Künstlerhaus Bethanien presents KEVIN SCHMIDT | CARSTEN FOCK | PANYIOTIS MICHAEL | JUMANA MANNA | EMMANUEL MADAN
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Kevin Schmidt works with video, photography and installation. On occasion his actions are often located in remote settings, where he creates spectacular staged works by shifting elements of urban culture into untouched natural contexts. In this way, Schmidt simultaneously examines both the seductive elements of contemporary cultural production, and constructions of the idea of nature.
The main piece of EDM House is a large-format video projection. It presents an old, decaying house in the middle of an isolated winter landscape. A bright light glows inside the house, which is also decorated outside with colourful chains of lights; the light oscillates to the rhythm of an electronic beat, so creating the strange illusion of a night club in the middle of this quiet, uninhabited mountainous landscape. To complete his project the artist undertook to live for three months in isolation in the draughty, scarcely heated house, where he spent the days programming electronic music to have played in the night. During this period EDM House also functioned as a mini radio channel, broadcasting Schmidt’s electronic compositions within a small radius. EDM House wrenches the viewer from his or her familiar environment of contemporary mass entertainment but still retains the latter’s symbolism. Schmidt shifts this extremely up-to-date form of survival-production to the ruin of one long past symbolized by the ancient house.
Landschaft und Vergessen
Whether Caspar David Friedrich, Heinrich Reinhold or Ludwig Richter – they all portrayed the Watzmann mountain, which may be regarded as a scene of longing for German Romanticism. Situated only a short distance as the crow flies from Obersalzberg, Adolf Hitler’s later holiday retreat, the area in the foothills of the German Alps has remained a historically significant, charged setting to the present day.
In his artistic work Carsten Fock makes an intense study of this theme – before the background of his own German-German history as well: “He permits a clash of iconography and examines the accident scenes of ideologies: the authentic despair in popular culture interests him as much as the false promises of politics. He is already sceptical because of his own biography – growing up in the GDR, a distorted state, fleeing and never arriving since in his mind he actually wished to go much further than this new Germany, which felt new for while and is now showing more and more just how restrictive it is, how bigotted, how self-satisfied and oblivious to all else.” (Georg Diez on Carsten Fock, 2013)
In his exhibition Landschaft und Vergessen (Landscape and Forgetting) Carsten Fock is showing a selection of romantic landscape drawings, portrait drawings of Martin Heidegger, the Berghof, and some abstract paintings that owe a lot to the processual. Here, Fock’s starting point will be a work by Danish painter Per Kirkeby and the latter’s concept of painting and landscape.
In the last years, Panayiotis Michael’s work has been preoccupied with what may be described, indeed, ‘entitled’, a house. The Künstlerhaus exhibition is less gripped with the social happiness that a structure and its contents may signify, and more pleasurably associative in its flow of forms and metaphors, related, and not, to the artist’s family house, planned and never constructed. Vacant window edges are seductively abstracted in a horizontal line(age) of plank wood, hence, the piece’s title, 7 Window Frames. Entities “belonging” to a house are taken apart into another time when they existed otherwise. Feather paddings quietly foster the history of a house, in A Second Try, and enigmatic interiors weave remains of future memories in cabinets of curiosities.
In the spaces of Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Panayiotis Michael creates an ambience, gracefully evoking moods prompted from what we feel entitled to experiencing. The show generously offers a leveling kind of playground from which no one seems to be in a favorable position to grasp the boundaries of a house of entitlement. Perhaps, the lost dream house of the child is not imagined as an enduring house of the future but as small, passing gestures of tranquil moods, where we can renegotiate our entitlements.
(From a text by Maria Petrides, 2013)
Jumana Manna works primarily with film and sculpture. Her work often addresses the body, nationalism, history and the construction of community. For her show at the Künstlerhaus, Manna will show a series of sculptures, symbolically linked to the thematic and processes of her films from her most recent film projects. The works come together almost as an archaeological site, excavating both the legacies of post-minimalist sculpture and the building of Künstlerhaus Bethanien, as a former industrial site transformed into a white walled space for offices and culture.
Manna’s sculptures are abstractions, and allegorical interventions, which use a variety of materials, such as seatbelts from car morgues, waxed egg cartons, fake bricks, and skin-colored silicon shrouds. They play with dualities of animate/inanimate, surface/structure, theatricality and the real, while keeping in mind the gallery space as a place which can both unravel and neutralize the historical site.
If her films are unfolding of images into time-based narratives, the sculptures are condensations of similar thematics into singular forms.
Emmanuel Madan is a musician, composer and sound artist. Since 1998 he has worked mainly under the label [The User] together with architect Thomas McIntosh.
The works shown in the Künstlerhaus deal with ‘errors’ in the standardised system of mediatised speech and forms of differentiation within sameness. They show, for instance, how differences appear in exemplarily produced serial products desite their absolute sameness in theory; differences that become manifest in the context of their usage. As part of the ongoing (since 2008) series Coincidence Engines [The User] has created a sound installation from a large number of commonly retailed alarm clocks set into a kind of steel dashboard. Madan’s audio installation Zwischenlaute (in-between sounds) comprises a large number of small loudspeaker cubes, from which we hear a symphony of curious sounds: Madan has filtered out the “deviations” in human speech found irritating by the media and has combined them to create a composition revealing that such ‘in-between sounds’ have their own meaning and melody beyond the abstract conventions of our language. Another work, in the form of a video collage based on the daily TV reports given by the US Press Secretary, is concerned with omnipresent stereotypes in public media forms.
Exhibitions: 11.1011.10. – 03.11.2013
Tue - Sun: 2 - 7pm
Tue - Sun: 2 - 7pm
Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Künstlerhaus Bethanien GmbH
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