The show was centred around a text in the press release that looked at Memory through the body of a retired old man, finding peace among chaos:
“His loved ones have passed away and he spends his days organizing his belongings over and over, recreating the memories of his younger hippie days. Main interests include medievalism, skin care, jewelry, listening to trance compilations, meditation, botanics.”**
The works in the gallery face each other, reverse glass paintings depicting motifs of wild roses on the right-hand side of the space, and hand-engraved, high-end WLAN routers that are mounted onto mirrors via magnets and incorporate phrases and words like “people are living in underground, in little individual ‘cells’, without having any direct contact with each other” on the left.
For a long period of time Hornig has been painting what he terms “reverse glass paintings” (and groups under the title ‘The Newromanzer’ —a fitting follow up from the phrase New Scenario) upon which he paints dried flowers taken from what one can assume are zoomed in scenes of wild suburbia. In fact, the way the artist has installed these panels, inserted into the backs of old windows that act like frames, evokes the kind of nostalgia that seems deeply rooted in the image and the idea of long streets of semi detached houses and semi detached doors.
The show’s accompanying press release is a short text written by the artist emphatically using the first person to describe what and why these works exist. Hornig extends the sentiment by mentioning to aqnb that the motif of a wild rose painted on a neon shimmering background “functions like a modern answer to our romantic need”.
On the other side of the wall are the group of inscribed routers ‘TXT on Devices’ (2015) with their words described by Hornig as ‘self-written’ and used by the artist to carry his messages, albeit here, on the shiny and reflective surface. One reads:
“We are a proven supplier to service providers across the globe, able to integrate the solutions in a minimum of time in order to avoid the six–gestures-habitats. But when the machine stops, nothing will happen.”**
The Deeper Minds press release deals with thinking about where the decisions we make and the data produced by the things we search for goes and gets stored when we are active online. It wonders about how far this kind of information and intelligence-building can go, before reminding us: “remember, you are what you like. We are the deeper minds”.
Episode 4: Bathroom, curated by Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė, brought together artists Paul Barsch and Tilman Hornig at Münchenstein’s OSLO1O in Switzerland, which ran from November 25, 2015, to January 25, 2016. Under the topic of ‘Bathroom’, devised by “post-gender avatar” and curator Agatha Valkyrie Ice, the project was the fourth of 10 in Ai’s curatorial concept following MTV Cribs.
Moving through the different rooms of Ai house, beginning at the entrance, through the corridors and into further rooms, the 10 episodes host a [sci-fi IRL] story constructed over two years.
Four toilets are placed haphazardly around the space. Each titled ‘Toilet Piece’ (2015), the artists describe the medium as “Sanitary Ceramics” and each have been cleanly painted with pigment made to look like graffiti. Hanging above are the three ‘Garlic Piece’ series (2015), made of allium sativum (see: garlic) and bast fiber (also a part of the plant), hung on steel. In the adjacent room, ‘Wall piece’ (2015) takes up the majority of the space and is made using nitro-combination lacquer. The graffiti presents opposite the isolated and minimal ‘Soap/Sink Piece’ (2015).
Accompanying the sculptural assemblage is a written script that expands on the concept through words:
“Hanako-san, Ai realise the first organ to suffer privatization, removal from the social field, was the anus. Ai hole is a positive particle before Ai is the absence of a negatively charged electron, and the movement of electrons toward the positive terminal is also a flow of holes streaming back the other way. Immerse Aiself in a field of anuses, and a collection of small holes and tiny ulcerations: Ai heterogeneous elements compose the multiplicity of symbiosis and becoming. Holes are charged particles running in reverse. Holes are not the absence of particles but particles traveling faster than the speed of light. Ai realise that the anus is that center of production of pleasure. Ai is closely related to the mouth and hand, which are also organs strongly controlled by the sexopolitical campaign against masturbation and homosexuality in the nineteenth century. The anus has no gender.”**
At the top of a stairwell, beside the doorway, a toy butterfly skewered on a curved wire rod circles around the opening of a large crisp packet from a hidden motor inside. Crumbs beside the packet release oil into the concrete dust. It is a work by Paul Barsch. I am lightheaded and seeing stars because the exhibition is at the top of a long spiral staircase that scales the corner of the mostly abandoned building. The sculpture has a smoother mechanism but remains positively lo-fi in its technics, like a hand drawn animation superimposed over 35mm film. In its cyclical dance, a comic gesture, perfected in this automaton, indicates the threshold of the show; the bouncer.
Past the doorway, a skinny tubular structure, one of several of Erik Larsson’s ‘Beach Bums’ works emerges from a mound of sand. Jammed into each other with shims of banknotes; currencies I can’t make out amongst other domestic debris. These notes serve a function to wedge and physically support. Behind this work, a punk and his dog sits in a little scene with their backs against a large modernist object by Lin May Saeed. A haggard host welcoming us to the venue, its crude white plaster legs bleed rust from their internal armature. Alongside it are the words “WR 6603 ART BRUT” written in paint on the ground. The paint is older, inflicting my reading of the sculpture in such proximity; the punk in a moment of disdain contemplating ‘Art Brut’ in huge letters at its feet.
These words and numbers, along with other wall drawings and graffiti in the attic were made in the early 2000s. I piece together a narrative through my conversation with the organisers of an artist who went by the name of Dada Reiner. Two manifesto-like texts by Reiner were found in a stairwell dated from 2001, they included his views on the art-industrial-complex and his methods of practice. The texts have been brought into the space of the show and left on a beam to be read. It is confusing perhaps for the art viewer in search of an exhibition text, but this derailment and the possible co-option of Reiner’s politics is part of the routine at the club.
In the second room Tilman Hornig’s rear painted window frames feel nostalgic and inward in this scenario, their materiality put under scrutiny by that of the attic space. In the adjacent eaves the room is part sectioned-off by a wire mesh, a white rectangle of fabric creates a quick-fix wall divide, and inside this is a salon of small paintings by Real Positive. Unknown schematics, wires gridding the surface of a canvas. In another work I make out wind turbines, or stars collaged from pills and silver foil, a gritty future.
Against a landscape painting by exhibition organiser Fellner, two crude cars made from tin food cans travel in static motion alongside an improvised wall. They’re part children’s toys, part anachronistic prototype, forgotten and resigned to the loft. The metal, cut and torn into vehicles, feels like a dark critique of our modern aspirations and tragedies. A video with clips from Disney-Pixar’s computer-animated comedy adventure film Cars and a text describing the tin can’s journey make up parts of this installation by Fellner & Beschow. Like with Saeed’s art brut punk, there is a contemplation of the future through the tendencies of how we interpret and fetishize the past and its production values, at times with fairytale simplicity.
Comedy Club is short and sweet but its jokes are long-winded and bitter. It feels timeless, in that it occupies a crusty building and shows emerging art. Timed with Berlin Gallery Weekend, the character of many of the works and the precarious rooms they inhabit turn in on the official market-driven programme with a critical gaze. Sub-cultural systems of practice as affect, historical assimilation, spun out. As one of the organisers jokes, it’s an ‘underground’ show but it’s above us in an attic.**
The event text captures a snippet of an interview between New Scenario and Temporary Gallery and discussing dealing better with ways of presenting exhibitions online. They point out that many online spaces, or shows presented outside of the white cube often fail to address their specific conditions and formats: “They end up as (often poorly done) online documentations”.
According to the text, for the talk on the 22nd New Scenario will discuss the shift from documentation to image production and “how important it is to overcome one’s own taste”.
This summer the artist and founder of the New Scenario project made a photo series called Nevermind (summer 2015) which saw a t-shirt printed with the header “Nevermind” flying around a field with glowing hay bails in and sometimes resembling a horse’s head. Hornig has also recently shown at Two Queens, De Appel Art Centre and with swimminalpoolitics.eu.
Although the current project is shrouded in some mystery, with a website displaying the opening date, shimmering below a watery surface, the Berlin-based duo have previously collaborated in similar ways. With eStaminathey presented a 60-minute ambient audio track accompanied by CGI in “a drugged fog”, as well as scripted contributions from 26 other artists, musicians, curators and neuroscientists.
If you wait for something long enough it’ll come back in style, and dinosaurs are coming back with a vengeance of all things though extinct. Jurassic Paint, the second online show by New Scenario, went live on their website in early June. The group exhibition, shot in the forest of Saurierpark Kleinwelka, a dinosaur park filled with life-size dinosaur models, combines “two prehistoric yet resilient species” for a collection of canvas works from eleven visual artists.
New Scenario, founded by artists Paul Barsch and Tilman Hornig in late 2014, is a dynamic platform for conceptual, time-based and performative exhibition formats “that happen outside the real of the white cube”. With Jurassic Paint, Barsch and Hornig invite the participants to combine painting as a “creative act of the imagination” with the construction of the dinosaurs, whose likeness “emerges from fanciful and narrative processes of the human and scientific mind”. The canvas works and the dinosaurs share, as the exhibition’s press release identifies, the same ‘Lebensraum’ or living space, creating a new scenario.
The eleven visual artists have all been asked to create a dinosaur likeness, with Zoe Barcza creating a Plateosaurus titled ‘Shred IV’, Ann Hirsch offering an Anatosaurus titled ‘My Starving Public 1998’, and Tom Davis creating a Campsognathus titled ‘Ovid-Acteaon’. The remaining artists include Scott Gelber with a Diplodocus hallorum titled ‘RothkoNetflix1’, Sayre Gomez with a Antrodemus titled ‘Thief Painting in Violet’, Martin Mannig with a Heterodontosaurus tucki titled ‘Psycho’ and Jaakko Pallasvuo with a Ornitholestes hermanni titled ‘Amusement Park’. There’s also Anselm Ruderisch‘s Polacanthus titled ‘Voyager1’, Joshua Abelow with a Triceratops prorsus titled ‘Untitled (Witch)’, and Iain Ball with a Triceratops horridus titled ‘(res) terbium series 3’. Hornig and Barsch also contributed pieces to the exhibition with, respectively, a Ceratosaurus nasicornis titled ‘Stop Aids redux’ and a Tyrannosaurus rex titled ‘O. K.’s Time Travels (Back to the Future)’, accompanied by written contributions from Johannes Thumfart and Hendrik Niefeld. **
New Scenario brings a new exhibition to their conceptual platform, titled Jurassic Paint and launching on June 11.
The New Scenario project was launched by Paul Barsch and Tilman Hornig as a time-based platform for performative exhibition formats taking place “outside the realm of the white cube”, and the two founders team up to for the concept and curation of Jurassic Paint, described as having works on canvas and “live size (sic) dinos”.