (2010)

Audio 7:24 minutes / 10 audio players, 10 headphones, A5 sign with gallery logo presented at information desk

The visitor enters the gallery, goes towards the information desk and picks up an audio guide. He puts on the provided headphones and presses the play button. After an ambient musical introduction, an unknown speaker (the artist) greets the visitor and promises an experience-packed programme, specially formulated for their personal pleasure. The speaker then proceeds to describe the room in which the visitor finds himself:

The room in which we currently find ourselves is a tremendous feat of architectural ingenuity- it brings art into a new light. An artist of local importance was once noted to have said that “the building complex is like an evergreen labyrinth garden”. One feels obliged to add, that this room tucked away in obscurity is surely the beating heart, and what could be better than filling its spirit with international contemporary works of art.

The guide is nothing but generic: The deceased founder is reported to be still seen smoking his pipe in the gallery, and the pieces on show have been selected for their unsurpassable quality. But the description is far from specific:

...It has modern as well as classical values, it is at the same time decorative, serious and humorous, it is perhaps slightly erotic for those who enjoy the erotic, and it seems to me it satisfies anything that you could ever want. Contemporary art with the use of mixed media.

The Making of History Present and Future is an ironic playful text exploring themes of representation: 

Who represents what, why and whom?

What effect does history, the telling of story, or poeticised myth have on both corporate, national and personal identity?

Jakopic Gallery, Ljubljana 19.10 - 15.11.2010

Begehungen Art Festival, Chemnitz 18.08 - 21.-08.2011

Friday, 23 April 2010

Psalm of a New International (2010)

Painted text on wall (4 x 3 metres)

Placed on the edge of two galleries, the visitor passing from the Universal Cube to the Colombus Art Foundation during the Spring Rundgang 2010 (open day/tour), was confronted with a large black text that seemed to be neither on nor off the wall, neither part nor introducing the exhibition, but rather suspended in space. A blockade, a freeze frame, a counter action versus a banal phrase, an apparent lack of visual, and a constantly moving perspective. Psalm of a New International is a statement, caught between a time code and a psalm verse. It is a large suspended statement, in essence banal, suspended in time and action. By opposing the real perspective of the wall, the statement counter acts the wall in effort to to make itself physical. It constructs the illusion of a screen between the columns onto which it projects 'itself', however its identity nevertheless depends on the viewers' standpoint to achieve the physicality it desires. Working with the Rudgang's speculations and voyeurisms. In the end, the computational analogy of a large document rends the the content of the 'document' empty. 

"BLOCKADE" Universal Cube, Leipzig, 01. - 30. May 2010

Sunday, 24 January 2010

The Economy of Guilt (2010)

24 minutes/ 16 channel audio installation ca. 5m x 5m / 16 passive speakers, 16 speaker stands / audio cable / 24 track HD digital recorder / 2 x 8 channel audio amplifier 

Collective responsibility, collective guilt, and collective absolution, are key to the functioning of many systems in our society. Some are guiltier than others, but all are responsible. And in the end, the question remains: Who is to blame, when we are all responsible?

The installation in collaboration with Adrian Sievering compromises 16 loudspeakers in a grid system. From each individual speaker one voice can be heard, which together as a collective recount an abstract guilt in the form of a factitious litany.

Over the duration of 24 minutes, the speakers repeat variations of a standardised text, which oscillates from phases of collectivity, to phases of chaos and individuality. The resulting dynamic overrides the anonymity of the speakers, and invites the viewer to identify himself with the collective; his fascination in its ritual, seduces him to take part. The standardisation and constant repitition of personal guilt, banalises its very meaning.

The aim is to present a comparison between the current socio-political economic system and the rite of confession in a belief system. In hope of bringing to debate, issues among others:

- Our dependency on belief in abstract speculations

- The alleviation of personal guilt through collective statement

- The abstraction of responsibility

- The consequences of a lack of direct accountability

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Transient Spaces

Palanga, Lithuania, 3-11 September 2009

Chosen to participate in Michael Zinganel´s workshop "Stop and Go- Tourism, migration and art at the junctures of the transnational mobility continuum".

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Ohn-Ort / Without Place (2009)

Dance project with Lina Kukulis Suta / Leipzig-Berlin

Ohn-Ort between a Wohn-Ort (living space) and Ohne-Ort (without place), is a playful approach towards the subject of identity. A dance of shadows and digital projections, and dis-/re-location of image, which is constantly appropriated, re-shaped and reflected. Mechanisation, repetition, habit, and obsession become the basis of a theatre in which the characters are bereaved of their own selves.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Talk Talk- Interview as an Aesthetic Practice

Exhibition with international artists and students of the HGB Leipzig.

Concept: Marc Ries

Curators: Reinhard Braun, Hildegard Fraueneder, Marc Ries + IAG-Leipzig: Roozbeh Asmani, Timo Grimberg, Friedemann Hoerner, Eduard Klein, Jens Klein, Katya Lachowicz, Guillermo Fiallo Montero, Claudia Reese.

HGB, Leipzig 27.05.2009 - 27.06.2009
Kunstverein Medienturm, Graz 26.09.2009 - 28.11.2009
Galerie 5020, Salzburg 03.12.2009 - 31.01.2010

We are living in a culture of permanent talking, investigation, control, public confessions and self-staging. In the centre of this spectacle of systematic interogation and communication lie in the end one of the oldest cultural techniques: the interview. The exhibition project »talk talk« thematises the power and art of this method of questioning in the context of contemporary art forms and exhibits it as an artistic practice with several chosen works.

(Text Prof. Dr. Marc Ries)

ARTISTS: Roozbeh Asmani (D), Ursula Biemann (CH), Jörg Burger (A), Yvon Chabrowsky (D), Dellbrügge & de Moll (D), Jeanne Faust (D), Andrea Fraser (D/USA), Till Gathmann (D), Ronald Gerber (D), Jochen Gerz (D), Klub Zwei (A), Kathi Lackner (A), Katarina Matiasek (A), Alex McQuilkin (USA), Bjørn Melhus (DK/D), Antoni Muntadas (E), Daniel Pflumm (D), Oliver Ressler & Dario Azzellini (A/D/VEN, Julika Rudelius (NL), Corinna Schnitt (D/US), Axel Stockburger (D/GB), Kerry Tribe (USA/D), Ingrid Wildi (CL/CH).

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Cut. Copy. Paste (2009)

Aldi shopping trolley, earth, cat grass, water

Cut.Copy.Paste (2009) is a fictitious supermarket offer from Aldi supermarket- a European-wide enterprise known for its cheap limited time offers. The work questions the mechanical copy-paste transplantation of culture and identity within a globalised world, as well as ridiculing the privatisation of natural and public resources.

Displacement of space and the dis/re-location of people, has been an issue of increasing importance over the last 10 years of globalisation and centuries of imperialism. Definitions are not so clear-cut anymore, and this is when meaning and representation become more and more important.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Inter-Channel Translation (2008)

Video / 4:55 minutes / Monitor

Inter-Channel Translation (2008) is a video work which digitally processes an analogue written documentation of a series of discussions heard on a train journey from London to Paris in March 2007.

The written documentation of discussions heard on the train is combined with a non-textual symbolic system attempting to locate the given discussion. This symbolic system is loosely appropriated from a form of dance notation from Laban. The »I« in the middle is the constant. It is from where I and the viewer perceive the surrounding space. The oval around this constant provides information as to the direction of conversation. Moreover the text at the bottom of the image indicates the time and seat number.

The recorded observations are entirely subjective. However the film is no longer a documentation of the time and place. Nor is there any sound. The information has been processed and something has been lost. 

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

(De-)Construct (2007)

Video projection / 1 minute loop / 40 x 40 cm

The screen ist no longer this singular, fixed, and two dimensional rectangle that one forgets behind the projection of a film... The image is the screen, and this screen is the event.

Future Cinema: The Cinematic Imaginary After Film- Jeffrey Shaw´s Apparatuses: On the Virtual, in situ. the events of a screen. Anne Marie Duguet.

(De-)Construct (2007) is a video projection based on a triptych which seems to be extending and pulling out from the central image towards the outer two images. At the point when there are no more images left and the process is exhausted, the two outer images return back towards the centre where time and place are not longer in sync. Not having found the „real“ image, the three images pull in and out over and over again.

This wave-like formation attempts to breathe life into the paradoxically static film medium. An effort perhaps to physically re-construct reality. The original film was filmed from a car while driving along the coast line in Bognor Reagis, England. A once popular beach resort, now in decline.

The video footage filmed from a car was split into 166 still images. The first image was then overlaid with the last image, the second shot with the penultimate and so forth. This pattern was repeated as to create a delay in the middle of the re-constructed footage. Here the two images do not lie directly on top of each other, and so the re-construction rewinds back to the begin, and starts again.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Compo(-sites) (2007)

Site Specific Piece in London:

A tourist map was cut into 4 and manipulated so that the boundaries became the centre. By coincidence, new streets where formed, whereby two streets from two seperate map pieces joined onto one another. The joining of these streets was then the subject of this photographic work.

Composite streets from a de-re-constructed tourist map: 

CUT a tourist map into 4 equal pieces.

MANIPULATE their position- north west becomes south east etc.


Following these intstructions results in:

An inverted map. 
New tourist sites. 
Composite streets made of two fused external boundaries.
Interior becomes exterior. 
Real, living, changing places.