Amitai Romm @ V4ULT, Jan 22

22 January 2015

Artist Amitai Romm is bringing a new solo show titled Exfoliation to Berlin’s V4ULT, where it will open on January 22.

This show release comes accompanied by this abstract text: “So you made a bargain with that ferryman who transports substances and signs – he who deals in constant twilight: turning digits into plans, transposing networks onto contexts, grafting tissue, splicing slips of the tongue. A dissolving agent, forger, liar, patron of travellers – what better place to lay your trust?”

During the show’s opening will be an ‘INTERVENTION’ featuring Agatha Valkyrie Ice performing with Dorota Gaweda, Egle Kulbokaite, Zuzanna Ratajczyk, and Claire Tolan. The performance comes as part of V4ULT’s second episode, running between December 2014 and March 2015, and consisting of three solo shows, one group show, and two time-based interventions, created in collaboration with other artists, inserted into each exhibitions.

See the FB event page for details. **

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Events + exhibitions, Jan 19 – 25

21 January 2015

Following a big first wave of events and exhibitions last week, there are still more to come, alongside London Art Fair this week. Those include Amitai Romm at V4ULT in Berlin, as well as a music event, hosted by producer Jacques Gaspard Biberkopf and featuring live and streamed DJ sets at Panke.

Exhibitions opening in the German city include one by Jaakko Pallasvuo at Future Gallery and Nicolas Ceccaldi at Mathew Gallery, while in London Monira Al Qadiri curates Jaykar: The Cheeky Video Scene of the Gulf to close the Never Never Land exhibition at EOA.Projects. Kim Asendorf and Ole Fach are showing at Carroll/Fletcher, with an opening performance by Helen Benigson, and Phoebe Collings-James has a solo exhibition at Italian Institute of Culture.

Elsewhere, Harm van den Dorpel, Keith J. Varadi and Cally Spooner have exhibitions across LA, New York and Milan, respectively, and Queer Thoughts has organised a group exhibition across three different locations in Nicaragua.

There’s more so see below:


London Art Fair, Jan 21 – 25

Rotherhithe Free Shop, Jan 21

Rainbow by Queer Thoughts, Jan 22

Amitai Romm @ V4ULT, Jan 22

Dance Café January Sail, Jan 23

Till the Stars Turn Cold @ GSS Glasgow, Jan 23

Unthinkable @ Panke Berlin, Jan 23

Jaykar: The Cheeky Video Scene of the Gulf @ EOA.Projects, Jan 23

BIRTHDA5E @ China Chalet, Jan 24

Running up that Building and Diving into the Pool @ Scena Productions, Jan 24


Phoebe Collings-James @ Italian Cultural Institute, Jan 19 – Feb 1

Cally Spooner @ ZERO, Jan 20 – Feb 31

Kim Asendorf + Ole Fach @ Carroll/Fletcher, Jan 22- Feb 21

M/Other Tongue @ Tenderpixel, Jan 22 – Feb 28

New Drawings @ Lely Delval, Jan 22 – Mar 7

Nicolas Ceccaldi @ Mathew Gallery, Jan 22 – Feb 28

Caroline Mesquita @ Union Pacific, Jan 22 – Feb 20

Harm van den Dorpel @ Young Projects, Jan 23 – TBA

Hybrid Poplar Trees @ Fat Relic, Jan 23 – Feb 1

I Am What You Call The Perfect Couple @ Belle Air, Jan 24 – Feb 11

MY INTERNET WAS DOWN FOR 5 MINUTES… @ Galerie Jean Rochdard, Jan 24 – Feb 21

Jaakko Pallasvuo @ Future Gallery, Jan 24 – Feb 21

Jamie Zigelbaum @ Transfer Gallery, Jan 24

Keith J. Varadi @ Retrospective, Jan 24 – Mar 1


See here  for exhibitions opening last week.

Header image: Jaykar: The Cheeky Video Scene of the Gulf @ EOA.Projects.

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Events + exhibitions, Jan 12 – 18

15 January 2015

The year’s barely begun and already there’s too much to cover so we’ve compiled a list of interesting events and exhibitions from across the internet for the week beginning January 12.

A few to pay special attention to is the two-day Ambiguity Symposium at London’s Slade, including talks from Chris Kraus, Rózsa Farkas and Hannah Black, a new collaborative exhibition, Spirit Level, by Jesse Darling and Takeshi Shiomitsu and the second instalment of French Riviera’s Alternative Equinox.

Chrystal Gallery and newscenario.net are featuring new exhibitions online, while Aude Pariset, Dora Budor and Deanna Havas have shows and events across Europe. Rosa Aiello and Kari Rittenbach will be reading in New York, while in Berlin V4ULT is presenting a new exhibition (with intervention) artist Philipp Timischl has a book presentation alongside a performance by Lonely Boys and Panke is presenting an exhibition of emerging Lithuanian artists for one night only in a Katja Novitskova-inspired show-title, Survival Guide.

There’s more so see below:


LA Art Book Fair, January 29 – February 1

VANITY FAIR | DEMO MODE @ Project Native Informant, Jan 14

Kate Sansom @ Chrystal Gallery, January 14 to January 15

Ambiguity Symposium @ Slade, January 14 t0 15

Lonely Boys + Philipp Timischl @ KM-Künstlerhaus, January 15

Deanna Havas & Tristan Gigon @ Marbiers 4, January 15

Towards Excomposition @ Skylab Gallery, January 16

Alternative Equinox Part 2 @ French Riviera, January 16

Vera Karlsson @ 3236rls, January 16

Rosa Aiello + Kari Rittenbach @ Triple Canopy, January 16

Window Leaks @ V4ULT, January 16

Survival Guide @ Panke Berlin, January 17

C R A S H newscenario.net, January 17

RCA Work-in-Progress show, January 16 to 18


Harry Sanderson @ Cell Project Space, January 15 to 18

Chatrooms III: CLICK CLICK CLICK @ Grey Area, January 15

MINIBAR 6th SENSE, January 15 to February 7

Luke Gottelier + Fabio Marco Pirovino @ Ancient & Modern, January 15 to February 28

David Conroy @ Seventeen, January 15 to February 14

By Set Square, Compass and Eye @ South Kiosk, January 15 to February 14


Anna Barham @ Galerie Nordenhake, Jan 15 – Feb 21

Aude Pariset @ Ginerva Gambino, January 15 to February 21

Heart breaking even @ HA HA Gallery, January 16 to 31

Always Brian (ti amo) @ 63rd – 77th STEPS, January 16 to 18

Joey Holder @ Project Native Informant, January 16 to 31

Jesse Darling + Takeshi Shiomitsu @ ANDOR, January 16 to 31

Dora Budor @ New Galerie, January 17 to February 28

Alex Bienstock + Jennyfer Haddad @ Welcome Screen, Jan 18 t0 Feb 15 **

Header image: Kate Samson: Nissan Yogurty (2015) @ Chrystal Gallery.

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Enclosures (First Attempt) @ V4ULT, Dec 19 – Jan 8

12 December 2014

Collaborative platform KERNEL is hosting the Enclosures (First Attempt) exhibition at the newly opened Berlin V4ULT location, running from December 19 to January 8.

The Athens/London-based art, research and curating platform, founded by Pegy Zali, Petros Moris and Theodoros Giannakis, opens this new exhibition with an abstract text about light, darkness, wooden coils and metallic rails – “Each time that a beam hit the copper spiral, the warm light of the sharp reflections colored the crushed stone with which the ground of the tunnel was paved” – that gives away little else about the exhibition.

The location, however, is known, and taking place at V4ULT’s new Kiefholzstrasse location. Throughout the duration of the show, the curators are introducing two interventions, The first is Neïl Beloufa‘s 2011 film, titled ‘The Analyst, the researcher, the screenwriter, the CGI tech and the lawyer’ (2011) and takes place on December 19, with the second intervention yet to be announced.

See the V4ULT website for details. **

NEIL BELOUFA – Excerpt from “The Analyst, the researcher, the screenwriter, the cgi tech and the lawyer” from Balice Hertling on Vimeo.

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Events + exhibition openings (Week Dec 7)

10 December 2014

With most of the last of the exhibitions for 2014 opening at the end of November, December kicks off the holidays with too many events to mention individually, so here’s a list. Special mentioned should go to Imran Perretta and Takeshi Shiomitsu‘s /marinate exhibition at FFrigidaire, several readings across the western world launching Holly Childs‘ second book Danklands and a talk including Iranian philosopher Reza Negarestani at Banner Repeater.

There will also be performances from Dan Bodan and Benedict Drew in London, as well as another Lunch Bytes in Stockholm, another CREAMCAKE and a new V4ULT location in Berlin and a Nick DeMarco exhibition in New York. Pick a date and peruse at your leisure. **


Gaybar celebrates Leslie Feinberg @ Rye Lane Studios, Dec 10

Private Settings film screenings @ MoMA Warsaw, Dec 10

Shana Moulton performance @ SLG, Dec 10

E+E, Krysaor, Nkisi & Why Be @ Endless, Dec 10

The Locoemotive Lounge  @ Cafe Kaizen  Dec 10

* * * *  MOONSIGN// DUBAIS  //LANII //MSHR  @ XB * * * * *  @ Liebig 34, Dec 10

Holly Childs Danklands launches: London on Dec 9, Berlin on Dec 11, Melbourne on Dec 16 and Sydney on Dec 18

Unreliable Source reading installation @ DRAF, Dec 10

Tropical Waste: Lotic + Felicita @ The Waiting Room, Dec 11

INFRA_SPECTION @ The White Building, Dec 11

Skinhead: An Archive @ Ditto Press, Dec 11

Gravy Party @ Apiary Studios Dec 12

Galavant Evenings  @ Stephen House, Dec 12

Lunch Bytes Life: Feminism @ Tensta Konsthall, Dec 12

Dan Bodan @ Birthdays, Dec 12

Algorithms, Zerowork, and Planning @ Banner Repeater, Dec 12

The Rare Earth Medicine Show @ Troy Town Art Pottery, Dec 12

/// A Weekend of Schizo-Culture /// @ Space, Dec 12 – 13

Kernel – Enclosures (First attempt) @ V4ULT, Dec 13

Friends with Books: Art Book Fair Berlin, Dec 13

CREAMCAKE presents E+E &c @ Südblock, Dec 13

Beyond the Rocks @ Kazachenko’s Apartment, Dec 13

Poverty Failure Rejection @ MilMa, Dec 13

Mulled wine @ Maria Stenfors, Dec 13

Benedict Drew @ Café OTO, Dec 14


Vincent Broquaire @ XPO Gallery, Dec 11

Go Mango ~ Pt.1 @ Caustic Coastal, Dec 11 – 21

Chris Lux @ Jupiter Woods, Dec 12 – Jan 4

Nick DeMarco @ Interstate, Dec 13

Imran Perretta & Takeshi Shiomitsu: /marinate @ FFrigidaire, Dec 14

Hubert Marot @ Paris20, Dec 14**


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V4ULT’s a gesture waves us on, answering our own wave reviewed

11 October 2014

A continual tug-o-war between control and resistance is seemingly built into the paradigmatic contorts of every communication system. Perhaps the most interrogated of these are online environments, particularly those that emerged in the wake of the 2.0 ‘revolution’, which replaced a (arguably) chaotic system of peer-to-peer networking with a series of rotating corporate platforms and the google “safe-search” bar. When considering the structures that facilitate not only online, but all levels of interaction, one looks at the extent of manipulation occurring at the point that a message is mediated between two, or multiple indices. What role do we, as both source and recipient of information, play in the contortions and or clarifications of that data and in what ways are these manipulations (un)available to us, for purposes of resistance? Such problematics are at the fore in discussions of interfaciality.

Taking its name, a gesture waves us on, answering our own wave, from a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, this new publication release with text contributions from eight participating artists, writers, designers, architects and theorists – including Jenna Sutela‘sIll-Suited Primate’, a text expansion of the video essay ‘When You Moved’ (2014), written together with Elvia Wilk – is an undertaking by the enigmatic Berlin art project V4ULT.

V4ULT, 'a gesture waves us on, answering our own wave (2014). Published by Nero.

It’s a curatorial platform initiated by Anna Mikkola and Hanna Nilsson. Pushing the conceptual limits of physical space, they turned a closet-sized room in their shared studio into an exhibition space, extending into virtual space by way of their website and describing the platform as “an interface of sorts, a space between us, the people we work with, and our audience.” The release of this publication “marks the end of the first episode” of their curatorial program and develops a discussion of interfaciality, beyond networking and computing, zooming “into scenarios where an entity interacts with its context.”

The publication opens with Harry Burke‘s essay, ‘Interfacial WYSIWYG :P’, a deft glimpse into the ideological reach of digital interfaces, their translation into IRL topographies, as well as the interface as a potential site of resistance. Continuing the theme of disruption, Lucy Chinen looks beyond structural contingencies of social media platforms to suggest that it may be the data and meta data – chats, likes, posts – rather than the structures themselves that could provide the necessary information for understanding the swell and quell of social movements. Analogous to linking “climate change and the increase in extreme weather conditions to human activity”, Chinen recommends making a causative link between political activity online and offline gatherings and protest as an act of empowerment.

Referencing V4ULT’s own self-identification as an interface, Benjamin Bratton‘s essay, ‘Interface Typologies on Design Strategy’, extrapolates multifarious understandings of it across a seemingly endless list of opposites – mobile/immobile, singular/plural, fast/slow, signifying/asignifying – reaching out from the digital, beyond the screen, he details the “relational measures of performance” of everything from a roadblock, to a river to a button with words on it. Offering us a condition among definitions; “For something to really become interfacial it must also somehow govern the conditions of exchange between two different systems that is mediates.”

V4ULT, 'a gesture waves us on, answering our own wave (2014). Published by Nero.
V4ULT, a gesture waves us on, answering our own wave (2014). Published by Nero.

In graceful prose, Elvia Wilk contemplates the relational functionality of ratios – for which the colon, “a membrane…inserted into the equation”, is the interface – with her closing essay, ‘Ratioratio’. She cleverly toys with the ratio as a tool of demarcation that does not fall prone to the dichotomous, reductive regressions of the binary.

Likely an inadvertent reference to the book-publication-paper-page interface, Wilk writes, “a good interface minimizes itself, fading the dots between virtualreal”, a sentiment reiterated by Bratton and elaborated through the design of the publication as an object-interface. A reference to the swipe action used to turn a page on an e-book, there is a diagonal stroke of negative space running down each left page, a book imitating an e-book imitating a book; relational layering, a design joke that simultaneously inhibits the readability of text on the page, whilst making it impossible to ignore its fixed materiality. As such, design dictates the mode of communication, of consumption. In his essay ‘100% Design, Zero Tolerance’, Martti Kalliala explores design, not only as a tool of limitation but also as an answer to intransigence; “there is another, more indirect, and likely more effective mode of struggle: more design.” He offers ‘design failures’; “incompatibility, bottlenecks, and agonism as a mode of freedom.”

Performance/reading of a gesture waves us on, answering our own wave (2014) by V4ULT with Susan Ploetz and Julia Zange @ Center, Berlin. Courtesy the gallery.
Performance/reading of V4ULT’s a gesture waves us on, answering our own wave (2014) w/ Susan Ploetz + Julia Zange @ Center, Berlin. Courtesy the gallery.

What happens when a text, an idea, a concept is freed from its context and placed within a new interface? Jesse Darling‘s contribution about the “ghostmodernity of snapchat”, originally posted as a facebook status, has been transplanted into the publication. Denuded of its likes and comments, removed from its digital environment of blue, white and hapless algorithmic noise, transplanted onto a flat, fixed grey and white page, offers up the problematic of interfacial transplantation as tangible experience. So too does Rasmus Svensson‘s text, ‘Server Closet’, edited and translated from a Swedish comments thread, “When will you leave Sweden”. He collates expressions of “profound xenophobic hostility” for the printed the page and they jab, jar and confuse in a manner that such words online – by way of their prevalence across the web – have (perhaps) ceased to do.

Discussions addressing the negotiation between form and content are by no means new. Whilst it might not be exactly ‘hot topic’ right now, the relevance of the discussion has not waned; the problems are not solved and the conditions of our interactions through and with interfaces are ever changing and cannot definitively be known. This new publication that “looks at interfaces in an expanded field” – though reading it, at times, feels akin to the extraneous beatings of a dead horse – is not an unwelcome contribution to a continuing, broad-based conversation.**

V4ULT’s a gesture waves us on, answering our own wave, was published by Nero in September, and launches in London at Arcadia Missa, October 11, 2014.

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A walk through EDENunlimited/tbc.tbc

30 September 2014

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.

EDENunlimited:tbc.tbc (2014) @ Alt Stralau 4. Exhibition view. Courtesy coeval.gen.in.
EDENunlimited:tbc.tbc (2014) @ Alt Stralau 4. Exhibition view.

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”.

Lawrence Leaman & Jacques Rogers, 'Piper Keys' (2014). Courtesy coeval.gen.in.
Jacques Rogers, ‘Audio File’ (2014). Audi file re-interpreted by a performer. Installation view. 

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.**

Exhibition photos, top-right.

The EDENunlimited/tbc.tbc group exhibition was on at Berlin’s Alt Stralau 4, opening September 20 and running to September 28, 2014.

Header image: Jaakko Pallasvuo, ‘Audio.jpg’ (2014) w/ NO SPACE. 

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V4ULT publication launch, Sep 20

18 September 2014

In a busy night of interrelated openings and events during Berlin Art Week, nebulous online/offline art project V4ULT is launching a publication, a gesture waves us on, answering our own wave, at Berlin project space Center on the afternoon of September 20.

Opening with performances and readings by V4ULT, along with Susan Ploetz (aka Pashly) and Julia Zange, between 3pm and 4pm, the publication carries on the project’s concerns with virtual and ‘real’ platforms that already exist (or existed) across an online exhibition space and a temporary location in Kreuzberg, where they last held their Breathing Kevlar, Perforated Skin show last year.

Designed and edited by v4ult, published by Nero and featuring new texts artists, writers, designers, architects, theorists, Harry Burke, Lucy Chinen, Jesse Darling, Jenna Sutela, Rasmus Svensson, Benjamin Bratton, Martti Kalliala and Elvia Wilk (who also edited the texts), a gesture waves us on… explores where “an entity interacts with its context” and proposes that the interface “can alter the way we observe and behave in our surroundings, and suggests ways to design more responsive environments”.

As a project run by Anna Mikkola and Hanna Nilsson, the latter of whom is also behind online “information bank” Waves of Direction, the publication appears as part of a rising swell of ideas and experiences culminating at spatial relations and how they effect the constant “move back and forth between the viewer and the artworks”.

See the Facebook event page for details.**

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EDENunlimited/tbc.tbc @ Alt Stralau 4, Sep 20 – 28

18 September 2014

The EDENunlimited/tbc.tbc group show is gathering up a selection of local and international not-for-profit spaces and artists for a sound-and-word exhibition taking place at one of Berlin’s run-down old buildings at Alt Stralau 4 from September 20 – 28.

The art spaces featured in the exhibition – including V4ULT, Parallel OaxacaM/L Artspace, Almanac and Center (with artist project coeval.gen.in) – were selected following a secret but random set of criteria, and asked to provide a sound work accompanied by a visual element done by an artist of their choice.

The 19 contributing artists, in turn, have never physically met, instead using the “natural resilience of sound to create overlapping narratives between a variety of works”. The result is an exhibition that aims to explore the ineffable intuitive process that takes place between artists and curators in creating a show, set up in the reworked communal space of Alt Stralau 4 as one single dizzying soundscape.

The opening night is followed by an after party with Berlin Community Radio at the same address. 

See the FB event page for details. **


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V4ULT 2013 exhibition archive launched

6 January 2014

Berlin-based ‘non-space’, V4ULT, has launched a video archive of last year’s exhibitions on its website.

Speaking to their precept of “URL continues IRL”, and vice versa, founders and curators Anna Mikkola and Hanna Nilsson (of PWR Studio) spent the past year exploring place and our relation to it by playing with the notion of the online and offline gallery, as well as its documentation. If you click the black square in the top right hand corner of  the website, links to shows by Iain Ball, Kimmo Modig, Pamela Rosenkranz and, of course, last September’s Breathing Kevlar, Perforated Skin group exhibition, among others, present yet another experience of 2013’s Adalbertstrasse space, which is set to shift elsewhere in 2014.

See the V4ULT website for details. **

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‘Breathing Kevlar, Perforated Skin’ @ V4ULT reviewed

9 December 2013

The documentation of completed art works is usually a closed affair. In the case of Breathing Kevlar, Perforated Skin, the documentation was the content of the exhibition, which led to a series of bewildering encounters and borderline perverse scenarios.

V4ULT is a project space run out of a studio on Adalbertstrasse, one of the hippest hubs near Kreuzberg’s Kottbusser Tor. Billed as a “performative group show”, the exhibition’s description was otherwise opaque. The blurb read as an ad for Screen Ops Tactical Gloves –hand wear that allows you to use touch-activated electronics while working in “tactical environments”. The relation between the gloves and the show was never explicitly illuminated but the almost poetic perversity of the their description might provide the missing link.

Photographer Mikko Gaestel documented the artworks, for the two-hour exhibition. Several people –friends or benevolent assistants of the artists –lined up in a dark, bare room with the works in hand, ready to be photographed by Gaestel. In the far corner of the room, a one person-wide, brightly-lit closet served as the backdrop for the shoot. The objects were photographed in the hand of their guardian, while visitors could peer into from over Gaestel’s shoulder. The whole thing proved a curiously voyeuristic experience.

'Breathing Kevlar, Perforated Skin' exhibition documentation @ VAULT. Image courtesy of the gallery.
Mia Goyette (Klarer Geschmack / Aus 660 m Tiefe / 15.000 Jahre alt, 2013). Image courtesy V4ULT.

The objects to be displayed, though largely unassuming, took on a fetishistic character in the context of their documentation. Martin Kohout’s ‘Sticks: Class A’ (2011) looked like a cross between a wind instrument, a weapon and a ritualistic divining rod. The ‘Based on Memory’ (2012) Euro coins by Anne de Vries were exhibited enticingly in the palm of their bearer’s cupped hands, like a semi-religious offering. All the while, Hanne Lippard’s familiar voice filled the room, as her audio narrative ‘Dings (Horrorscope 2014)’ (2013) –a series of prophetic reflections on suffocating office atmospheres mixed with astrological truisms –emanated reassuringly from a laptop on a table. It was played on V4ULT’s website (where it can still be seen), the background pattern of Naja Ankarfeldt’s accompanying video, ‘Things’ (2013), meshing seamlessly with the wallpaper itself, giving rise to the V4ULT tag line that “the URL continues IRL”. The site becoming personified –in lieu of the artists themselves –as participant among the performers in the room.

Conceptually, the exhibition was excellent, which made it almost unbearable to experience in real life (conceptual art often only being recognizably good when reflected upon in its wake). There was no indication of how to behave in this strange domestic space, no division between visitors and performers, and seemingly no one ‘in charge’. Witnessing the documentation of an event –before or in the absence of the event itself –produces a sense of fruitless anticipation. This unrequited feeling lingered beyond the one night show, a sure sign of seductive success. **


Breathing Kevlar, Perforated Skin ran at Berlin’s V4ULT gallery for one night only on November 27, 2013.

Header image: Anne de Vries (Based On Memory, 2012). All images courtesy V4ULT.

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Pamela Rosenkranz @ V4ULT, Sep 18

17 September 2013

With space becoming a real concern in a densely populated, urbanised world, its galleries like new Berlin additions V4ULT that are exploring the notion of boundaries and how to transcend them. Run by Anna Mikkola and Hanna Nilsson they aim to utilise the small space by exploring networked social media and our interlinked relation to it via a combined online and offline gallery.

Opening their first show with an exhibition from UK artist Iain Ball in June,  with shows by eight artists in the three months since, the title of Pamela Rosenkranz’s, Content, opening on Wednesday, September 18, marks an interesting parallel with V4ULT’s high-volume, rapid turnover of works, especially when that ‘content’ appears to consist entirely of online information on skin care. Refresh.

See the V4ULT website for more details. **

Vault Logo

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