weil‘ auf mir, du dunkles auge
Mario Asef, Jeremiah Day, Klara Hobza, Daniel Seiple and Erik Smith
eroeffnung/opening oct 23, 7pm, performance 9pm
ausstellung/exhibition: oct 24 – dec 11, 2010, m-f 4pm-2am, s-s 11am-3am oder nach absprache/by appointment
Raumprotesen (2009-) Public space is characterized by its vibrancy and constantly morphing appearance. Such changes often leave behind the structural remains of a past function that are excluded from newer building plans. They are remnants now converted into seating or meeting points for young people of all social classes. These non-categorized elements of urban public space are designated here as “Raumprothesen” (spatial prosthetics) and declared design worthy.
In this vein, a Raumprothesen has been developed for bauerundewald’s project room, which, once installed, can be seen as a unified extension of the existing architecture and serves as a meeting point for Berlin’s street musicians as well as other users. If functions as improvised seating that endeavors to portray social space on a symbolic level as the ideal location for co-existence.
The idea is to generate a contextual shift in how cultural output is valued, whereby cultural producers and cultural consumers engage one another according to a different set of rules. Both visitors and musicians interact with the space on a physical level. Beer bottles, cigarettes, and other litter left over from the opening night won’t be cleared away but will become the trace evidence of an earlier social interaction and incorporated as part of the existing installation.
Accordingly, the Prothesen will erode until completely disintegrated. Symbolic social space and its aestheticizing can no longer be sustained and therefore disintegrates under the banal, everyday use of its function. At the end of the exhibition the remnants of the event will be installed in public space—a space will be formed that will freely serve other purposes.
Mario Asef studied architecture and art in Argentina, Germany, and England. His work has been exhibited worldwide, most recently at Kasa Galerie (Istanbul 2010), Abandoned Gallery (Malmö, Sweden 2009) SSamzie Space (Seoul 2009). Recent museum exhibitions include Hamburger Kunsthalle, Villa Merkel, Kunstlerhaus Bregenz (Austria), and the Akademie der Künste Berlin. His videos, photographs, sound installations, and interventions in public space deal with architectonic as well as sociopolitical questions and confront issues related to their spatial representability. With a detached sense of irony they seek to make legible the „immaterial, invisible“ architecture of the social sphere.
Image: Raumprothesen (detail), installation Arttransponder, Berlin, 2009.
Untitled Performance – In 2008, Erik Smith and Jeremiah Day visited and revisited the Hansaplatz station, a semi-ruined vision of Berlin’s possible future, Day making a series of clandestine performances with Smith photographing. Mario Asef’s Raumprotesen in bauerundewald’s project room will be appropriated as a context for transferring this line of investigation into a new piece.
Jeremiah Day graduated from the art department of the University of California at Los Angeles in 1997 and lived and worked in Los Angeles until moving to Holland in 2003 to attend the Rijksakademie. His work has been included in Manifesta 7, and in group exhibitions at Kunstverein Hannover, Kunstlerhaus Stuttgart, and Autocenter in Berlin. His ongoing collaborative work with Simone Forti will be presented in an exhibition and performance series this winter in the Goethe Institute’s New York project space Ludlow 38.
Image: Lane Markers – Former Checkpoint, Former Used-Car Lot, Future Lidl, Bornholmerstrasse
Nay, I’ll Have a Starling (since 2005) – “Nay, I’ll Have A Starling” is Klara Hobza’s most extensive body of work. In progress since 2005, it is based on the following story.
In 1890, Eugene Schieffelin and the Acclimation Society of North America decided to bring all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays to the USA from Britain. Among them were 60 European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), because Shakespeare had mentioned them in Henry IV: „Nay, I’ll have a starling shall be taught to speak nothing but Mortimer…“ (Part I, Act 1, Scene 3).
The birds were released in New York City’s Central Park, and their first nest was found on the roof of the American Museum of Natural History. Since then, the European Starling has spread very successfully in North America, and today we count over 200 million. Note that there are only 300 million starlings worldwide, and in Europe their populations are on the decline. Many regard the European Starlings as pests for destroying crops and stealing native species‘ nesting cavities. They are colonial breeders that are considered aggressive and noisy–an invasive species.
In her role as a European, Klara feels guilty about the trouble the European Starlings are causing. She decided to capture 60 Starlings in Central Park, send them back to England, and release them in Buckingham Palace Park.
Klara has been working on this subject since summer 2005. She has produced a large variety of works on the topic, spanning the genres of video, installation, performance, magazine intervention, illustration, and performative lectures. Each of these works represent a stage where Klara found herself while trying to fulfill her quest. As of today, she still intends to continue her project until all 60 starlings are back in London.
The body of work orbiting around the task of „Nay, I’ll Have A Starling“ is essentially a fable, exploring topics like immigration and the ownership of land and nature.
Klara Hobza was born in Plzen, Czech Republic. She received her education and artistic training in Germany, England, and the United States. Klara moved to New York City as a DAAD fellow in 2003, and lived and worked there until she moved to Berlin, Germany in October 2009. Klara earned a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from Columbia University in 2005.
In New York, Klara worked with institutions such as the SculptureCenter (Make It Now, 2005), the Socrates Sculpture Park (EAF, 2005), and the Public Art Fund (In the Public Realm, 2008 – 2009).
Klara was awarded the SculptureCenter Prize in 2005, the Fellowship in Cross-Disciplinary/ Performative Work from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) in 2007, the 2009 DIVA residency stipend in Copenhagen, Denmark, and, most recently the “ars viva” award by the German Cultural Fund of BDI.
Klara’s first art book, The New Millennium Paper Airplane Book, was published by the Public Art Fund in 2009, and its second edition is currently distributed by D.A.P.
Klara Hobza’s first solo show took place at Galerie fuer Landschaftskunst in Hamburg, Germany (2009) who since then represents her.
Coming up, Klara will participate in shows at SALT Beyoglu, Istanbul and at Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (both 2011).
Image: Nay, I’ll Have a Starling, 2009.
Ravi River Project – The Ravi, also known as “The River of Lahore,” is situated on the eastern bank of the city. I asked the driver to take me to the river, in hopes of finding an oasis amidst Lahore’s intoxicating pollution, density and class inequality. What I found was a depository of the city’s runoff. The air, a dark smog, the highway audible in the background, and the river, 25% of its natural height, was thick black. Cattle drank from its edge and young boys took a dip. I found an old boat buried in the bank. For 50 €, I hired 5 guys for 5 hours, and a truck, to deliver the boat and its dirt to a pristine gallery in the center of the city.
Daniel Seiple is an American artist based in Berlin. He has exhibited worldwide at museums, galleries, festivals, and in the streets. He was a 2009 artist-in-residence at ARCUS, Japan. He is the founder of Homie, a one-room exhibition space in his apartment (Berlin, 2005-09), and co-founder of the artist collectives, the E-Team (2000-02) and Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum, in which he has worked since 2006 as curator, artist, writer and activist and in other contexts, including the Werkleitz Festival (Halle/Saale, 2010), Vasl Arts (Pakistan, 2008) and the 5th berlin biennial for contemporary art (2008). A comprehensive catalog of Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum was just published by Walther König Verlag.
Image: Ravi River Project, Lahore Pakstan, 2009.
Naked Cities (2010-) Berlin is in a state of accelerated flux. New development is rapidly filling in many of its remaining vacant lots, driven by the forces of real estate speculation and market demands. In the process, traces of an even earlier version of the city – the unseen foundations, cellars, and underground corridors buried within such empty lots – are being dug up to make way for a Berlin of the future. The effect is a kind of ‚double-erasure‘: of the city’s negative spaces as well as the concealed traces of the past they contain, and which we can no longer see.
For this project, images of these transitional zones – sites undergoing development where such buried layers have been temporarily exposed – are photographed, enlarged, and then pasted billboard-like to the facades of various structures around the city. The idea is to evoke a life-cycle of architecture by conflating existing buildings with scenes of structural decay, and to spotlight these processes via the power and potential oddity of a random encounter with an image from the surrounding environment; not only are passersby confronted with pictures of a city ‚laid bare‘ but, when viewed around the city, the images are themselves stripped of any context or authorship.
Naked Cities also takes its cue from the 1957 Situationist work The Naked City, a ‚map‘ of Paris that sought to chart the city’s character according to sudden changes in atmosphere or sharp divisions in psychological climates. Rooted in the notion of the dérive, the Situationist practice of passing through urban spaces while observing „the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, whether consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals“ (Debord), The Naked City was also a critique of the homogenizing forces of capitalism, which, at the time, were steadily wearing away at the remaining rifts in Paris‘ urban fabric. Picking up on these themes in Berlin, Naked Cities seeks to chart similar locations of urban developmental creep, and, in placing these images around the city, to provide their own moments of rupture for those who happen upon them.
Erik Smith studied comparative literature and art in the US and Italy and has lived and worked in Berlin since 2002. His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at galleries throughout Europe and the US including Kapinos Galerie, Berlin, Magnus Mueller Galerie, Berlin, Pierogi, Brooklyn/Leipzig, and Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco. Recent museum exhibitions/projects include Black Mirror, Arsenic, Lausanne, Switzerland, Who, Among You, Deserves Eternal Life?, In Practice Projects, Sculpture Center, LIC, New York, and The Ghost of James Lee Byars Calling, de Appel Center for Contemporary Art, Amsterdam. He is currently working on a large-scale outdoor project on the city and memory titled Buried Sculpture, to be exhibited next year at Skulpturenpark in Berlin.
Image: Naked Cities, placed image, 2010