The port city of Le Havre in the north of France is particularly marked by the destruction of the Second World War. During numerous stays, I have been interested not only in the post-war architecture of the architect Auguste Perret, but also in the port and the container ships arriving at high frequency, which supply this city not only with goods, but also with hope, dreams and longing. Therefore, I decided to take the sea route there myself and enter this port on a container ship. The seas have always linked the world, because ships use them to bring goods and people to the most remote places. Thus, they have multiple functions as a transportation and communication space, as well as a place of longing and memory. There is hardly any other place than a ship where superstition, sailor’s yarn and romance collide so harshly with real everyday life. Surrounded by the sea, one quickly loses one’s sense of time, proportions, speed and distances. The transition from reality to fiction within the world at sea is fluid. Not only metaphorically is the ship, which forms a self-contained space at sea, connected to all ports and times via the narratives and the cargo.
26th April to 25th June 2023
world in minds
In the past, the world came to the city with the ships; today, they are sealed-off areas and are only regarded as gateways to the world in spirit. With the exhibition “world in minds”, Astrid Busch transports visitors to the major ports of four cities. She artistically approaches the history and present of the ports of Hamburg, Antwerp in Belgium, Le Havre in France, and Istanbul in Turkey, as well as the pace of their shipping traffic. By linking different media and time levels, she creates a dense network of references and a variety of possible readings. She builds settings of installations and objects, photography and film, projection and works on paper, with which she examines places for their sensory perceptibility and their effect on people.
Astrid Busch studied fine art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg and at the Berlin Weißensee School of Art. Her works have been included in exhibitions at the Maison des Arts Solange-Baudoux in Évreux, France; the Modern Art Museum in Yerevan, Armenia; the Hetjens Museum in Düsseldorf, Germany; the Museum Kunst der Westküste on the island of Föhr, Germany; and the Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, Germany.
Picture: Nándor Angstenberger
February 7 – April 12, 2023
“When someone asks me what I do as a visual artist, I answer: I am a world builder! But I am also a collector, a folder, a tailor or a searcher, a finder and an archivist. My organically growing constructions are neither models for something nor models of something. They are life designs, proposals and suggestions for new ideas and spatial concepts, but also designs for unrealizable constructions from a parallel world that we only know from literature or mythology. The materials I use for my works are mostly found objects, forgotten, left behind or lost. They have patina, they have traces of life in the form of scratches, discoloration or deformation, and it is these traces of life that make the material interesting for me. They are usually very small, but can also be larger, inconspicuous, readily overlooked, but in their composition they reveal the magic of things. They can also be found objects from nature, fallen branches, worked by seasons and weather, or flotsam, reinterpreted by the forces of water. I would like to invite the viewer to rediscover the small things of everyday life, learning to appreciate the beauty of the inconspicuous and easily overlooked. It is an aesthetic of the imperfect, characterized by asymmetry, roughness, irregularity, simplicity and economy, showing respect for the peculiarity of things. I collect these materials tirelessly, without being tied to a place or fixated on a material. Part of my research is to explore a new place, my future archive of materials and ideas, collecting and sorting first impressions. A big theme in my work right now is my concentric utopian and fantastical landscapes or worldviews. They are very autobiographical, a status quo, an event, a reflection on systems, how to live, how to live and how not to live. What’s happening around us, being part of this society, being an artist, being human. A lot of the material I use I take from nature, but I also give some back to the cycle of nature when I take down the installations. It is also a search for traces that I embark on, the collection of working material, experiences and adventures. My filigree objects are created without sketches or concrete preliminary work. They are guided by my own imagination. Personal notes and experiences find their way into my objects without the usual evaluative order. Despite their often fairy-tale appearance, my works are also commentaries on the crisis of the private sphere and the loss of stable identities. In a globalized world, certainties have finally dissolved, absolutely everything has become material.” (Nándor Angstenberger, 2022)
Nándor Angstenberger wants to invite the viewer to rediscover the small things of everyday life and thus learn to appreciate the beauty of the inconspicuous and easily overlooked. His materials are mostly found objects: Forgotten, abandoned and lost, or found objects from nature. They have patina, they have scratches, discolorations, are deformed. These traces of life are what make the material interesting to him, and it is in their composition that he unlocks the magic of these things. It is an aesthetic of the imperfect, which is characterized by asymmetry, roughness, irregularity, simplicity and economy, thus demonstrating respect for the peculiarity of things. Angstenberger studied fine arts at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Hamburg and describes himself as a world builder and material archivist. His works have been shown at the Museum Marta Herford, Ludwig Museum Koblenz, Kunsthalle Krems, Kunstmuseum Ahrenshoop, Kunsthalle Emden and Museum Kloster Unser Lieben in Magdeburg, Landesmuseum Stuttgart, Kunstverein Freiburg, Kunstverein Bellevue-Saal Wiesbaden and Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen, among others. In addition, stage design installations for New Music in the Paris Philharmonic and for OperaLab in the Ackerstadtpalast, Berlin.
Bild: Christin Turner, What Happens to the Mountain (Screenshot)
Christin Turner is is a filmmaker and video artist whose work seeks to change our ideas of the
past and honoring traditions with a new and more modern outlook. She depicts landscape as
both metaphor and means for traversing psychological terrains, and investigates thepossibilities of cinema as a site for transcendence. Turner’s use of color and light has been
described as painterly, impressionistic, and psychedelic.
Turner received an MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a BA from the
University of California San Diego. Her experimental films have been featured on vdrome and
Frieze, and have screened at a variety of venues including the Museum of Modern Art,
International Film Festival Rotterdam, Karlovy-Vary, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Edinburgh
International Film Festival, Festival du Nouveau Cinema Montreal, 25FPS Festival, Kurzfilmtage
Winterthur and at Kurzfilmtage Hamburg where she was awarded the De-Framed Prize (2017).
Her work has been supported with residencies at MacDowell, the Bogliasco Foundation and
the Villa Sträuli.
What Happens to the Mountain 12:09 (USA) 2016
The mountain has not yet been a mountain.
The mountain is not yet a mountain.
The mountain will soon be a mountain.
The mountain is almost a mountain.
The mountain is a mountain.
The mountain continues to be a mountain.
The mountain is only just a mountain.
The mountain is no longer a mountain.
The mountain will no more be a mountain.
The mountain will never again be a mountain.
The mountain was never a mountain.
The mountain is a mountain.
— Edvard Kocbek
What Happens to the Mountain draws upon literary sources, late night radio, and ancient legends to conjure a psycho-geographic experience in a sacred landscape. A long-distance driver, a drifter, journeys from a tenuous reality into a vision of the afterlife, called forth by the spirit of the mountain.
Born to be Yves Klein Blue 4:53 (USA) 2016
An image flashes on the screen. Teenage informer Richard Brun, 19, shining a lot on the spot to
which the bodies of the two sisters Gretchen, 17, & Wendy, 13, had been dragged in the desert
by their killer Charles Schmid, 23, but can now not be found.
The film is an improvisation, a poem, a song, blue nights in Palm Desert. Inspired by the films
of Vincent Grenier, magicians, Rebecca Solnit, and “Yves Klein Speaks!”
Vesuvius at Home 14:06 (USA/ITALY) 2018
Volcanoes be in Sicily
And South America
I judge from my Geography—
Volcanos nearer here
A Lava step at any time
Am I inclined to climb—
A Crater I may contemplate
Vesuvius at Home.
— Emily Dickinson
A fantastical journey from the filmmaker’s childhood re-enactment of The Fall of Pompeii, through decades and decline, to the Sibyl’s Cave, wherein she discovers Vesuvius’ symbiosis with cinema, memory, and Giambattista Vico’s spiral of time.
Land Rebel 2:00, (USA) 2018
Winds of change turn the wheels of fortune in Tularosa, New Mexico. Downwind from the atomic bomb site at Alamogordo, a man with flowers in his pocket – A Land Rebel – builds a Buddhist shrine to counterbalance the vortex of power and destruction.
Der Stein zu Wörlitz 5:10 (GERMANY) 2019
“In front of me, Vesuvius. Now throw flames and smoke. An extraordinary show! Imagine a huge firework that doesn’t stop for a single minute”
– Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol
An experiential response to the Wikipedia entry on the artificial replica of Vesuvius in Wörlitz,
Germany, and a document of its final eruption using pyrotechnics, filmed during the summer of 2019.
A Dream in Red 11:07 (UK/USA) 2020
A poetic, time traveling meditation on ecological disaster via a hand processed black and white16mm montage of people in hiding confined in an ambiguous setting and time frame. Joltingfrom the temporal to the primal experience of the unknown, gradual cues subtly suggest that thesetting is Pompeii during the volcanic eruption. In the aftermath, a woman without sight feels her
way to an uncertain future. Non-binary composer Cee Haines’ music project C H A I N E S
accompanies the visual work with a dynamic, modular score using live musicians andelectronics.
Picture: Uwe Jonas, 250 Jahre Humboldt, Humboldt-Forum, September 2019
The exhibition ALLES IV opens on 21 June 2022 at 7 p.m. and provides an insight into the work of the visual arts with works ranging from photography to oil painting, as well as sculptures and videos, until 24 August 2022.
It is always a concern of the studio im HOCHHAUS to show the current trends in the visual arts in order to offer the residents of Neu-Hohenschönhausen the opportunity to gain an insight into current art production away from the hotspots of the art scene.
The studio in the HOCHHAUS fills its rooms to the rafters with ALLES the participating artists have to offer, representing a range of creativity that enables every visitor to become aware of works that he or she likes. The exhibition also demands time and calmness from the visitors to wander through the rooms, to stroll, and thus to be able to discover something new again and again.
With: Sonja Alhäuser – Michelle Alperin & Joe Neave – Elisabeth Ajtay – Nándor Angstenberger – Martin Assig – bankleer – Heike Kati Barath – Claudia Barcheri – Horst Bartnig – Jürgen Baumann – Michael Bause – Kai-Annett Becker – Matthias Beckmann – Nora Below – Benjamin Berkow – Holger Biermann – Boisseau & Westermeyer – Manuel Bonik – Patrick Borchers – Gunnar Borbe – Kai Bornhöft – Nick Bötticher – David Braithwaite – Thomas Bruns – Ingmar Bruhn – Astrid Busch – Dirk Busch – Alexander Callsen/Boris Jöns – Salomé Chkheidze-Mohs – Herbert De Colle – Marula di Como – Chris Costan – Swen Daemen – Henrike Daum – Ole Debovary – Dellbrügge & de Moll – Helmut Dick – Andreas Drewer – Irena Eden & Stijn Lernout – Manfred Eichhorn – Jürgen Eisenacher – Dana Engfer – Carola Ernst – Sabine Fassl – Christel Fetzer – Frederik Foert – Franziska Frey – Sabine Friesicke – Catherine Gerberon – Ingo Gerken – Katrin Glanz – Christian Grosskopf – Thorsten Goldberg – Carola Göllner – Kerstin Gottschalk – Reinhold Gottwald – Massoud Graf–Hachempour – Kim Dotty Hachmann & Ginny Sykes – Ulrich Hakel – Zandra Harms – Klaus Hartmann – Lisa Haselbek – Michael Hauffen – Tanja Hehn – Tina Isabella Hild – Gerhard Himmer – Annika Hippler – Alekos Hofstetter – Birgit Hölmer – Ralf Homann – Fabian Hub – Irène Hug – Franziska Hünig – Anja Ibsch – Andrea Imwiehe – Verena Issel – Gunilla Jähnichen – Zora Janković – Gabriele Jerke – Uwe Jonas – Jae-Eun Jung – Yuki Jungesblut – Nikos Kalaitzis – Martin Kaltwasser – Mi Jean Kang – Judith Karcheter – Peter Kees – Werner Kernebeck – Annette Kisling – Ulrike & Günther-Jürgen Klein – Andreas Knäbel – Win Knowlton – Andreas Koch – Silke Koch – Susanne Kohler – Eva–Maria Kollischan – Karen Koltermann – Marcel Kopp – Ruppe Koselleck – Andreas Kotulla – Inge Krause – Käthe Kruse – Annette Kuhl – Susanne Kutter – Kim Eun Kyoung – Chantal Labinski – Michael Lapuks – Seraphina Lenz – Pia Linz – Agnes Lörincz – Petra Lottje – Antonia Low – Liz Magno – Enikö Márton – Rei Matsushima – Matthias Mayer – Udo Meinel – Manfred Michl – Hanako Miyamoto – Ulrike Mohr – Mariella Mosler – Leo de Munk – Berit Myrebøe – Christophe Ndabananiye – Silvia Nettekoven – Ursula Neugebauer – Gertrud Neuhaus – Gabriele Obermaier – Lorcan O’Byrne – Mayumi Okabayashi – Juergen O. Olbrich – Jürgen Palmtag – Jürgen Paas – Günther Pedrotti – Roman Pfeffer – Pfelder – Andrea Pichl – Torsten Prothmann – Katja Pudor – Emily Pütter – Maria-Leena Räihälä – Andrea van Reimersdahl – Roland Reiter – Mirja Reuter – Gerda Riechert – Kai Richter – Renèe Ridgway – Matthias Roth – rasso rottenfusser – Robert Rudigier – Andreas Sachsenmaier – Maike Sander – Matthias Schamp – Gisela Schattenburg – Alexandra Schlund – An Seebach – Olivia W. Seiling – Daniel Seiple – Spunk Seipel – Fabian Seiz – Soji Shimizu – Soyoung Shon – Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag – Elisabeth Sonneck – Christina Speer – Petra Spielhagen – Ute Sroka – Anne Staszkiewicz – Alexander Steig – Christian Stock – Stock‘n‘Wolf – Tommy Støckel – Kamil Sobolewski – ststs – Sven Stuckenschmidt – Betty Stürmer – Max Sudhues – Caro Suerkemper – Lorant Szathmary – Gaby Taplick – Anke Teichel – Thea Timm – Peter Torp – Lukas Troberg – Andrea Übelacker – Anne Ullrich – Timm Ulrichs – Anke Völk – Klaus Walter – Christine Weber – Ute Weiss Leder – Markus Willeke – HS Winkler – René Wirths – Andreas Wolf – Gisela Wrede – Simone Zaugg – Barbara Zenner – Maike Zimmermann – Edgar Zippel – Sandra Zuanovic
Bild: Matthias Roth, Landscape I, videostill
With contributions from:
Michelle Alperin & Joe Neave, Boisseau & Westermeyer, Patrick Borchers, Henrike Daum, Helmut Dick, Andreas Drewer, Kim Dotty Hachmann & Ginny Sykes, Yuki Jungesblut, Peter Kees, Ruppe Koselleck, Hanako Miyamoto, Matthias Roth und Stock‘n‘Wolf
Nervous Belly, 2020/2022
Michelle Alperin & Joe Neave
2:18 min, no sound
Each image in the video Nervous Belly by Michelle Alperin and Joe Neave was individually hand-drawn on paper. Nervous Belly is about intimacy: a woman wants to rub her husband’s belly and he wants her to rub it. But he doesn’t want her to notice his roundness. For this reason, he tries to pull his belly in before she lifts his shirt. Sometimes he manages to pull his belly in before she lifts his T-shirt, but sometimes she is quicker and the curves are exposed. Either way, she rubs his belly and puts them both in a soothing, hypnotic state of bliss. Why be ashamed when you can have so much pleasure?
Der Freie Mensch – mit KI, 2019
Boisseau & Westermeyer
“Man asks – the machine answers” forms the initial dispositive with which Boisseau & Westermeyer confront their main character ƒ. What happens when the content of information is optimised and access to it is possible and unlimited at all times? Does the algorithm know ƒ better than ƒ knows himself? Can ƒ’s personality still be proven at all? Is the view with which he looks at himself still his own or has it become that of the algorithm? Are his expectations his own or has he already internalised the algorithm? The questions of the Free Man with AI seem to know no bounds, but what happens once everything unknown has been eliminated?
Plant Songs 3: Wegwarte / Blue dandelion, 2021
The starting point of PLANT SONGS are whistled, self-composed melodies for three specific plants. With prayer mill-like movements, the work stands between homage and self-forgetfulness and refers to the limits of human perception and communication in relation to other life forms / plants.
GROSSE VÖGEL, KLEINE VÖGEL, 2022
A flat mesh basket is attached to the corner of a railing. A blackbird hops in from the left and begins to eat the bird food in the basket. The blackbird flies away again and immediately a pigeon appears from the left and a blue tit from the front at the feeding place. The blue tit disappears again after a short time when a crow flies in from the right. In another scene, however, the three dissimilar birds can be seen very close and peaceful together. “Disputes” arise exclusively between two pigeons: one pigeon is repeatedly chased away from the feeder by another, flapping its wings.
healing grounds, 2013
Kim Dotty Hachmann & Ginny Sykes
healing grounds shows the rapid changes in Berlin-Friedrichshain. In a short time, the so-called “brownfields”, free urban green spaces, were replaced by exclusive apartment and residential buildings. The video documents an intervention in public space in which we poetically draw attention to the deficits of urban planning. The artists express their protest against this development with a ceremony in which they prepare the ground of the Freudenberg site for its future purpose. A 10 x 10 metre floor work made of spices is created.
Schwere Waffen (SPz Marder 1A3), 2022
Following on from my childhood memories of model building, mostly World War II fighter aircraft, I looked into the question of what heavy weapons might be. From a well-known kit manufacturer I ordered four that might fit this category and assembled them one by one The assembly of the SPz Marder 1A3 is shown here.
A lonely crab moves to the incessant beat of abstracted classical dance music (Ravel‘s Bolero). The crab becomes a performer, fighting with, courting its own mirror image. It laments its eternal anger.
The Heikegani (Heikeopsis japonica) is a species of crab native to Japan, with a shell that bears a pattern resembling a human face which some believed to be the face of an angry samurai. It is a local legend that these crabs are reincarnations of the Heike warriors defeated at the Battle of Dan-no-ura (close to Kitakyushu) as told in The Tale of the Heike.
Contemplating the distorted pattern on the back of the crab along with his actions, the viewer is left to wonder about what might be anger, what might be evil, all that is „böse“ …, and how it might evolve.
In an installation context the video is presented in conjunction with a poem by Bertold Brecht: Die Maske des Bösen
Duet for flute and violin, 2020
The video ‘Duet for flute and violin’ by Peter Kees shows the destruction of two instruments. A violin and a flute are pressed together one after the other like a car in a scrap press – literally flattened, subjected to a pressure that cannot be escaped. During the collapse, the body of sound emits noises, those last tonal “breaths” – not music, but sounds of destruction. “I made a video in which a violin is pressed, perhaps as a kind of commentary on the treatment of the arts in the Corona period. I was very shocked by how the arts were subsumed between brothels and sauna landscapes.I definitely felt that was a disregard,”, as Peter Kees comments on the video.
Den Opfern künftiger Kriege, 2015
Die Liebe zum Kopffüßler in 3 Akten, 2021
I decided to use a character drawn by small children when they start drawing people. In 3 episodes I tell in simple form what can happen when a childhood does not go well. Originally it was the story of a German artist, Horst Janssen. It can be transferred to many, mostly male characters. When slights are not dealt with (scene 1) the child in the man challenges the conflict (scene 2). It ends in white noise – episode 3.
Mein Tagebuch, 2016-2020
landscape 1, 2015
Bar Stories, 2019
Anjana Kothamachu, Antonia Low, Ina Ettlinger, Hans HS Winkler, Harish V Mallappanavar, Rasso Rottenfußer, Vichar B N, Vineesh Amin
The exhibition Responsive Curating Opens on 5 April 2022 at 7pm and, until 15 June 2022, gives a glimpse of the “results” of the “Responsive Curating” of the Indian/German edition.
Imagine that the exhibition space is something like an end device, for example a mobile phone, and the exhibition consists of a data package that downloads and unpacks itself in the space: depending on the size and context of the exhibition space, the artworks change during their installation. “Responsive Curating” experiments with the “exhibition” as a “universal medium” that can communicate in any place. An experimental arrangement with surprising results, especially in view of the current challenges of a pandemic. In the face of limited cultural life, the artists do not rely on a digitalisation of representation strategies or on repackaging in online formats. “Responsive Curating” at studio im HOCHHAUS relies entirely on the power of visual art in physical space and the direct experience and in-depth engagement of visitors with the individual works. Works that certainly deal with the new challenge of a digital culture, global economy and the associated field of tension between identity and universalism. With a view to ecological issues, neither artist travel nor art transport was necessary for the international exhibition. Instead, the curatorial concept of “Responsive Curating” revisits formal principles of instruction-based art of the 1960s, but follows contemporary requirements: These include, for example, the sketching of instructions with vector sizes or the responsive design of the individual objects in the exhibition space. Based on the artistic instructions, the works are realised again for each exhibition venue and recycled in the local material cycle after the end of the exhibition. The aura of the artwork is deliberately not created. The studio im HOCHHAUS is the third stop of “Responsive Curating” after the Venkatappa Art Gallery in the South Indian mega-metropolis Bengaluru 2019 (Exhibition on Flash Drive) and the Kunstraum München 2020.
On display are works by Anjana Kothamachu (Bengaluru), Antonia Low (Berlin & Stuttgart), Ina Ettlinger (Munich), Hans HS Winkler (Berlin), Harish V Mallappanavar (Haveri), rasso rottenfusser (Riva del Garda and Munich, Vichar B N (Bengaluru) and Vineesh Amin (Bengaluru). The artworks are based on the artists’ digital instructions and were specially produced in Munich for the exhibition. They question, among other things, the change of time through the Corona pandemic, the function of original and copy on the global art market, the role expectations of or wishful projections on artists and the political possibilities of shaping in diversified globalised and postcolonial contexts.
Picture: Co-op City
What is possible?
“For years, rents and purchase prices for flats (and commercial premises) have been rising to ever more dizzying heights. The supply of (still) affordable accommodation is becoming increasingly scarce and, for some, partly out of reach. Even for those who have a flat, it is becoming more and more difficult to pay the rising rents and to deal with the fear of losing their own flat – for whatever reason. In the face of this problem, we want to look for possibilities that have already been realised somewhere in the world and could show us an exemplary way for a solution, or maybe just utopian to theoretical thoughts on the matter.”
This text, already written in 2021, seems almost unreal, except for the theoretical/utopian. In Berlin, around it and (almost) everywhere, housing is expensive and getting more expensive. However, there are no longer any opportunities to break new ground, for example through building groups, cooperatives, micro-apartments or houses, or classic social housing, because the prices for land and building are rising immeasurably. All those who were not fortunate enough to have sufficient means to acquire property or who simply did not want to do so are increasingly confronted with the question of how they can continue to pay for their (rented) housing. The people who no longer manage to do so quickly find themselves on the outer fringes of society. These are the ones who ask us for money in the underground, camp out on the street or use shopping trolleys to transport their belongings. An exhibition in Munich logically asks: “Who’s next?” (Architekturmuseum der TUM, until 6 February 2022) Beyond that, we ask: “What then?”.
It is true that there are ways in which societies can deal with homelessness by creating alternative housing options, so-called inclusive projects that allow the “normal” and the “failed” lifeworlds to overlap. One example is the Viennese “VinziRast-mittendrin” by gaupenraub+, which accommodates homeless people and students together and also establishes a public café in the building, which points in the right direction. But these are individual measures. Attention must therefore be paid to individual solutions, i.e. informal housing on the edges of usable areas, which are also becoming fewer and fewer, especially in Berlin. In the agglomeration called “slum”, these irregular buildings can certainly form appealing settlements – and be temporarily liveable, even idyllic.
A search for solutions for people who have become homeless and are exposed to the manifold hardships of this situation is on the agenda. There is a need to think anew and to build anew: How about building on the Tempelhofer Feld? How many people could be accommodated there? And how can building be sensible in the future, also in view of the “climate change”? Here, the project at the former Tegel Airport, the Schumacher Quarter, is certainly groundbreaking. More questions than answers remain, but we want to and must continue to consider what the future of housing in Berlin can look like so that everyone can afford it. *** Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) ***
Picture: Peter Herlitze, 1980
Peter Herlitze, one from here
The exhibition with Peter Herlitze opens on 26 January 2022 and provides an insight into the work of an artist from Neu-Hohenschönhausen, precisely “one from here”, until 29 March 2022. On Sunday 30 January there will be a soft opening from 2 to 6 p.m., the artist will be present.
With the exhibition of Peter Herlitze‘s work, the studio im HOCHHAUS is taking a new approach. Not only is an artist being exhibited who lives “around the corner” in Neu-Hohenschönhausen, but he has also only ever pursued his artistic work alongside his profession as a graphic designer.
Nowadays, artists like to talk about their “bread and butter job” that keeps them going. Peter Herlitze, on the other hand, decided early on to continue to pursue his passion for visual art alongside his creative gainful employment. Since the early 1970s, this has resulted in a broad, diverse body of work ranging from relief prints to watercolour, oil and acrylic paintings to woodcarvings. The “bread job” partly influenced this, in which, for example, texts to the pictures played an important role. The studio in the HOCHHAUS exhibits a selection of Peter Herlitze’s work without pursuing a retrospective intention. The aim is to show the breadth of the work and to read it in the context of its creation.
Videos by Roman Pfeffer
Vienna contemporary, 2015, 2:46 min
“The Collector” Roman Pfeffer as he cuts Aldo Giannotti’s work out of the exhibition bunk unannounced at Vienna Contemporary 2015.
At the Vienna Contemporary art fair, Aldo Gianotti draws a chainsaw on the wall of the exhibition bunk and puts the words ‘This drawing can be taken for free if the collector comes with a chainsaw and saws the piece off the wall’ underneath.
Roman Pfeffer takes the instruction seriously and cuts until he is finally stopped….
Waiting, 2011, 3:18 min
The short video “Waiting” from 2011, looped without a recognisable beginning and end, shows the artist as a waiter. He holds two glasses in his hand, two off-screen water hoses continually fill them and cause them to overflow. The static camera demands running images, but the artist stands frozen and imprisoned in the corset of propriety; there is no plot development and no narrative depiction. In “Waiting”, Roman Pfeffer describes an attitude between concentration and compulsion, “the manifestation of a certain moment that results in a standstill – actually a state”. Expectations of art, artist and medium are not fulfilled here, the time-image becomes a governor of denial.
The Last Supper, 2009, 1:20 min
Cooperation project “The Last Supper” with Aldo Giannotti, 2009, he transforms well-known motifs from art and cultural history. With its change of state and reinterpretation, the work becomes a metaphor for questions about change, the passage of time and rhythm.
The motif is reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper”, which is considered a milestone of Renaissance painting due to its depth of perspective. Roman Pfeffer gives a new twist to the seemingly familiar motif of the – still empty – table. After a moment of silence – a sequence of about 30 seconds – movement enters the picture in a flash for a second and at the same time the room is filled with a loud clattering.
13 white plates, 13 glasses, 13 sets of cutlery fall from above onto the table and shatter with a loud noise – then absolute silence returns. As soon as the rocking movement of the last shards has frozen, the image goes out and starts again. The video thematises the meal – suggested by the image of the table – as a ritual act, in which Jesus’ statement “One of you will betray me” symbolically introduces a new twist.
“The Last Supper” is a manifestation of a specific moment that changes the situation and documents a new state. The viewer is taken by surprise, the speed of the action leaves little time to reflect on what is seen, the familiar aspects come together like the shards to form a new image.
Brain Twister (Autogyrocopter), 2015, 2:25 min
In the work, Brain Twister (Autogyrocopter), Pfeffer works with a 17.5-metre-long wooden rowing boat, depriving it of its original function. In the middle of Vienna’s Prater, the artist stands on a pedestal and places the boat on his head. With the help of the wind, the rowing boat slowly turns around its own axis. Through this seemingly simple intervention, the boat is transformed into a propeller.
Even though Pfeffer’s interventions often make a sober and simple impression, the re-functioning of the boat involved a great deal of effort. The result is a whimsical and at the same time beautiful image that releases poetic associations in the viewer.
The Restricted Conference, 2011, 6 min
Cooperation project Roman Pfeffer/Markus Hofer
It was not foreseeable that the current situation of chronic restriction or even cancellation of meetings would give this work a surprising topicality. The first scene of the film shows an empty room. A functional conference table spreads out on a worn wooden floor: lacquered wooden top, two solid metal legs, four openings for cabling, a push-button telephone. That’s all, no chairs. In the back wall, however, a row of sockets: what was negotiated at this table was to be connectable, was to have an effect into the distance. No doubt, important decisions were made here. Finally, both artists step in, quickly changing close-ups accompany their practised hand movements and cast a spell. Calculatingly, they measure. As if it were a show trial or a ritualised execution, the destructive work takes its course. Nothing connects this form of dismantling with the blind aggression of the Viennese actionists Friedrich Achleitner and Gerhard Rühm, who smashed a piano on an open stage in April 1959 amid deafening noise. Roman Pfeffer and Markus Hofer are not concerned with vandalism, but with transformation. We watch this act from the distant proximity of a scientist. Via camera and without sound, the observer status is oriented towards purely visual experience. Sparks of white flames spray as the hacksaw starts. Glue dripping with teeth indicates the turn. At the end, the table has disappeared, but there is no shattered debris in front of us. Instead, we see two identical chairs and the telephone. Only the round openings in their backrests and some unadorned edges betray their genesis from second-hand material and remind us of the fictitious paper worlds of a Thomas Demand.
Untiteld, 2006, 4:18 min
A little story about the idea: He who digs himself a hole….
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