Territories of the In/Human

bankleer, dereguliert I, 2004
Bernd Behr, Amoy Gardens, 2003/07
bankleer, niemand, nichts, nie, 2007
Frederico Câmara, Untitled, 2003
Bernd Behr, Amoy Gardens, 2003/07
Matilde Cassani, Spiritual Devices, 2010
Frederico Câmara, Untitled, 2003
Dubravka Sekulic, Russian Pavillions, seit 2004
Matilde Cassani, Spiritual Devices, 2010
Edgar Endress, Video of a Migrant Journey, 2005
Dubravka Sekulic, Russian Pavillions, seit 2004
Björn Franke, Posthuman Futures: Empathy Scale, 2010
Lukas Einsele, The Many Moments of an M85 – Zenon’s Arrow Retraced, 2009/2010
Pia Fuchs, Pan-National Flag, 2009
Edgar Endress, Video of a Migrant Journey, 2005
Mariam Ghani, Kabul 2, 3, 4, 2002 – 2004 (2007)
Björn Franke, Posthuman Futures: Empathy Scale, 2010
Mariam Ghani, Going, Going, Gone, 2009
Pia Fuchs, Pan-National Flag, 2009
Matthew Gottschalk, What is identity?, 2009
Mariam Ghani, Kabul 2, 3, 4, 2002 – 2004 (2007)
Prince Tshime Kalumbwa, Untitled, 2006
Mariam Ghani, Going, Going, Gone, 2009
Iosif Kiraly, Reconstruction – Mogosoaia_Lenin and Groza_4, 2007-2009
Matthew Gottschalk, What is identity?, 2009
Anna Konik, Disco Relaxation, 2000
Prince Tshime Kalumbwa, Untitled, 2006
Korpys/Löffler, Konspiratives Wohnkonzept, 1998–2001
Dagmar Keller / Martin Wittwer, Den Tag Erkennst Du Schon an Seinem Morgen, 2009
Christine Meisner, The Present – Luminous with another than a professional light, 2007
Iosif Kiraly, Reconstruction – Mogosoaia_Lenin and Groza_4, 2007-2009
Christine Meisner, The Present – Made in China, 2007
Anna Konik, Disco Relaxation, 2000
Olivier Menanteau, Das Feld Gegenüber (Das Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin), 2004
Aglaia Konrad, Boeing Over, 2007
Nomeda und Gediminas Urbonas, Druzba, seit 2003
Korpys/Löffler, Konspiratives Wohnkonzept, 1998–2001
Monika Oechsler, Strip, 1997
Elke Marhöfer, lookin'out for Wachsamkeit, 2005
Danilo Prnjat, Perfect Lover, 2006
Elke Marhöfer, Erase You (Acéphale mix), 2005/07
p.t.t.red (Stefan Micheel und Hans Winkler), Wallstreet - Moneyfield New York, 1995
Christine Meisner, The Present – Luminous with another than a professional light, 2007
Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag, 612.43WEISS, 2003-2005/2010
Christine Meisner, The Present – Made in China, 2007
Krassimir Terziev, A Message from Space in my Backyard, 2008/09
Olivier Menanteau, Das Feld Gegenüber (Das Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin), 2004
Lan Tuazon, Architectures of Defense, 2010
Nomeda und Gediminas Urbonas, Druzba, seit 2003
Lan Tuazon, Army Park: An Impossible Public Park Proposal, 2009
Monika Oechsler, Strip, 1997
Artur Zmijewski, Eye for an Eye, 1998

Works in the exhibition
Courtesy (unless otherwize noted): the artists


dereguliert I (deregulated I), 2004
One-channel video installation, 9:30 min., sound: Goh Lee Kwang

The video work dereguliert I is set in a chimpanzee cage at the Wilhelma zoological botanical gardens in Stuttgart. The artists placed various protest signs boasting neoliberal paroles like “We demand real choices,” “Act toward deregulation,” or “Rebellion is work too” into the cage. The apes can be seen grabbing the signs, playing with them, holding them up for the camera, chewing or ripping them.

niemand, nichts, nie (nobody, nothing, never), 2007
Two-channel video installation, 2:30 min.; spinning object, music: Thomas Leboeg

In the video work niemand, nichts, nie two former power architectures, the respective symbolic import of which has since become obsolete, are juxtaposed: the closing Lenin Museum in Gorki and the Palace of the Republic in Berlin, which back then stood empty. Both sites were being frequented by skaters and BMX bikers when the images were captured. The videos, shown in parallel on two monitors, are accompanied by a voice from the off that reflects on real and symbolic emptiness as a possible placeholder for political space. A further element of the work is a spinning, pillar-like sculpture made of an element of construction fencing.

Bernd Behr, Amoy Gardens, 2003–2007

Slideshow with 34 slides, audio CD

Amoy Gardens is the name of a building complex in Hong Kong comprised of a shopping mall and housing blocks, widely considered to have been the epicenter of the 2002 SARS epidemic due to dilapidated water conduits and dysfunctional ventilation systems. The slideshow presents various sober views of the deserted building. Being read by a Chinese woman from the off is a treatise by Le Corbusier on “exact air.”

Frederico Câmara, Untitled, 2003
Series of 6 photographs (selection), various dimensions

This photo series is focused on empty monkey cages and other compounds photographed by the artist at the Wilhelma zoological botanical gardens in Stuttgart. The staid frontal shots, which emphasize the peep-box character and functionality of the cages, showcase an interpretation (condensed to the smallest of spaces) of the conditions of species-appropriate custody. The logistical structures (care, protection, visitor management) dominate the design concept of these spaces, where a natural environment is really only symbolically being referenced. The select photographs belong to a larger project in which the artist set out to explore the standards and specifics involved in zoological cage design at zoos in various cities.

Matilde Cassani, Spiritual Devices, 2010
4 mobile modules, ca. 2 x 1 m each

For this project, Cassani spearheaded a comprehensive investigation of the pivotal needs for prayer rituals of four world religions as regards space, furnishings, and other objects. The artist’s orientation here was particularly geared toward the makeshift, sometimes unofficial prayers rooms of religious minorities in European cities. Tying into concepts like the “Frankfurt kitchen,” she developed four mobile modules in which the most important standards for praying in Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism were addressed and fulfilled while engaging the smallest amount of space possible. The elements are all mass produced objects, that, in abscence of the proper ones, act as sacred objects. The container is a 1 x 2 metres large box, foldable and transportable. The site is an airport, a prison, a cruise liner, a street or a garage. As a metaphore of the current reality the “Spiritual device" act as solidified heterotopy. The iconic, central, clear image of a place to worship becomes a box to be treated with strong faith.

Lukas Einsele, The Many Moments of an M85 – Zenon’s Arrow Retraced, 2009–2010
Panorama print, color

In his project The Many Moments of an M85 – Zenon’s Arrow Retraced, Lukas Einsele pursues the trajectory of Israeli M85 cluster bombs in reverse sequence: from the site of impact back to the roots of their inception.

Edgar Endress, Video of a Migrant Journey, 2002
With Lori Lee; video; from the project BonDieuBon (since 2001)

Video of a Migrant Journey is part of an extensive project series in which the artist, together with anthropologist Lori Lee, explores migrational movements out of Haiti as well as Haiti’s marginalized populations. A woman, with nothing but her hand visible, tells of her gyrating odyssey of escape, which she traces through her narrative.

Björn Franke, Posthuman Futures, since 2007

Research project, objects, illustrations

The project Posthuman Futures investigates the influence of neuroscience, meaning the technological possibilities and limits of researching and manipulating the brain and thought patterns, on the concept of the human. The visitors themselves become potential test subjects—in the sense of an interactive artifact, of an equally fictional, hypothetical, and functional test object—in a study on the technological self.

Pia Fuchs (German identity of Patricia Reed), Pan-National Flag, 2009
Digital print on industrial-quality flag material

The Pan-National Flag is comprised of a superimposition of the linages of all national flags within the United Nations. The filigreed interplay of lines, seeming equally grid-like and bewildering, culminates in a central black hole. The graphic printed on flag material of a size deviating from the norm for national flags oscillates between national patterns of representation and cartographic structures that evince midpoints and peripheries, concentrations and vacuities.

Mariam Ghani

Kabul 2, 3, 4, 2002–2004 (2007)

Three-channel video installation, color, sound, 13 min.

The video work Kabul 2, 3, 4 was made during the period between 2002 and 2004. Once a year the artist drove along the same stretch of road in Kabul while filming from the car. The installation assembles the three recordings so that one might in parallel view the rapid changes occurring in the city. The urban surfaces mirror the process of redevelopment, the return of refugees, the skyrocketing of real estate prices, the societal and political transformations, and the establishment of parallel economies as caused by the presence of international aid workers.

Going, Going, Gone, 2009
Video, 4:25 min.

The video work Going, Going, Gone shows a swift array of hundreds of photographs that the artist had taken in New York following the burst of the real estate bubble. Speeding by at the margins of perception are the facades of houses, offices, housing and office blocks crowded by sales and discount signs, followed by empty structural shells, wasteland, dilapidated buildings, and forsaken vacant properties. The images are accompanied by a dense collage of overlapping sound fragments from television and radio clips—reminiscent of helpless stammering that is struggling to master the crisis. The video contains three loops comprised of the same ca. 300 images, yet in each loop the images are strung along a different pattern.

Matthew Gottschalk, What is Identity?, 2009

One-channel video

In What is Identity? the video camera is focused on the dummy of an elderly man, who is listlessly sitting as if in a state of shock in an armchair which, as ascertained from the surrounding sounds, is apparently positioned in front of the television. A brief pan of the camera to the street only intensifies the impression of isolation. The setting’s overwhelming impression of paralysis is penetrated by several pans through the apartment in which a man emerges—it is the ventriloquist (and the artist himself)—along with several strange activities on the part of the confused dummy. The lethargic and irritating setting finally culminates in a brief moment where the dummy and the ventriloquist are, in a mirrorlike way, taking each other in.

Prince Tshime Kalumbwa, Untitled, 2006

With Dorothee Kreutzfeldt; 10 fine art prints (documentation of an action), 30 x 40 cm each

In the scope of the workshop Urban Scenography, which was held in 2006 in Kinshasa, the artist carried out a project in public space, in collaboration with Dorothee Kreutzfeldt, which reflected a temporary act of signaling. Together with residents, locations were marked where corroded electrical cables lying exposed on the streets were harboring a wide range of dangers.

Dagmar Keller / Martin Wittwer, Den Tag Erkennst Du Schon an Seinem Morgen (You Can Recognize the Day by Its Morning), 2009
Two-channel video installation (16:9), sound, 19:28 min., loop

The title of this video installation, which was made in Sofia, seizes upon a Bulgarian adage. It juxtaposes images of two different residential areas within the Bulgarian capital—a high-rise complex and an affluent suburb—taken during dawn and sunrise. Step for step the differing realities of both settings emerge: visible, on the one hand, are precarious conditions, informal urban structures, and involuntary social encounters and, on the other, seemingly purposeful spatial and social seclusion.

Iosif Kiraly

Reconstruction – Berlin_Palast der Republik_5B, 2004–2009

Photo collage, 88.5 x 300 cm
Reconstruction – Bucuresti_Coliseum, 2003–2005
Photo collage, 42 x 83 cm
Reconstruction – Mogosoaia_Lenin and Groza_4, 2007–2009
Photo collage, 126 x 170.5 cm
Reconstruction – Matasari_I Love Europe_2, 2008–2009
Photo collage, 42 x 110.5 cm

The four photographic works belonging to Kiraly’s comprehensive project Reconstruction explore various locales in Romania and Berlin with a view to their post-socialist changes. They focalize the way formerly symbol-laden structures and monuments are treated or the different urban and economic developments in play. Each photographic work is constellated of numerous individual fragments that were captured at differing times (varying from minutes to years) in the same location. This fosters a polyperspectival picture that, with temporal discontinuity, disjoints the apparent spatial continuity.

Anna Konik, Disco Relaxation, 2000

Sculpture (rotating skull)
Courtesy: Art Station Foundation Poznan

In the beginning there was a skull – a study of nature made out of polyester resins. Thanks to the mirrors stuck over it, it reflected hundreds of lights while spinning around. Now, that sculpture object evoking clear associations of vanitas, has become an art of individual exposition. That is an object which doesn’t merely say memento mori, because its discotheque form doesn’t allow for that. It reminds of death which has become acquainted, death that one can feel at ease with.
In which direction does it activate our thoughts? It seems to lead us to a conclusion that three is nothing sacred in this world. The world, where everything might become an aesthetically presented product, made just for fun. There is something about it. Certain consequences of our existence are nothing but a sweet icing, a gold plating on a bare bone.
The artist perceives certain forms of coexistence as fake and blocking. The scull, referring to a Warholian, discotheque ball is – in a way – the sun of the trends dominating in a society of spectacle, which desires to have fun for any price. (…) (Text by Krzysztof Zwirblis, translated by Dorota Liliental)

Aglaia Konrad, Boeing Over, 2007
Series of 20 (from 17-21) baryta prints
Courtesy: Aglaia Konrad and Galerie Nadia Vilenne, Lüttich

The Boeing Over series encompasses a sequence of black-and-white aerial photos taken by the artist from the window of a plane. Rivers, mountains, urban and agricultural grids, deserts, or transport routes appear like abstract ciphers of a deviating reality, similar to structures on an X-ray. Here, the view of an eye disengaging from the world and one penetrating it seem to coincide.

Korpys/Löffler, Konspiratives Wohnkonzept (Conspiratorial Living Concept), 1998–2001
Design research: 4 drawings, India ink on paper, 116.5 x 189 cm each; drafts: 3 drawings, ink and colored pencil on tracing paper, 50 x 65 cm each; finished version: 3 C-prints, 187 x 180 cm each
Courtesy: Korpys/Löffler and Galerie Meyer-Riegger, Karlsruhe

The multipart work Konspiratives Wohnkonzept is founded on extensive research by the artist on the investigation of a 1977 Red Army Faction bank robbery in Bremen. The investigating officers ended up searching an apartment in Hanover, which they identified as a hideout for the RAF members involved in the robbery. Supported by collected materials as well as by design and goods catalogs from the nineteen-seventies, Korpys/Löffler reconstructed the conspiratorial apartment through various drawings (initially in the form of a book project). In a further step, the artists hired an interior architecture office to design a model of a present-day conspiratorial apartment. This was then constructed by the artists in a studio and the process of its destruction photographed.

Elke Marhöfer
lookin’out for Wachsamkeit (lookin’out for vigilance), 2005
One-channel video, color, sound, 13 min.

Minimal in its means, the film lookin’out for Wachsamkeit shows an encounter between two people at the national library in Berlin. The two protagonists speak about the political state of emergency, which, after Walter Benjamin, doesn’t suspend the law, but tightens it. Further, Benjamin has a positive imagination of the state of emergency and this is the nature of the dispute here. The two young women reflect on what a real lawless condition transferred onto the body itself would mean and whether or not this would bring with it the possibility of an escape from bio-politics? They try to imagine how a technical “self-administration” of human life would look, in which violence neither sets the law, nor preserves it. The existing laws both promote and inhibit certain types of futility and contingency. What comes to light in the case of a conventional state of emergency is nothing but the negative futility of violence. A positive state of emergency would have to account for this futility, thus potentially making possible positive events and desirable patterns of behavior (Elke Marhöfer).

Erase You (Acéphale mix), 2005–2007

One-channel video, color, sound, 5 min.

Blinding out social issues, society. Rejection of society, rejection of thought within societies. Decapitating the collective, decapitating the individual. Those who wish to become emancipated from the world must distance themselves from themselves. Must create distance especially in view of that which seems to have been “ge(M)acht” (“made”/em“power”ed). Here one is distancing oneself from the power that is “within” a person. But the problem is: to what extent does this power (“that is within”) represent negative power and to what extent does it represent life itself—namely, that which makes people so happy? This can really only be described as a work focused on concepts for a practice of life. When a life becomes an artwork, this doesn’t actually imply the construction of one’s own life as an “artwork”; it instead means that a manner of dispossession of one’s self is coming to pass. The subject is no longer present, is no longer available, as pertains both to thinking or to actualities. One apparently enters a zone of indecidability or indifference, when the “ego” and it’s dispossession coincide. In any case, we forget out own presence as subject and defend ourselves as a project against the author (Elke Marhöfer).

Christine Meisner, The Present, 2007
(Selection from a three-part work): 9 drawings, 56 x 70 cm each; Luminous with another than a professional light, video, 38 min.
Courtesy: Christine Meisner and MUSEION – Museum of modern and contemporary art, Bolzano

Through drawings, videos, and a narrative, The Present explores the historical relations between Europe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo along with how these influence the present. A central question here revolves around the different forms and presences of memory, around the problem that it has first and foremost been the European vantage point that has inscribed itself into the historical narrative of this relationship, such as in the case of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. With a focus on this novella along with the related travels of the Polish author, The Present links settings in Warsaw, Brussels, Kinshasa, Kisangani, and Hew Bora. Being particularly fathomed out in the video Luminous with another than a professional light are—with a view to subjective experiences, collective memory, and ideological implications—spaces of knowledge production and administration, such as the National Archive in Kinshasa, a library in Warsaw, and the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren near Brussels.

Olivier Menanteau, Among the Researchers (1/4), 2004–2008 (2010)
Das Feld Gegenüber / Am Andamanensee (Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin / The CHARM Project, Thailand)
Three ink-jet prints, 120 x 300 cm each

In his photographs, Olivier Menanteau looks into the hierarchical structures of social spaces. He observes these, with an eye to spatial organization, through architecture, furniture, design, et cetera, while also considering the way the people interacting therein comport themselves physically. Among the Researchers (1/4) references two of four segments within a project dedicated to spaces of science, communication, and teaching. Here, the artist juxtaposes photographs of lectures, conferences, and such that he captured in 2004 at Berlin’s Institute for Advanced Study with pictures from the CHARM project (Coastal Habitats and Resources) in Thailand which he followed from 2006 to 2008: on the one hand, a noble, exclusive temple of science and, on the other, an exchange project on economic, commercial, and ecological questions initiated by the Thai government and the European Union in which local citizens were involved.

Monika Oechsler, Strip, 1997/2000
One-channel video, color, sound, ca. 4:40 min.

In Strip a fixed camera observes four girls, between the ages of eight and fourteen, taking apart pistols and putting them back together with their eyes blind-folded. The camera does not show their faces – they’re simultaneously blind and headless. The work was filmed in a British shooting club,  which is the only home office approved gun club in Great Britain with a license to teach children from the age of  eight how to shoot guns.

Danilo Prnjat, Perfect Lover, 2006
One-channel video projection, sound, 1:31 min.

In this video performance, the artist ambles along manifold store windows in Florence, in particular the vitrines of fashion labels that are addressing the economically successful classes within society: Roberto Cavalli, Max Mara, et cetera. The camera shows the artist licking the windows—those interfaces between the states of desire and being excluded—from various perspectives.

p.t.t.red (Stefan Micheel and Hans Winkler), Wallstreet – Moneyfield New York, 1995
Series of 41 Polaroids, 2 text panels

The Polaroid series Wallstreet – Moneyfield New York is based upon an action for which the artist affixed one hundred U.S. quarters to the sidewalks of New York’s Wall Street with superglue. The snapshots document bankers, brokers, and other passersby in their attempts at scraping the coins off of the street. A homeless man was ultimately successful in pounding coins out of the concrete with a hammer and chisel.

Dubravka Sekuli?, Glotz nicht so Romantisch! (Russian Pavilions) (Stop Gazing so Romatically! [Russian Pavilions]), since 2004
Series of ink-jet prints

Russian Pavilions is a research project that investigates the informal urban developments taking place in Karaburma, a workers’ district in Belgrade. After the collapse of socialism—during a transitional phase between communal and private property ownership, between a lawless state and a newfound reglementation of the construction and real estate sectors—strategies for expanding housing space were established in Belgrade, with a particular focus on the expansion of rooftop areas. These plans were usually carried out by the residents themselves without blueprints, architects, or legal grounds. Starting in 2001, real estate brokers, on the lookout for lucrative investment opportunities, likewise adopted this strategy. The so-called “Russian Pavilions” in Karaburma offered particularly optimal conditions for this undertaking and were thus augmented to up to two-and-a-half times their original size through rooftop expansions.

Helene Sommer, Das Gelände (The Site), 2004–2005          
One-channel video, 7:50 min.

Das Gelände
(The Site) hones in on the inception of a roofed tropical theme park that is created in a Zeppelin hanger—the largest hanger in the world, which was intended to restore a former Soviet military base near Berlin to its former glory but failed in the process. Penetrating the images—usually shown in time lapse and depicting the construction area, which references the future of the base—are observations from its direct vicinity where ruins and other traces of its former military utilization are apparent. Various historical and filmic temporal planes are thereby intervolved.

Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag, 612.43WEISS (612.43WHITE), 2003–2005 (2010)
One-channel video installation, sound

The video work 612.43WEISS interlinks a photograph from 1943, showing abandoned baggage outside of Stalingrad, with a recording of Der Leiermann (The Organ Grinder) from the same period, namely, the last song from Schubert’s Winterreise (Winter Journey) cycle, as sung by baritone Hans Hotter. Both the image and the sound document have been digitally manipulated. As a result, the photograph is caught in a digitally created blizzard, which causes the scenery to repeatedly dissolve in a slow, steady process, only to appear again anew. Hotter’s voice has been carved out of the piano accompaniment, with only a few tones from the latter having been extracted and digitally stretched.

Krassimir Terziev, A Message from Space in my Backyard, 2008–2009

Two-channel video installation (16:9), silent, color, HD video PAL, 16 min., loop

In this video work, Krassimir Terziev delves into the dangers coming from outer space—not those posed by aliens but rather by human-made space debris: a danger that can hardly be empirically measured but that instead manifests quite “magically” through accidents, like when a piece of a space shuttle suddenly lands in one’s own backyard. In the work, the empirical information on precipitous encounters between the humanoid and space debris is sprinkled with reflections on the mythical connotations of the sky.

Lan Tuazon

Architectures of Defense
, 2010

Architectures of Defense is an installation or sculpture—configured from industrially wrought fencing elements of various materials, designs, and functional contexts—taking the form of a skyscraper. Along the lines of a quintessence of defense architectures, the work associates the aesthetic conventions of royal, civilian, public, and private cultures of inclusion and exclusion. It demonstrates “how history, the law, and class structures become inscribed in the physical environment” (Lan Tuazon).

Army Park: An Impossible Public Park Proposal, 2009
Ink on paper, 76 x 112 cm

Army Park is composed of equestrian statues that have been erected on Manhatthan Island, a public park representing historical  figures (George Washington, Joan of Arc, Simón Bolívar) as a revolutionary army charging towards City Hall.

Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas, Druzba, since 2003
Multimedia installation

The project Druzba (meaning friendship in English), which was called to life in 2003, thematically takes up the oil pipeline stretching from the Urals into Eastern Germany as constructed by the RWG countries in the nineteen-sixties and seventies. The pipeline served the entire “Eastern Bloc” at the time and was a symbol both of solidarity among the socialist states and of their independence vis-à-vis Western markets. Following the dissolution of these socialist states and the Soviet Union, the pipeline was privatized. In their multimedia installation, Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas interlink various narrative threads about the Druzba pipeline and its political entanglements.

Artur ?mijewski, Eye for an Eye, 1998
Series with 6 (of 20) photographs (IIa, IIb, IIc; Va, Vb; Vc), color, 100 x 100 cm each
Courtesy: Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich, and Galerie Foksal, Warsaw

The series shows studio recordings of pairs of naked persons, with one of them in each case missing at least one limb. Together, through their poses, they form a perceivedly intact figure in that the arms or legs of the disfigured are optically complemented by intact limbs.

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