This time, unexpected others reflects on “relations existing between organic and non-living entities” by taking its title from Donna Harraway’s 1992 text ‘The Promise of Monsters‘, where the influential writer and theorist coins ‘innapropriate/d others’ while considering “how hard intellectual, cultural and political work these new geometries require”.
There is little other information alongside the exhibition announcement —aside from the fact it will be taking in the Project Room —but we might perhaps expect some thinking around death, (re)cycles, dark entertainment, things that perish and, potentially, gore. That’s especially given the Berlin-based artist’s recent collaborative 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick exhibition with Clémence de La Tour du Pin, for example.
Renard works mainly with sculpture, combining explicitly organic and inorganic materials, as well as content in one gesture or work. In fact it is hard to tell whether the deteriorating figure in the image used to accompany the show is real or cast and slightly melted.
There is limited information given with Dunmore Caves, apart from a poster that the gallery have posted in the Facebook event, which outlines a conversation between Darth Vader and a canteen worker -as imagined in Eddie Izzard’s mind.
On February 20 at the opening event, Backes and Timofeev performed in the space and this coming Saturday 27, Hindi and Shanken will perform. It will be interesting to see how these artists, not all of whom necessarily have performance-based practices, will be brought together in live pairings and moments across the event.
Borrowing their title from a snuff movie called 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick, the joint exhibition by artists Clémence de la Tour du Pin and Antoine Renard’s at L’Atelier-ksr , running September 16 to October 24, 2015, explicitly references the “cannibalistic story of pornographic actor Luka Rocco Magnotta, arrested after killing and dismembering his boyfriend.” The press release also includes a newspaper clipping from the event:
“On May 25, 2012, an 11-minute video titled 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick was uploaded to Bestgore.com, depicting a naked male tied to a bed frame being repeatedly stabbed with an ice pick and a kitchen knife, then dismembered, followed by acts of necrophilia.The perpetrator uses a knife and fork to cut off some of the flesh and gets a dog to chew on the body. (…)”
Intentionally placed within the nauseating reality of a violent murder, the show invites the viewer into a space of aftermath. Everything looks like its decaying from hedonism: rusty steel partitions divide the space into small rooms, setting the scene for a stereotypically horrific encounter. Coffee grounds and other unidentifiable detritus and stains are strewn across the space. A work titled ‘If you don’t like the reflection don’t look in the mirror’ is a tree stump wrapped in PVC rubber sheath on top of a fridge. The freezer door is open creating a makeshift plinth for an aluminium cast of a hand. Sexual party snapshots are stuck to the bottom. Half-empty coffee cups sit quietly on the floor in installation, ‘Life is the flower for which Love is the honey’. The accruing moisture included in the materials list begs for attention.
A broken pillow with strewn feathers sits in a corner next to a matrix of aluminium earplugs and wires that vaguely represent the shape of an arm. Another tree stump titled, ‘Could you juice me again? The colours are starting to fade’, sits in uncomfortable proximity to a steel box used to house toxic liquid. In another ‘unit’, a deep fryer-cum-garbage can is filled with steel tubing and a sneaker. Sculptural figures such as ‘Justin Bieber’ hang down above the scene and suggest a ritual that may have taken place. A red stain bleeds out onto the surrounding floor. The title, ‘I am you, Jun. I’m all you’ll ever need’, feels like an appropriated quote aimed towards a murdered lover. This sanitising of a reference steeped in malaise [through the theatrical nature of an art installation] is perhaps what gives the exhibition its disturbing undertone.
An oversized image of a generic sexy avatar girl found in many video games, fills the space of one of the metallic panels. This image immediately brings 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick into the realm of online gaming, darkened by a surrounding narrative that hasn’t seen daylight for months. The aftermath of excess and entertainment remains open-ended in its obscurity, entangled within the fermentation process of ‘going underground’. **
The on-site eleven-minute video installation takes as its inspiration the story of pornographic actor Luka Rocco Magnotta, who was arrested after uploading a video depicting him stabbing then dismembering his boyfriend with an ice pick and kitchen knife as part of a snuff film gone real -also the subject of last years 24/7 performance at Berlin’s Schaubühne, MEAT.
The installation dives into the world of the dark web, reflecting “its dark spaces of excess entertainment and constant transformation” and drawing attention to our underlining morbid attraction to gore.
Berlin’sAshley Berlin launches their new exhibition, Veins of Gypsum Mortar, opening at their Kreuzberg location on July 16.
The exhibition platform (formerly known as Other Projects), founded by Emma Czerny-Holownia, Mark Strömich, Elena Gilbert, and Lauryn Youden and currently coordinated by Emma and Lauryn together with Kate Brown, has been putting together six yearly exhibitions since 2013.
With PANORAMA, the Brussels-based Swiss artist brings an installation that takes its inspiration from the historical art of panorama painting, transforming the S.A.L.T.S. outdoor exhibition box into one large-scale cube that takes on the shape of a four-sided canvas, allowing for a full 360-degree painting complete with figures.
Blue Majik, running at L’Atelier-KSR until June 27, “intends to sense the confusion and the ongoing dissolution of the synthetic and organic.” The group show is named after an extract of Arthrospira platensis. Marketed as a Nutrient Dense Aqua Botanical™, Blue Majik is described as a “pigment” with superfood qualities and is as much a biological substance as it is the bottle in which it is sold. Through each individual contribution, this invocation of a hyped, factitious nature shimmers. Across an impressive spectrum of mediums and materials, it sticks to each work and holds them thick together, revelling in the aesthetics of rust, destruction, decay, design and juxtaposition.
It is probably the clean, black rubber tyre jutting perpendicular to the wall that makes me think “car showroom” as I first arrive at the hidden two-floor gallery space. Anthony Salvador’s ZWEI JUNGS IM BENZ (2015) features a wall-length PVC print, a photograph of the front corner of a banged-up car. Its boot, popped and skewed, arches over a headlight like a raised brow, an indistinguishable appendage pokes out where a nostril might fit, a gash where the bumper was seems to fall open like a slack sneer. The tyre pops from the wall like an ear or a barnacle. I wonder if I am wrong to see a face. I also see something oily and slick, like the essence of hype winking at me.
Nearby on the ground Tore Wallert’s Sponsored by Destiny (2015) stretches like the prostrate body of a barely discovered deep-sea creature, the kind that live in darkness and feed on oil. From this scrunchy package of toxic usables—plastic, epoxy, resin, fibreglass, permanent ink, polyester fabrics—ratchet straps snake out like the treacherous stinging tentacles of a Blue Bottle jellyfish, its nose points towards the wall where Clemence de La Tour du Pin’s two prints hang. Worked and layered, these textured prints bare leaf impressions like tattoos on skin, wearing their tread marks like bruises. One of the prints, Tean_Crimson Blood (2015), sheds its rusty crust onto the floor below, toxic like body fluids and powdery like uranium-enriched pollen.
By the door, a text contribution by Dorota Gaweda and Egle Kulbokaite of The Young Girl Reading Group tells of a “hypersea” (“a postmordial sea of countless and interconnected conduits”) and leads to Antoine Renard’s Untitled_1, 2, 3, 4 (Vase of Flower) (2015), which stretches out in foamy shale piles, like a queer rubbery mountain range. It brings me into viewing the next few pieces as landscapes, artificial and reminiscent of cheap market wares. Santiago Taccetti’s sculptural installation The Secret Life of Our Protheses (2015) clings to the ground in mimicry of nature overcoming a drain grid. Built of metal, wood, water and soylent green, it has all the magic of grass growing through a crack in the pavement under a magnifying glass. Three squat humidifiers, dressed like foam rocks, flaunt their cuteness; their skeuomorphism drives the scene into fantasy and they puff off into associations between fairy tale, science fiction, and the mundane. Similar but different, Adrien Missika’s Here is shot through with there (2015) hangs on the wall above, two flat, pink tiles made of red Turkish travertine stone gouged out and filled in with Berlin algae and Spirulina. Evocative and fragile, the works are beautiful but not especially subtle.
Plenty of Berlin galleries find refuge in apartment buildings; many echo a dilapidated pre-war opulence, and this one has a spiral staircase. From the mezzanine above I see Julie Grosche’s Zen out (2015) as a cheesy hipster-relic galaxy, something to dive into. At the bottom of the stairs is Sanctuary I-IV (2013), four digital prints on metallic paper by Hanne Lippard. Aesthetically they land somewhere between a periodic table and an eye chart. A poem of disjointed words and phrases, spaces inserted between the syllables, make me giddy. I feel her poetry as a gentle kind of beautified nausea.
I nearly missed Neïl Beloufa’s La deomination du monde (2012) a 27-minute video hiding out on a monitor behind a black curtain in the corner. I may have passed up something significant, a comment, some hidden meaning, I rarely have the patience to watch things to their end in a gallery, and here I am standing upright in a makeshift closet, I don’t last the distance.
On June 17, you’ll get a chance to experience Hanne Lippard and Caique Tizzi perform live as one of the event elements tied into this show. A week later, on June 24, there’ll be an artist talk in the same space.
“Remembering the common source that binds us all…” writes artist Tore Wallert, in a press release text-poem introducing the Jurassic Haze exhibition, running at Berlin’s Center space, from December 19 to March 15. He’s one of seven contributors to the project that’s led by Antoine Renard and literally smeared with the creams and liquids that make up our contemporary experience, as envisioned through a “Dove lotion coating installation” that draws in a world of dirt and synthetics, augmented realities and screens of all sizes.
A suspended watermelon rotates at the centre of a shifting circle on a large LED screen in a corner as a monstrously distorted voice quotes an Apple Store description of a product that configures “an entire computer system on a single chip” in Renard’s ‘iWatch HD’ (2015). Pink and white walls are met with pink and white ceiling lights, while Wallert’s site-specific installation ‘Amanda’ (2015) hides in the bathroom. Fresh mint leaves and their stalks fill the sink and the floor, lying squashed and stepped on over white tiles daubed with blue ink and scattered with soda bottles. Dense and dirty imitation Dove body lotion containers made up of clear resin and sprinkled with “girlfriend dust” are perched next to low black metal benches, their milky body cream contents smudged across wall-length windows that someone’s signed with a finger. A diptych of digital prints by Renard and Sandra Vaka Olsen hang on a wall, the shattered screen picture fragments made up of lines of electricity that collide in shared tones and become form within their frames.
Camouflage-themed VR goggles hang by wires from the ceiling across from a matching jacket –dubbed ‘geek dress’ in its image file –with virtual views to Kate Sansom and Timur Si Qin‘s ‘Nissan Yoghurty’ (2015) rendering of a vast and empty gallery. There’s an eerie montage of violent home footage in Anthony Salvador‘s ‘DONTBRINGAKNIFE2AFISTFIGHT’ (2014) digital video, where you’re not just a viewer but an accomplice, while Grégoire Blunt and Emmy Skensved‘s (who recently completed eStamina) ‘center_H264_2000px_1500kbps_ACC’ (2015) presents a CGI room with a view. You can watch through the plant leaves that look like they’re weed, across to a simulation of water that swells to the icy beats and melodic computer-chimes of a corporatised environment that’s completely lost touch with what’s real. **
In the sparsely furnished, dimly lit hall on the third floor of an enormous dilapidated house, bed frames are loosely arranged around ornate plaster columns in irregular rows. The reference to an orphanage, or a dormitory is immediate and obvious, yet the recurrence of digital printing and a wall-mounted flat screen brings your thoughts back to the Berlin art scene.
EDENunlimited/tbc.tbc is a collaborative project by artists Clémence de La Tour du Pin and Antoine Renard and the curators Elise Lammer and Emiliano Pistacchi. It pulls together sound and installation works of 19 artist from 13 contributing not-for-profit spaces. The show holds a strong aesthetic reference to Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster‘s TH.2058 show, which imagined Tate Modern 50 years into the future as a post-apocalyptic shelter, an installation housing rows of bare metal bed frames and remnants of personal effects. Despite the reference though, experiencing EDENunlimited will not be like walking through the eerily deserted isles of an abandoned ward.
Emphasising audio, each of the 13 installation pieces on show have its own aural composition. Technology varies, ranging from a pair of subwoofers, that seem to be hooked up to two-stroke engine oil, erratically amplifying dialogue from de La Tour du Pin and Renard’s ‘I Do It So It Feels Real’ (2014); to a variety of dinky portable MP3 docks; to several straggly in-ear headphone sets. At the far end of the room, a performer reinterprets Jacques Roger’s ‘Audio File’ (2014) on an acoustic guitar. His quiet strumming rises above the conglomerate noise of the show evaporating gently a moment or two later. In addition, the general sound system, a constantly changing, continuous layer in the exhibition ambience, throws a shroud over the space, at times dominating, or sublimating to, the individual pieces.
Selected by Switzerland’s SALTS, Hannah Weinberger‘s moody track featuring samples of running water, dripping pipes and hollow plumbing, ‘Hi’ (2013), evokes moisture and dankness. It lends itself to the damp old walls that house the exhibition. Occasional sound bites emerging from Andrew Birk & Ian Swanson‘s ‘Road Poets Flip Chasm’ (2014), pull and push perception in unexpected directions. A low hush of digital static in the space sounds like insects. A voice advises, “you imagine the smell of it … life feels like static … life feels like not life … like a cot in an institution”. Electric prickles run over your skin like the static ghosts of bed bugs and roaches. A digital reminiscence of this corporeal imagination of the tiny horrors that lurk in dormitories, scabies, lice, contagious skin conditions; digital pricks and burns experienced by those with electromagnetic sensitivity. “You can feel the analogue is about to break.” In this case it is the digital that is breaking, janky systems that run low on battery, or having been set in energy-saver mode are drifting off to sleep.
According to the project brief, “contributing art spaces were selected following a set of secret yet random criteria.” Though we will likely never learn the “secret criteria” on which the show is premised. This exhibition evokes intimacy, it is about revealing what is initially hidden.
Like finding a colony of holographic ants on the underside of a log, each piece in EDENunlimited must be discovered. You crouch against the wall by Aimee Heinemann‘s ‘Greek & Roman Mythology 2003: World Aquaculture & Apocalypse Narratives’ (2014), invited by UK’s Almanac, insert a pod or two into your aural orifices and tune into Heinemann’s voice. Following a lilting narrative, it transports you somewhere else, into a magical wikipedia of bodies and psychologies and smoky experimental skies, the voice tells you, “Strange Galaxies”.
From one thin bare mattress to the next, the exhibition winds through a series of simulated privacies. A text printed on silk, ‘Bind To’ (2014) by V4ULT’s Anna Mikkola and Hanna Nilsson, hangs, shower-curtain-like as an imperfect partition between pieces. Coming upon Jacent Varoym‘s ‘La Sieste (Abyssus Abyssum Invocat)’ (2014), a scene strewn with clothing, a half-drunk glass of wine and a plate of curry wurst, confronting and embarrassing you with these abject remnants of life. Visitors to the space sit on beds and talk in hushed tones. Everywhere you walk, you feel like you’re interrupting. You stop by Andrea Lukic‘s, ‘Who Will Let Her Hair Down When I Cannot Sing My Heart’ (2014) and poke the grimy nub of an earphone into your ear to discover the sound of fire crackling from the imitation flames of wood, pebbles and light bulbs. Though the intimacies are calculated, their simulated viscera is tangible.**