October 11th, 2012
Artists: Calla Henkel, Max Pitegoff, Jean-Michel Wicker, Jan Vorisek, Stefan Tcherepnin, Sergei Tcherepnin, Gela Patashuri, Ken Okiishi, Mathis Altmann, Mélanie Mermod präsentiert APN
Venue: Kunsthalle Bern
NEW THEATER 2012-2013
shindisi home videos
the deleted scene
a fanzine as a museum /
a museum as a fanzine
cut-out bin / apnegative
sci-fi sounds from the alienated kitchen
OOO &&& LLL
hc r 1
Organized by: Emanuel Rossetti and Tobias Madison
Date: August 25 – October 14, 2012
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Kunsthalle Bern, Bern. Photos by Gunnar Meier.
Art as the byproduct of certain kinds of relationships, certain kinds of communities. Times is an artist project that was founded in 2011 in Berlin by Calla Henkel, Lindsay Lawson and Max Pitegoff. A bar, a nighttime exhibition and a performance space, Times functions as a club for a mostly young, mostly expatriate art scene. In Bern, Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff have reworked the furniture of their bar for a new theater space to open in 2013. Also on exhibit, a set of photographs that provide allegorical evidence of events and discussions said to have taken place in Berlin. The fluorescent lights, indicating that the performance is set to begin, comes–of course–from New York. Soon one year old, Times will close its door while the show in Bern will still be running.
TCCA Organ, 2012. Three years ago Gela Patashuri and Sergei Tcherepnin found an air pressure regulator on the Eliava flea market in Tbilisi, Georgia. This marks the starting point of the TCCA Organ, a sculptural and musical collaborative project. In the summer 2012 they built the instrument near Shindisi, on a stretch of land bought by Swiss curator Daniel Baumann– a land where the Tbilisi Center For Contemporary Art might one day be built. The organ was put to its inaugural use with a performance by Sergei Tcherepnin and Gela Patashuri, and included Tobias Madison, Emanuel Rossetti, Mélanie Mermod and a group of Georgian artists which Patashuri refers to as the New Generation. The main sounds were produced after a score by Patashuri and Tcherepnin emanating from the center of the organ. The other participants joined by responding from the surrounding field. The recordings of this performance will be emitted at Kunsthalle Bern using audio transmitters connected to cardboard and amplified by metal tubes brought from Georgia. Gela Patashuri then hung bells made of scrap metal found in Bern. The combination of all those elements– wether brought from Georgia or found in Bern– completes the piece at Kunsthalle Bern.
Context Content Data Form. Jean-Michel Wicker’s posters take as their point of departure the first issue of Homocore, a 1988 San Francisco gay anarcho punk zine. This visual material is organized, reorganized and disorganized, reframed and defaced, scribbled on and pieced together with images and texts culled from the artist’s immediate Berlin surroundings. In Europe, 1988 is considered to have been a second Summer of Love, which saw the rise of rave culture. Yet, rather than weave these sub-cultural references into a coherent story, Jean-Michel Wicker’s formal and structural games which alter and open up these images, create a rift in the communitarian narratives we expected these images to convey.
Gregorio Magnani on Jean-Michel Wicker: Jean-Michel Wicker is interested in knowledge; in particular, he is interested in the possibilities opened up by unlearning. Found texts and cultural flotsam, images, the basic elements of language and writing, appear and disappear with joyful randomness in his work. They are copied, altered, turned upside-down, enlarged and compressed, made to conform to unusual logics and structures. The study of our prevailing reading patterns suggest that we apprehend texts linearly –in the Western cannon, from left to right and from top to bottom –and images through multiple scans criss-crossing in an almost random pattern. Wicker manipulates, subverts, and displaces both so that we may read texts as images and images as text. The microclimate that nourishes these hybrids is composed of Queer Culture, Situationism, Dada, mainstream homo-talk, as well as of many passing or lasting obsessions. Language, visual or verbal, in its new spatialized form both activates and dissolves each specific reference, opening itself up into clusters of questions. What happens when found images and languages are at least partially disengaged from the need to say something? When the physical and spatial aspects of information are brought to the fore? When authorship and collective enunciation seem to coexist? Or when we attempt to keep going the oscillation between acquisition of knowledge and unlearning? And may this perennially unstable theoretical point become a place of production of new varieties of thought?
APN Research あぷん, curated by Mélanie Mermod, 2012. The APN are an ensemble of 55 pictures, published weekly between 1953 and 1954 in a most influental photo-news magazine of the time in Japan, the Asahi Gurafu. While the whole magazine showed documentary pictures with thorough reportage and creative layout, as Life magazine did, the APN pictures used experimental techniques and display, but had as sole obligation to represent in the picture the letters A, P, N. These APN pictures were used as the title of a specific double page of the magazine called «Asahi Picture News». Parts of the collaborators of the APN project were young emerging artists participating in cross media collectives as the Jikken Kōbō (Shōzō Kitadai, Katsuhiro Yamaguchi, Tetsūro Komai) or the Graphic Shūdan (Hamao Hamada). But at the same time, participated to APN preeminent figures of pre-war avant-garde Japanese movements as Sōfū Teshigehara, Sabūro Hasegawa and Yoshishige Saitō. The APN project, not only appears today as a rare concretisation in the pre-war avant-garde agenda of merging art into mass media, it also renders visible a puzzling number of connections and references, from Russian Constructivsm (Saito), Surrealism (Ohtsuji and Takiguchi), Bauhaus (Yamaguchi), to 1950s Tokyo experimental collective groups and 1960s Japanese «intermedia» fluxus scene, to name a few identifiable trends. The APN Research あぷん at Kunsthalle gathers for the first time the APN pictures together. A publication accompanies the exhibition and was made possible by the scientific collaboration of Kinichi Obinata.
It is said that certain universities, libraries, and museums survived, but to this day we have little contact with them. Earlier this year, Stefan Tcherepnin and Marianne Schroeder re-interpreted Petra, a piece for two pianos composed by Maryanne Amacher which originally premiered in 1991 in Boswil, Switzerland. The piano piece was itself inspired by an eponymous short story by science-fiction by author Greg Bear which describes a post-apocalyptic world where nuns fornicate with stone gargoyles, giving birth to humanoid stone-creatures. A member of the New York based performance group Grand Openings with Ei Arakawa, Jutta Koether, Emily Sundblad and Jay Sanders, Stefan Tcherepnin’s collaborative practice is built from the ground up, making use of the biomass of the cultural ecosystems that host him. His work for Kunsthalle Bern, takes Greg Bear’s story as its starting point and processes the leftovers of a collaborative work by Swiss artists Kaspar Müller, Tobias Madison, Emil Michael Klein and Emanuel Rossetti, bits and pieces of a tent that he soaked in cement before hanging it on a wire. In Greg Bear’s tale the stone creatures shapeshift through walls, hide and climb in a cathedral. Tcherepnin’s hung ‘skins’ delineate the contours of a penetrable installation, a physical and narrative threshold alluding to the tenuousness between an idea and it’s materialization.
Scifi sounds of the alienated kitchen / AFX & SFX (wt), 2012. Trains on a Snake (Nov. 2011) was a performance at AP News, an artist run cinema open on Monday, just down the street from a multiplex which shows the latest Hollywood blockbusters. For his performance at APNews, Jan Vorisek became a foley artist, recreating the realistic ambient sounds that these big budget action films portray. Scifi sounds of the alienated kitchen / AFX & SFX (wt) highlight the mechanism of emotional response production in high- concept movies. The video work of Jan Vorisek shown at Kunsthalle Bern seems to show a preparation or a practice run for the actual performance, but was in fact produced afterwards, and harks back to Martha Rosler’s seminal “semiotics of the Kitchen” video.
The Deleted Scene was filmed at AP News, Zurich, over the course of one week in April, 2012. AP acted as the film’s Producer, with Ken Okiishi as the director. The cinema itself was to be turned inside-out: not a place for watching movies, but as a site of activation and reflection of the excanges between the different actors of this project. At the core, a sort of cracked-out tv studio (“tony duquette for guy debord, neo-zurich godard hipsterism”) was constructed by Alina Clavuot in the cinema space (which is located inside a storefront of a 1980s sort-of defunct small shopping mall) out of trash from a mountain resort hotel in ruins, an art deco palm tree by Maison Jansen that used to be at Longstreet Bar, and various other fragments of set design. One specific point of reference was the opening song (“We’re in the Money”) of Gold Diggers of 1933 and the “that very odd gallery that leads nowhere” of Cocteau’s Les Enfants Terrible. At some point, Emanuel Rossetti and Tobias Madison built a giant coin out of construction foam, probably stolen from a nearby construction site, which Alina Clavuot, Tobias Madison and Vittorio Brodmann ended up rolling all over neo-Zurich.
An essay about Berlin’s economy (debt as a weapon) by Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff
Times was built on love. A deeply sentimental and corny type of love.
2007 marked the first federal surplus in Berlin’s history. I open a Pilsner Urquell and hand it across the bar. Since 2009, rents have increased yearly by 7.9%. “Everyone’s moving to Wedding.”
“I don’t want to live in fucking Wedding.” At night we sit around and talk about how we wish we could have bought apartments three years ago.
A young intern from Johann Koenig slouches on the corner of the bar smoking a cigarette. He adds, “It’s like New York in the 70’s.” “Shut up,” someone responds. The intern looks embarrassed.
Berlin’s debt is somewhere just over 60 billion dollars, but the surplus of the past two years will begin to pay it off. There are around 12,733 Americans living with visas in Berlin. At least a dozen of them are sitting in the bar. I pour glasses of whiskey and exclaim, “at least it’s almost summer.”
Berlin is one of the European cities least effected by the credit crisis, almost entirely due to persistent growth in tourism, with over 20 million auslanders flooding the city each year — “the MDMA is really good” — making it the third most visited city in Europe.
“LA?” I squeeze lime juice into a Moscow Mule and hand it across the bar. “LA is weird, you need a car and it’s fucking expensive.” The new Brandenburg International Airport is set to open June 2012, securing Berlin’s status as the “gateway to Asia” and the new hub of European travel. “Maybe Brussels would be better.”
“I don’t want to make paintings in my bedroom.”
Studios are harder to find but property prices are still 4-6 times lower than London or Paris. “Paris is annoying.” I agree and open an Erdinger Kristall. The prices of Berlin’s real estate market are expected to double in ten years due to the capital gains exemptions on residential property, which expire after ten years.
“Everyone’s leaving Bushwick.” Maybe as a joke, the Koenig intern orders a Manhattan.
“Everyone lives in Chinatown.” The unemployment rate in Berlin reached an all time low in 2011. Most of these new jobs are in the service sector, and most of them with unregulated pay. I scoop ice into glasses.
The rent for the bar is €523 a month. Our profit margins fall below the average for a bar of similar size. A Pilsner Urquell costs €2.50 we sell around 35 cases a month. There are 746 hotels in Berlin with 112,400 beds.
“What about Detroit?” I laugh while wiping down the bar with a wet rag. What about Philadelphia?” Everyone laughs. My rent is €250 a month, and the revenue from the bar pays little over half of it. A web developer in Germany makes an average €26.50 hourly, a waitress €5.50. I slice oranges out of love.
The numbers behind European households are regularly printed on the front page. The eurozone is a personal crisis, taking place in interviews by Times reporters in kitchens over olives and dates. “What about Athens?” I unpack a crate of beer into the refrigerator. As artists it is our responsibility. Patti Smith just checked in at the Soho House.
Leaning against the tile, someone pauses from their beer and asks, “is the rent cheap?” “The Acropolis Museum is only €3 for students.” Germany is one of the few countries in the European Union without a minimum wage.
As an artist, I pour Aperol into a spritz glass turning it blood red. Our tab book is full of names. We don’t use debt as a weapon. “Modular is too fucking expensive.” “So shop at Bauhaus.”
In seven exhibition rooms, all sources of natural light, skylights and windows, have been covered in blue, slightly different shades. We put a blue orchid in the first room, the lobby, blue blossom, blue stick as if bathed in blue and floraffinists know the blue is always fake as fiction and we put the orchid up for the end of Times bar, as it will be both real in Berlin and fake-fiction in Bern, on the gray tiles, once white, now bathed by blue light for the beginning of New Theater 2012-2013. The pictures are large in the blue between beginning and end, the turquoise of hermeticism and the azure of the island of the those unemployed by the audience.
Except in the last room, all the colors are absorbed by blue, leaking from the holes in the walls. Not just one blue, however, but various shades of blue, not blue, but blue, more or less blue.
The present title comes from a record and hardly any objects have been placed in the empty exhibition rooms. The few additional playback units are functional, they can’t really be ignored, but they remain inconspicuous, covered in cement and dripping through the ceiling. Elephant skins peeled of boiled buildings. To move through the spaces is to move through various zones of music. Close to a source of sound, the music can also be heard from elsewhere, and it intensifies or fades as the visitor changes his or her position. There is no ideal position in the exhibition, there are the various qualities of the place: being drawn from one place to another, drawn through the walls, down the walls, in the walls, drawn from change. Petra, the petrified city, haunted by half breeds between gargoyles and the nuns of Notre – Dame, able to move through the walls, multiplying the perception of architecture. Maryanne Amacher chose Petra to work, as did her friend Stefan, who followed in pursuit of the space laying in-between.
The visitor is completely surrounded by blue. The spaces are seen immersed in this light, floors, ceilings, fittings, cutouts from the AP News cinema ceiling, now, room for a bookstore hole-punched with industry standard hole patterns ready for the archive. The lights support the bells which play along with recordings of an organ built at the Tbilisi Centre for Contemporary Art, located everywhere. Nonetheless, the space of blue isn’t the blue-lit space of the exhibition building, it is a space of its own, in which the visitor is in a sense removed from spatial connections. Soaked in blue, swimming in blue, losing oneself in blue. The blue can’t be looked at, it fills the eyes as though passing through the body, as the body itself moves through the colored atmosphere. Unlike the reproduction of a view, (for centuries the business of visual art), acoustic reproduction is not based on a switch in dimensions, rather faithful to the ear. jan performs sound through the separation of illusion from picture, even if the notes can be heard it is silent, the music is withdrawn from change. In children’s books words are sometimes replaced by pictures, the same is true of the blue of the light. The objectification of metaphorical expressions doesn’t give us back the musicians and the lively atmosphere of their world, they are shown as that which is irrevocably absent from the blue. Homocore as an attitude never solidified. it is a series of shifting interpretations formed by many at a specific place & time. Jean-Michel’s hcr 1 is therefore another in a series about being based at a specific place & time. A room contains APN. Everything in multiple sizes, the cities, the houses, the floor plans, the models, the planning, the materialization. In the middle of the last room stands a drum kit and Dolby Surround speakers are installed like pictures or posters for The Deleted Scene.