On the Move.
European Kunsthalle at the KUB Arena
April 27 – June 30, 2013
Yane Calovski, David Maljkovic, Dorit Margreiter, Nick Mauss,
Project-based, performative, on the move – is a possible description of the European Kunsthalle’s program. Founded in Cologne in 2005, it exists wherever its projects take place. The European Kunsthalle itself has the attributes of an event, appearing only to disappear and then reappear somewhere else. The stress laid on openness and processes turns the idea of an institution set in a narrowly defined geographical framework into a fluid concept that focuses more on artistic processes. The KUB Arena presentation places the idea of performativity – the appearance and disappearance of temporary artistic spaces – in the foreground. Drawing on certain aspects of past European Kunsthalle activities, it simultaneously presents artistic projects that combine “eventfulness” and an engagement with questions of cultural, social, and institutional spaces.
In this spirit, the artist Dorit Margreiter together with Lina Streeruwitz and Luciano Parodi has conceived an extensive exhibition architecture building on an earlier European Kunsthalle design in Cologne. The Austrian artist created a temporary modular spatial structure in Cologne, whose final—initially unrealized—element is now being brought to fruition in a modified form in Bregenz. Stephen Willats, whose multimedia work In And Out the Underworld for the Ebertplatz square in Cologne brilliantly captured the social aspect of this specific site in 2009, will be presenting this work in a version especially modified for Bregenz.
The Macedonian artist Yane Calovski, whose work revolves around structures of institutional and personal narratives, will be presenting a new work suggesting a subjective reading of the European Kunsthalle’s history, while David Maljkovic in his Display for Lost Pavilion at Metro Pictures, New York and Temporary Projection continues his engagement with presentational forms and their reduction to their objects, developing a film projector without film and a sound system without sound. Johannes Wohnseifer, in contrast, presents a different and unusual use of museum space in a series of photographs – in 1998 he invited skateboarder Mark Gonzales to use specially created sculptures as performance ramps in the rooms of the Städtisches Museum Abteiberg Mönchengladbach. Additionally both Nick Mauss and Charlotte Moth will be developing new works for the Bregenz exhibition.
Following the cooperation with the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven in 2011, the KUB Arena’s present invitation is the second to an institution whose modes of work and program display many parallels with those of the KUB Arena itself. An integral part of the presentation of the EuropeanKunsthalle will be a weekend of events on June 8 and 9, 2013, comprising a program packed with films, lectures, and talks.
Lectures, Talks, Films
Saturday, June 8, 2–8 pm
Sunday, June 9, 2–5 pm
Saturday, June 8
2 pm: Welcome, Introduction Eva Birkenstock and Yilmaz Dziewior
2.30 pm: Performative Kunsthallen, Panel with Vanessa Joan Müller (European Kunsthalle), Joao Murao (Kunsthalle Lissabon), Luis Silva (Kunsthalle Lissabon and Astrid Wege (European Kunsthalle)
4 pm: No home. The Rise of the Nomadic and the Spatial Turn,
Lecture by Karen van den Berg (Professor for Art Theory, Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen), Moderation: Eva Birkenstock
5–6 pm Break
6 pm: Appearing and Disappearing. Commented film screening with works by Matthias Meyer, Charlotte Moth, Mario Pfeiffer and others
7 pm: Kiron’s Martini & Picknick
Sonntag, 9.6., 14h–17h
14h: Temporary Art Spaces, Panel with Dorit Margreiter (Vienna) and Nikolaus Hirsch (Director Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main), Moderation: Vanessa Joan Müller
16h: Recount Redrawn, Yane Calovski (Skopje), Artist talk with Astrid Wege
ART FILM CINEMA. L’art du cinéma
October – December 2012
Film and visual art has enjoyed a close reciprocal relationship for a long time. The film series KUNST FILM KINO presents selected works by contemporary artists working in the medium of film and video. But what changes when films designed for an art context are shown in the cinema?
Monday, December 10, 2012, 7.30 pm
Eske Schlüters (b. 1970) works with film, but shows her videos in spatial scenarios that promote a “diffused” way of looking. She is primarily interested in the functional aspect of exhibition architecture that disrupts the suggestive power of the moving image, thereby facilitating new interpretations. Instead of the darkness of the cinema, the artist prefers a form of twilight in which both film and the space itself are visible.
In the films themselves, Schlüters explores the interplay between moving images and film sequences, which do not cohere to a strict narrative as such. Instead, their open narrative strategy circumnavigates and confounds conceptual thinking, creating new meaning oriented towards individual images or scenes and motifs. Schlüters's projections, which make use of material from existing films, are a combination of words, gestures and images, moreover, in their iconic compression, they tell of a lost, broader context. By appropriating, subtly processing and reassembling footage from films by other directors, Schlüters hones the eye for narrative strategies, scenic compressions and implicit ideologies. Her films are reflections upon deception and disappearance, emancipation and gender roles.
The images – adapted, among others, from Michelangelo Antonioni, Jean-Luc Godard, Werner Herzog and Chantal Ackermann – have not been woven into a narrative structure in the videos, but speak for themselves. They are not quotations, but visual mnemonics for things we have seen, but which often cannot be clearly recapitulated. If the associative montage of disparate images occupied centre stage in earlier works – shadows on a curtain, the reflective surface of water – Schlüters's recent works are characterised more by a stronger thematic focus on visual structures and cinematic dispositives.
Monday, November 12, 2012, 7.30 pm
Philipp Lachenmann's photographs, videos and films are characterised by a strong interest in the conceptual structure, meanings and effects of static and moving images and their complex relationship in space. The main focus is on the mechanisms and effects of the imaginary and its various permutations and dislocations in collective visual memory. Lachenmann's films suggestively invoke iconic images of this kind, duly decode them and transfer them into new frames of reference, meaning and perception. The asynchrony of image and sound, typical for Lachenmann’s films, plays an important role – both visual and sonic space are interwoven with each other and yet retain their autonomy.
Lachenmann presents SHU (Blue Hour Lullaby) (2002/2008) and Alice.M. (2009/2010) in KUNST FILM KINO – two films, which can be shown as an installation as well as a screening in their own right. SHU presents what at first appears to be an almost static image. We see a high security prison in the Mojave Desert in California at twilight. As the floodlights are gradually illuminated in the prison, the lights of an ever-increasing volley of approaching aircraft appear in the evening sky. Comprising hundreds of digital recordings from airports in Los Angeles, Frankfurt, London, New York, these approaching aircraft in the desert – like an alien invasion – recall a recurring sci-fi motif.
Alice.M. presents itself in a similar, futuristically surreal vein, albeit in an urban environment. Lachenmann describes the work as an »absurd tale« that alludes to Lewis Carroll and George Lucas; it is situated in an historic modernist site, namely the headquarters of the French Communist Party (PCF) in Paris, designed by Oscar Niemeyer in the 1960s and built in the 1970s. In the large assembly hall while the youthful, androgynous-looking protagonist A. encounters various relics from a past, which at one time was supposed to determine the future history, on a second screen another figure climbs onto the roof of the PCF building. From this vantage point, the figure views the imposing dome of the assembly hall, which appears as the moon. According to Lachenmann, Alice.M. is a troubled version of Alice in Wonderland »playing out a poetic discourse on surrealism & socialism where science fiction, architecture, and literature are dialectically intertwined with the human psyche«.
In addition to his own films, Lachenmann presents Michael Snow’s Wavelength (1967), a milestone of structural film, which in turn represents an important field of reference for him: with its legendary 45-minute-long zoom through a loft to the black and white photograph of a wave, Wavelength aims at an artistic cinematic reflection on the passage of time in relation to space and sound. While the camera explores the space of the apartment, the frequency (and wavelength) of the underlying minimalist music undergo a series of variations.
Monday, November 5, 2012, 7.30 pm
Rosa Barba works in a variety of media – film, installation, sculpture – however, cinema is the reference point for all her works. She plays with its structural components, dissects the classic film narrative, thereby creating atmospherically dense works that suggestively combine analytical and sensual elements. Language and the aspect of time are essential components here. Language appears either in the form of subtitles or as spoken commentary that overlays the images providing additional layers of meaning. »The orchestration of images with sound and text«, says the artist, »produces new images but ones that we don’t see«.
Barba has compiled a selection of her more recent works for KUNST FILM KINO. The Long Road (2010), like They Shine (2007) and The Waiting Grounds (2007) filmed in the Mojave Desert in California, follows the tracks of an abandoned motor racing circuit, which, like a gigantic character, that has etched itself into the desert landscape hitherto used for military testing. They Shine reflects the immediate environment in a seemingly endless series of movable solar panels and their machine-controlled choreography whilst a man's voice can be heard off-screen citing various statements made by residents of the facility. The Waiting Grounds utilises the remnants of an anticipated and yet abandoned future as the starting point of its narrative.
Somnium (2011) also interweaves a number of different time levels. The location is the Dutch Maasvlakte, a large harbour and industrial area south of the Maas estuary, which was meant to be extended via land reclamation since 2004. Barba interviewed residents, including a beekeeper, about their vision of this country in the future. Their imagined projections about the future coincide with the images of a devastated landscape – a collecting tank for contaminated residues of the river, oil silos, huge docks ... It resembles a thoroughly ambivalent »dream«, its title Somnium not by accident recalling the work by the natural philosopher and optician, Johannes Kepler, itself considered to be the first science fiction novella.
Both films The Hidden Conference: About the Discontinuous History of Things We See and Do not See and The Hidden Conference: A Fractured Play (both 2011) relocate the coincidence of different time levels to the museum – or more precisely, into its storeroom – as a site of cultural memory. The camera slowly scans unseen and unordered pieces in the collection from different eras, staging a fictitious dialogue or »conference«, which is not accessible to the public, nonetheless shaping the visible world in secret.
ULLA VON BRANDENBURG
Monday, October 22, 2012, 7.30 pm
Ulla von Brandenburg’s emphatically black and white films are normally viewed in the context of an installation. They are shown without this additional framing within KUNST FILM KINO, which in turn focuses attention on the interplay of image and sound, camera and filmed space.
Whereas The Objects (2009) suggestively animates still life objects, the actors in Singspiel (likewise 2009) and Chorspiel (2010), present themselves as a tableau vivant. Using a single tracking shot, Singspiel moves through Le Corbusier’s famous Villa Savoye near Paris, where a group of people have gathered. Their conversation is replaced by the sound of a female voice singing, orchestrating a family reunion. Ulla von Brandenburg lends her voice to the actors. In this way she introduces a sense of distance between the protagonists, their roles and their words, and yet homogenises the group. Like an entity from another room, she speaks on behalf of the family and its fate. The film also reflects, both theatrically and in an abstract manner, the promise of modernity via the scene itself, as well as the idea of social interaction within one of its paradigmatic interiors.
Chorspiel presents a similar arrangement. But in this film, the voices of the actors are replaced by a chorus, as in ancient Greek drama, which not only takes on the role of their speech, but also comments on the action. The roles are divided along lines of gender so that the female parts are sung by a female chorus, and the male parts by a male chorus. When both choruses coincide, the polyphonic play of the voices forms a new role within the piece. Unlike Singspiel with its distant camera, Chorspiel is characterised by an emotionally charged cinematography, which dramatises the events.
MANON DE BOER
Monday, 8 October 2012, 7.30 pm
ART FILM CINEMA starts with films by Manon de Boer, participant of this year’s documenta. She presents her films Two Times 4’33’’ (2008) and Think about Wood, Think about Metal (2011). The screening is followed by an artist talk.
For Two Times 4’33’’ de Boer invited the Brussels-based pianist Jean-Luc Fafchamps to play John Cage’s eponymous composition 4’33” twice in front of a live audience in a studio. Once, with one single still take, the camera films his execution of the ‘silent’ musical composition, complete with the three punctuations indicated on Cage’s simple line score at 1’40”, 2’23” and 30”, which the otherwise still and absorbed Fafchamps interprets by striking a timer.
Filmed on 35 mm film, this first part is married to its synchronously recorded ambient sound. For the second performance, and the second part of her film, De Boer cut all sound, interjecting only with the timer’s click at 1’40” and 2’23” and 30” into the 4’33” filmed performance. The camera travels in a long pan that begins where the first section does, at Fafchamps, but then moves steadily along every member of his audience and finally travels outside the studio door to show a parochial landscape at the edge of the city centre cut through by telephone wires and animated by wind-blown bushes. None of this is heard.
Think about Wood, Think about Metal (2011) by Manon de Boer is a third cinematic portrait in a trilogy on the seventies. The two other films are Sylvia Kristel – Paris (2003) and Resonating Surfaces (2005). The protagonist for this third film is the percussionist Robyn Schulkowsky who works and has worked with composers like John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Derek Bailey, John Zorn, Frederic Rzewski and Christian Wolff. Fragments of the life and thinking of Schulkowsky are situated in the history of avant-garde music during the seventies and after. Rhythm and the non-linear structuring of time play a major part in this film in turning more abstract notions, such as memory, history and life, into a cinematic experience. Often image and sound have their own temporal logic. Sometimes the sound refers back or forward to something which happens before or after in the image. This disrupts the linearity of time, moments of doubt or hesitation arise and the cinematic experience is situated in the here and now of watching and most important listening.
The series of screenings is kindly supported by the
MELVIN MOTI – THE COSMIC COMMUNITY
September 8 – October 20, 2012
Opening: Friday, September 7, 2012 at 6 pm, on the occasion of the gallery weekend dc-open.de
Artist talk with Melvin Moti: Tuesday, October 16, 2012, at 6 pm
Melvin Moti (born in 1977, lives and works in Rotterdam and Berlin), has frequently exhibited his work internationally. He has staged solo exhibitions at Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, National Museums of Scotland (Edinburgh), Kunsthalle Lisbon, Mudam (Luxembourg), Wiels (Brussels), Galeria Civica (Trento), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam) and MMK (Frankfurt).