POSITIONING OSMOTIC IMPULSES / Introduction The connections among beings alone make time. It was the systematic connection of entities in a coherent whole that constituted the flow of modern time. Now that this laminary flow has become turbulent, we can give up anylyses of the empty framework of temporality and return to passing time â€“ that is, to beings and their relationships, to the networks that construct irreversibility and reversibility. Bruno Latour, A Copernican Counter-revolution, in We Have Never Been Modern, 1991 Breaking news The news headlines in the last 3 years have been captured by the realities of the economic crisis in Europe, which is currently threatening to spread out a yonder like a wild bush fire. This crisis developed a step further as in 2011 one European country became bankrupt after the otherâ€Ś Greece, then Portugal, Spain, while Italy and France are at the brink. But one of the most interesting breaking news came a few weeks ago, when it was reported that due to the economic crisis, many Portuguese were leaving Portugal to Angola and Mozambique in search of greener pastures! Well, this could be the headlines of a tabloid some 600 years ago too, as Portuguese and other Europeans set out as well. The crucial question is what is the mechanism that lies behind such movements? Is it similar to other forces of nature like osmosis, that is purported by a yearn for an equilibrium in concentrations across mediums? And can one compare such a scientific phenomenon with social phenomena, and more especially research on them in the context of art? Common denominator The interface between the arts and humanities to science, technology and architecture can be observed in different epochs of world history, such as in the Renaissance, industrialization, biotechnology, and IT eras and in different cultural movements from Gothic through Neoclassicism to Modernism. This often symbiotic relationship is not limited to an illustration of one another but in many cases serves as a switch or channel to a deeper understanding of theories, hypotheses, or the phenomena of each other. Osmosis is one of such exemplary scientific concepts. This physico-biological phenomenon describes the diffusion of a solution through a semipermeable membrane separating two solutions of different concentrations. During osmosis, the less concentrated solution flows into the more concentrated solution until a concentration equilibrium is reached. Since a larger amount of liquid has now accumulated on one side a certain hydrostatic pressure, also known as osmotic pressure, develops on the membrane. This mechanism has proven to be one of the key concepts for the survival of living beings in evolution because of the semipermeability of cell membranes. Plants for example take water by osmosis into their cells and carry it from the roots to the tip. The osmotic pressure in their cells (turgor) gives them stability. To maintain a constant internal environment, animals have to osmoregulate, I.e. water balance and electrolyte balance must be regulated by active transport processes. In certain cases, the cells can even burst. In order to limit/ avoid a bursting caused by osmosis, animal cells pump, for example, ions to the outside to adjust the concentration gradient. Plant cells, on the other hand, can generate a back pressure through their rigid cell walls. Then a dynamic equilibrium is generated. If one would/ could transcribe this model of a biological cell, the concept of osmosis and its principles (e.g. the semi-permeable membrane or the osmoregulation) in a socio-political context, one might better understand some socio-cultural issues. Suppositions The hypothesis is that social, economic and political phenomena such as folk migrations, nomadism, wars and crime have parallels to the concept of osmosis. The crux of all these abovementioned phenomena are the differences in concentration or concentration gradient. Take for example one of the core samples of folk migration in the Western-Christian Tradition: The Exodus from Egypt. This Old Testament story in the Book of Exodus describes the emigration of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt into the land of Canaan. Since there was a low concentration of freedom in Egypt and a greater concentration of freedom in the Promised Land, the Israelites had to diffuse/ emigrate to Canaan. Another concentration gradient and osmosis, namely an economic one, led to Vasco da Gama departure some 600 years ago to explore the spice route to India for his people. Later, based on the same drive, Christopher Columbus departed to the Americas in the search of precious metals but at the same time to set a foundation for colonies and slave trade. Whenever there is war, natural disasters or economic crises, people move from one place with a low concentration of freedom, insufficient basic needs of life, poor education or economic instability to another place with a higher concentration of all these needs. So itâ€™s no wonder that when many people leave from Asia, Latin America or Africa towards North America or Europe, this process is reminescent to an osmotic process. Of course, this phenomenon also applies to social inequalities that exists between capitalist and working classes, between ruling and ruled classes, between the property owners and non-property owner; a major source of riots, crime and other social
unrests. This imbalance, which leads to osmosis could be referred to as an osmotic impulse. Since the political status quo and the sovereignty of the EU, USA and many other countries are determined by tough immigration laws, so that their borders are almost impermeable, there is no concentration equilibrium. Thus is the case in the capitalist system, in which the profiteers always try to keep at bay the exploited or even exploit more, while the exploited constantly attempt to break out of their deadlock. As it is the case with cells, this imbalance can lead to a disproportionate household or a “cancer” of society.
Exhibition To build a bridge between science, sociology and art, the medium of an exhibition could be the best suitable utensil. It is even more interesting, when the exhibition is scheduled to be in a former jail of the District Court in Neukölln. This 18991901 built prison was designed by Paul Thoem in the style of the German Renaissance and in the 1920s it served as an investigative, men’s and women’s prison. In the Nazi era political prisoners were detained here and after the war the prison had numerous functions, including as a juvenile prison, bureaus for Soviet intelligence agencies, an educational project, with concerts, a drugconvicts prison and an asylum home. Now, the prison will be used for the second time as an exhibition space. With its strong and captivating history, this location could function as an allegory of a biological cell, which bears the ability to respond to the stimuli of osmosis. The membranes of these cells are usually semipermeable. Movements within the cell system are partially restricted, and usually in only one direction. This selective osmosis and diffusion, which serves as a symbol of global movement will play a central role in this project. For this exhibition, 20 artists working at the interface between art and architecture, art and science and technology, art and critical theories were invited to come to grips with the concept of osmosis, to question the hypothesis, find new common denominators and new connections with their artistic expression. The exhibition does not aim to illustrate concepts or to answer questions, but the artists are invited to explore their own works and existing practice with regards to the contexts of the issues raised. Can such scientific hypotheses be easily translated into social and artistic issues? Can important economic, political and social issues so easily be explained by a biological phenomenon of equilibrium? For this space and content dominant exhibition Positioning Osmotic Impulses 15 artists from five continents, working with installations, photographs, sound art, film and painting, and 5 performance artists as well as a further six-part film series will be seen in 30 cells, the former prison restaurant and in the courtyard of the prison. Positioning Osmotic Impulses metamorphosized from an exhibition to a publication, which is neither intended to be read as a classical exhibition catalogue, nor as an exhibition reader but rather as an extension of the concept of the exhibition, a dialogue with the unusual space and a reconstructed framework, within which the artists' positions can be reinterpreted. The publication was conceived as an artistic input by Azin Feizabadi and orchestrated in collaboration with the curators of the project - Positioning Osmotic Impulses. Curators: Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung Pauline Doutreluingne
I has lost track of time. What makes me sure that I or you, whom I don’t know and will never meet, will – at some time in the future, in about a decade from now – read what goes through my mind? No one knows! Ariel Reichman / "Venta" Room nr. 208 - I sit on my bed and write you this letter. It is dark outside. Inside it is very quiet. The birds were singing this morning. I think it was morning, they usually sing in the morning. I wish to open the window and have them fly in circles inside my room. It would not be much of a circle though. I have a bed, a sink and a window blocked by a wall. How is it over there? They say the weather is terribly hot. Here it is cold, my fingers sting while writing. I just can’t believe you escaped what is happening. Ah, it’s time. I love you.
Ventilator: A mechanical fan used to create flow within a fluid, typically in a gaseous state such as air. Usually, it is contained within some form of housing or case. This may direct the airflow or increase safety by preventing objects from contacting the fan blades. Fans produce airflows with high volume and low pressure. The fan is installed on the other side of a wall and its job is to suck air from inside the room to the outdoors and by doing this to clean the air from smoke, unpleasant smells, and compressed/stuffy air. It creates a movement from the inside to the outside. It generates the bad air together with the good air. The hand generated fan applications include climate control and personal thermal comfort. While fans are often used to cool people, they do not actually cool air (if anything, electric fans warm it slightly due to the warming of their motors), but work by evaporative cooling of sweat and increased heat conduction into the surrounding air due to the airflow from the fans. Thus, fans may become ineffective at cooling the body if the surrounding air is near body temperature and contains high humidity.
What difference does it make whether all this I am telling you belongs to the past, the present, the future, the truth, the fiction or to the I or to the you? What can in fact serve as evidence of our existence since reality is blocked by form and image anyway?
Marc Bijl / "There is a romantic desire, hidden in his attempt to understand the world we live in..."
Julia Prezewowsky / "Liberiscope" In 1973 it was decided that Libern would become the ideal of modern living. This perfect framework for mankind's existence would solve the problems of humanity and social living and create a template that could be followed around the world. It was decided that home, work and leisure should all be housed under one roof to reduce harmful emissions caused by transport and help create a sustainable environment. The apartments were fully furnished with the suitable degree of antique furniture and modern upholstery. Giant air vents were concealed beneath the ground to ensure the perfect ratio of oxygen to other gases. Fresh organic food would be served three times a day from a large rotating counter capable of feeding up to 13,000 people per hour. To celebrate holidays and special events a team of planners would invite touring parties to enter Libern. All concerts and events would finish by 9:00 in the evening and an unspoken curfew would ensure that everyone would be asleep by 10:00 pm. To stop jealousy and internal strife, everyone would have their sexual partner allocated to them by an impartial Joy Committee – although individual requests could be made by way of a public notice. Intellectual pursuits would be strongly encouraged although anyone found in possession of unapproved books or leaflets would be punished. Since 1993 the population of Libern has increased by 9 per cent and offshoots of Libern’s template can now be found in well over 50 countries around the world.
The installation "Liberiscope" deals with the nostalgia inherent to the vision of the future that prevailed in the past: a longing for community, as well as architecture as social engineering. Set within the famous 1940s architecture of Straussberger Platz, an idealized scene depicts a variety of nudists, hippies, bird dancers, Chinese ballerinas and wild animals gathering on the grass. The sickly sweet image is presented to the viewer via a periscope, which descends from a wooden structure. Coupled with the physical experience of seeing one’s view traveling upwards and becoming trapped in an image, at second glance the scene reveals a sense of foreboding to the viewer, who finds the people and animals within the scene confined by the architecture around them.
Anna Anderegg (feat. HervĂŠ Thiot) /
Reduced space. Comatose living architects as choreographers of tiny repertoires. Repetitive movements. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Mechanism of human body. Perfection. Cooperation in no use. Confronting the boundless wide of its mind. Imbalanced space. Buried under vacuum. Pression of vegetating. Locked in syndrome of daily life. Constricted perception. Limited view. Restricted visibility. Boundaries of mentality. Powerlessness of action. In tolerance. Noneties en masse. Immobilized mental activity. Holding ideas at bay. Pleasing. Fulfilling speculation. Environmental surrender. Brawly emptiness. My body in space. My body in restricted space. Testing limits. Looking for boundaries. Pushing my imagination. Playing with limitation. Breaking automatisms. Going beyond my rationalism. Going beyond my bodyâ€™s rationalism. Observing relapses. Not giving in to desires. Taking note of repetition. Hold on to daydreams. Perceive experiences. Break them down. Split them into pieces. Detached from their environment. Transform them. Rebuild them. Consider them. Look at them. Pick the essence. Take it and put it into a very different space. Now play with it. Exaggerate it. Minimalize it. Think it. Verbalize it. Reinterpret it. Color it. Dance it.
These are the stories of an object being translated through many identities. An object, a building that is not yet built. Yet it becomes, changes its outer, over and over and over and over again.
Surya Gied / "Die Zelle ist leer" Die Zelle ist leer. Alle Möbel sind entfernt: Bett, Waschbecken, Klo und Spiegel. Was übrig bleibt sind Bohrlöcher, abgebröckelte Farbe, Kratzer, Abdrücke und Staub. Ein enger, zuschnürender Raum. Das Fenster mit Gitter gibt Ausblick auf den Himmel. Ich installiere bespannte und grundierte Leinwände. Die Spuren werden verdeckt. Sie sind wie ausgewaschene und verschwommene Erinnerungen. Die Leinwände sind deren Referenz. Die Betrachter deren Zeugen. Die Spuren verfolgen. Was war vorher? Wie war es vorher? Ein isolierter Mensch. Erdrückt von Gedanken und Gefühlen. Die nicht raus können. Die sich wiederholen im Kopf. Absplittern in einzelne Gedanken, Fragmente die wahnsinnig machen, Figuren die selbstständig werden. Der Körper ist betäubt. Betäubt durch Enge. Er zittert vor Stillstand. Alles ist angespannt. Muskeln, Nerven, Haut, Zellen. Angespannt vor Schwäche. Die Zelle ist jetzt Filmkulisse, Ausstellungsraum, Kulturgut. Davor war es eine Gefängniszelle. Man kann im Raum stehen, 2-3 Schritte gehen und liegen. An die Decke starren. Löcher in die Wand starren.
Surya Gied & Angelo Wemmje / "Bending Iron" The “Iso-Micro-Gym” brings power to every muscle. It’s a training method to build up your strength. In ten different exercises you will Surya Gied & Angelo Wemmje / "Bending Iron" train every part of your body. No extra devices such as dumbbells or any other fitness equipment are necessary. All exercises will only be carried out by your body’s own power. It’s a fight against yourself. It’s a fight with yourself – fought by your muscles. Every life form seeks balance. When a human being loses her freedom, control and independence, she must somehow compensate for this loss. It’s hard to survive without these basic needs. In such a weak position, like in prison, it’s essential to survival to find a way to create equilibrium of the psyche. When you have neither freedom nor space, you have to create a space within. When you have no control over your life, you can gain control over your body and mind. Weakness can be compensated by physical strength. The work “Bending Iron” shows a male body doing the exercises of the “Iso-Micro-Gym”. The video is projected on a wall in a prison cell. We see how the muscles constrict and fight against their own resistance. The camera captures every part of the physique, documenting the tension between weakness and power. It’s not only a fight to the physical limits, it’s a fight against perishing. In a 2-square meter prison cell, the only resource left is your own body. And this body can be used as an instrument to recreate the balance lost by being confined. by Keith Fairfield
Extreme Poetics / Boredom Studies / Telepathy / Studies In Expanded Duration / Sociology Of The Cell / Books And Power / Biopolitics Of Incarceration /Phenomenology Of The Book / Mental Geography / Deconstruction Of Waiting / Frustration Studies / Crime and Illiteracy Brandon LaBelle / "Preparations for a future library" #139 My skin crawls with silence. I hear it, like dry leaves caught in the breeze hitting the rooftops. A quiet with so many points that prick my flesh â€“ to make a tattoo out of the silence. What would this be or appear or look like? I know the name of this silence, I know its face, its image. I stare at it each day. It comes alive on the soft page of the book. It lives on the page. It breathes from the black marks. A silence within the silence. A cage within the cage. And the book, a space within this one, and one which carries me. I witness the flowers that bloom and the skies that pass told by others, written out as stories and voices that find a home in my imagination. I keep them there, safe to the outside sting and spark of the dirtiness of this hell. By Tommy Gonzalez, prisoner, San Quentin California
The work explores the relation between reading and the prison, tracking the circulation of books through the cell block. The legacy of prison literature highlights the power of the book to support acts of resistance from within the cell, where writing allows for the construction of an imaginary community outside imprisonment The book in this way is a vital medium for establishing contact to the outside, as well as creating an alternative space for combating what it means to be incarcerated. This relation extends to that of reading. As various testaments reveal, reading books in prison affords instances of temporary escape, where text envelopes the body in an alternative reality, one separate from the hard edges of the prison. The book can act as a means for self-education, learning and rehabilitation often at odds with the intensity of isolation. In exploring such themes, "Preparations for a future library" acts as a collection of raw materials, partly an archive on prison libraries and partly documents from prison writers, along with correspondences between prisoners and the artist. The work proposes an understanding of the book as a weapon.
Balz Islars / //fragmentation / layering / repetition / gregorian sounds / cathedral / sound castle / hi culture - lo culture / micro - macro / zoom in zoom out / digitales handwerk / endlos / virtuelle emotionen / poetry / haiku / montage / 1 + 1 = 3 / atemlos / invitation / teilen /
serendipity - finding something without looking for it //
Tere Recarens / "Creepy Bed" Ronny started off studying math and finished with psycho-geometrics. One of his special areas of interest is concave and convex shapes. His theory is that we humans, joined to the Earth by gravity, are on the concave side of the planet, and that in order to gain our freedom, we only need to move to the convex side. He was fascinated by geometrical disappearances and came across the Curry Triangle. If you cut a Curry Triangle into pieces and then put it back together using the same bits, you are left with a hole in it. This is because there is an optical variant. Ronny made near geometrical progressions with exploiting the properties of the Curry Triangle by cutting nine notes into eight. The result was, if he rearranged the pieces in the appropriate manner, they made ten notes of increasing value. This skill made him famous, and it was also because of this that he now finds himself in this cell. His best friend, Nando, believes in Khidr. Khidr is a character who was known to the Learned Medes of old. Khidr does things that are beyond our understanding. It sometimes seems that Khidr is evil and is responsible for catastrophes or accidents, but all he is doing is anticipating a future that is for him already present: whenever the unexpected occurs, it shows how ignorant we are. Later on, these misread events are transformed into favors and benefits. Nando adopted the same attitude of acting on impulse. Nando saw how the Turks were flooding the area of Dersim, Kurdish territory in Turkey. Nando was proud of the sacred Munzur River and, when a group of eighteen Turks came to start work on the dams and hydroelectric power stations, he laid a trap for them alongside the river and they were carried away by the current and lost somewhere in the region. For this reason he is now in this cell. It is also known that he was once a member of the PKK, the Kurdistan Workersâ€™ Party. Maurus lives in a state of constant insecurity. He visited a geomancer in Mali who told him a state secret. He made a new fabric and printed it with molten gold as if with a kind of rubric. He traveled with a caravan into the desert and traded the fabric for books and manuscripts. Rather than being taken hostage, he chose to hand himself in to the police. Alexandre is a poet. He arrived recently after Venus had passed in front of the sun.
That noise is a vision, an aesthetic matter. It is the very same vision that is causing your osmotic process and the stories being told here and now. These stories are told by I. A people that is you, that is I; both the subject, as well as the object; both the spectator, as well as the actor!
Gabriel Acevedo Velarde / "Cinema sincopado " MDF slats: Depth = 7, width = 1 cm, height = 196 cm, separated by 7 cm intervals, as in the wall “lath system” of El Lissitzky's “Raum für kostruktive Kunst”. Pale white painting behind the curtain, as in the interior of a house. Total height and width = 200 x 81 cm, like the size of a standard modern door. Position in the space = centered, a bit closer to the door than to the bottom of the room. Rotation = something close to 45 degrees angle to the walls. The MDF side should be visible from the door. The curtain side should be facing the back of the room. Room = 1.8 x 3 x 2.4 m, with one door as the only entrance and a 60 x 50 cm window at the bottom. Left shoe - below/behind the curtain. Syncopation - off beat or off-tune sounds as a musical practice (as in most African music). “Syncope” etimology - From Greek synkopē, literally, cutting short. Context - Right shoe, somewhere else.
To what extent should an object of art be defined by the space that hosts it?
I feel this piece is (or will be, once realized) a result of a new approach I am taking toward my art production. To put it in simple terms, I am starting to realize that my recent pieces are half-immersed in a cinematic experience, and that this half-immersion may not only be my point of interest, but a result of what I observe in from the work of other artists that I like. By "half-immersed cinematic experience" I mean that many art pieces have a narrative side due to their historical references, but this doesn't mean that the referential part ends up being the main point. I don't like it when the references wrap up the piece in a scenographic way, inscribing upon it the logics of re-enactment. In these cases, the pieces are swallowed by the narrative of contemporary art production, the art world, etc. The project for Osmotic Impulses is intended as a piece which has one foot in the scenography and the other foot... somewhere else. The real prison context is so strong that I find it pertinent to discuss precisely this matter: to what extent an art piece should be defined by the space that hosts it. That's why I thought it would be useful to reference the "Raum für konstruktive Kunst" by El Lissitzky (Dresden, 1926). This space was made to be the host of the "abstract" art of those times, and El Lissiztky's main achievement was the activation of the visitor's spatial experience by building a "lath system" – walls covered by wooden laths. The walls were no longer a "resting place for pictures" (as quoted by M. Gough in "Situating El Lissizky"), but a call to action. In "Cinema sincopado" I want to use that same lath system, but built with MDF, and to employ this as an object and not as surrounding space. Still, I hope the piece will feel like a module of a larger and uneven structure, something outside the building, something in your head. The title of the piece makes the same reference: Syncopated rhythms are off beat, break-beat rhythms which escape from the regular constant modern grid (like in salsa, funk, reggae, etc.). My plan for the piece is to install a non-visible sound system (speakers hidden within the object), which will output the sound of an object falling and bouncing onto a floor (see the attached audio example). I hope this geometric sequence sound serves to contrast the constant regular pattern of the laths and curtains.
Fernanda Trevellin / In the storage room of the former prison, in the complete dark, no windows, vertical and horizontal lines glow and draw the perspective of the room. Inside the lines, blue bright liquid pumps, following the rhythm of the heart breaks of a dosing pump. The room is sensitive, and through its infrared light, sensors can feel the dynamic of the space, connecting the human stimulus to the rhythm of the glowing system.
"Walls, the limit? Free in the dark."
How can I ever tell you the story of the I, while you is the one living that story?
Michael Zheng / "For The Record" On Sunday during my performance there was an amazing incident. I told Pauline and she agreed that it was one of the highlights of my performance and would be great for the catalog. While I was doing the performance, greeting the visitors as they entered, a middle-aged woman rushed to me from the end of the wall (she had already entered and seen the show.) She asked me, in an accusing tone, ”How did you get her information?!” I was surprised and confused by her question so I asked her to explain. She said, “How did you get the name and other information of the woman? She is very upset!” I said, “I asked the visitors and they told me their name and other things.” She continued to be very indignant and dragged me to the room with the projection. Sure enough, I saw the girl whom I had greeted 10 minutes ago as she entered the exhibition. And she was visibly disturbed. When she saw me, she asked how I got her information. I said very calmly, that I asked your name and other questions, remember? “Oh!” she exclaimed, finally recalling the exchange between us, yet still shaking for the shock. I asked her, are you upset? She said, “Yes, because I was put in jail in East Berlin a long time ago, and my records looked just like this! Even the font!” I said, “I'm sorry this brought back the bad memory for you. But I hope you could see from a different perspective how this type of information could have totally different effects on people when presented in a different context.” I proceeded to explain my intention behind the project. In the meantime, a crowd gathered to about 25 people, all with rapt attention, and there was a palpable tension in the air. As my explanation started to make sense, the girl started to smile and show signs of agreement with the motivation and the effect of the performance. In the end, our conversation became very cordial and the mood of the crowd also softened. The girl and I hugged each other in mutual gratitude and we exchange information and expressed mutual wishes to explore possibilities of doing a future project together. And she agreed to take a picture with me, which for me has become a precious symbol of the project. Her name is V. O. She agreed to have her story told and picture published in the catalog. Please find the jpeg picture attached. If you need a higher resolution version, please let me know and I will send you the .CR2 Canon Raw format version.
"And she agreed to take a picture with me, which for me has become a precious symbol of the project. Her name is V. O.! She agreed to have her story told and picture published in the catalog. Please find the jpeg picture attached. If you need a higher resolution version, please let me know and I will send you the .CR2 Canon Raw format version."
No illness would remain if I drink your water of life. In the rose garden, not even a thorn would remain. There is a window from one heart to another. But how can there be a window where no wall remains? Nathalie Bikoro / "We Cannot Do It Without the Rose - You Can Be Fed" "We Cannot Do It Without the Rose" references Joseph Beuys’ social interaction and debate on the contemporary position of politics and art, for which he held dialogues with visitors of the Documenta for 100 days in 1972. He claims that dialogue with others was his greatest work of art. The Rose also links to the history of the White Rose Movement, led by young students whose core members included Sophie Scholl, who opposed Nazi rule and the Second World War. In 1943 the movement produced a manifesto beginning with the line, “The day of reckoning has come.” After the persecution of some members in 1943, the final leaflet produced by the White Rose movement was smuggled out of Germany and handed to the advancing Allies. They printed millions of copies and distributed them all over the country.
The performance is a protest. It starts with the body. It starts with the bread. In the Old Testament, the prophet Ezekiel evolved into a Holy Fool – a particular form of sacred self-ridicule or critique of society´s conventions, a critique of society´s values. His protest, which he claimed was inspired by the word of God, was to bake bread made of human waste and to feed the communities. He evolved to a denial of the world. These were his words: “I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.” 22:23-31 There will be 2 loaves of baked bread: one for the artist and the other offered to the audience at the entry point with a metal plaque inscribed: “I give you my Body so that you can be fed. Have a slice of Ezekiel bread. This bread is baked from Human Waste.” In each of the cells where ex-prisoners were once housed, there will be writing on the wall in fluorescent paste, each highlighting a sentence or quote by famous men who fought for human rights and stood for change. Members of the audience will be invited to enter the pitch-dark prison cells to take flash photographs which will reveal the sentences on the wall for a few seconds only. The audience will travel through these cells (or one large pitch-black room, according to appropriate space). In the next room or main open corridor the artist kneels down on the floor, eating the bread. She is blindfolded. There are two black large buckets next to her one full of water the other full of red wine. Next to her is a small pile of cloth pieces owned by wives in Senegal and Gabon who have lost their husbands and children at sea crossing the Atlantic over to Europe or those who have been arrested in immigration centers/prisons in Spain and Italy. She will be washing these clothes in those buckets and hanging them in the cells. Every cloth will reveal a secret image. Each cloth belongs to these wives, they are waving for peace and forgiveness. Themselves and members of their families have committed atrocities and brushed up against corruption in the pursuit of flawed dreams, sending their husbands and families away in the hope for better futures. What can’t be done without the flower and why must it go unnamed? Why the plural pronoun: “we”? Two oppositions converge with the help of a plant. The image itself would wilt without the graphic aid of the flower. The rose is essential for some constellation of conversation, communion and composition. The bread is a ceremonial space, a space of the offering. But what is a gift when for those who are killed should not have died and for those who are spared should not live? Bread being the food of daily life, to make us see our world much clearly. But we cannot do it without the rose designed for dialogue, voice, resistance, peace, a world made for all men. Joseph Beuys would articulate his concept of social sculpture by saying, "Without the rose, we cannot do it." "I see The Rose as living again." Jay DeFeo.
Yassine Balbzioui / "Big Head" Big Head was born in 2010. Big Head has spent a lot of time in the cell of the Former Prison in Neukölln. There he drew a lot. He likes feathers because they are light and they are difficult to catch. He also likes them because they are mobile and they move and fly everywhere.
Anne Duk Hee Jordan / "Disembodiment" "Disembodiment" is a stop motion video. A potato plant is growing out of a butt. Osmosis is diffusion through a semi-permeable membrane. In transferring this to a higher level – in particular to the human level and to “Disembodiment” – we can define the membrane as the individuals, our environment and our economics. Through the decisions we make, we actively influence our environment and vice versa. I made the decision to let growing a potato plant out of my butt function as a symbol for the influence of the inside on the outside and the other way around.
Juan Duque / "Joining Horizons" The different programs activated in the former prison of Neukölln, where the human body has always been in a condition of enclosure, have struck me to a great extent. (Architecture against the body as a violent act). I’m interested in the membrane as a filter, as a physical object where solutions and matter have left a permanent print during the process of traveling from one solution into another. I wonder how textiles and fabrics considered as in-between surfaces mediate the contact; how they keep, protect and make these cells more human? Space and bodies affect each other during daily routines. In this specific situation the clothing (bed, towels, cloth, rugs, …), the membranes keep the traces of this constant presence in the space, the wearing out after cleaning, eroding, placing and wearing, …
Architecture against the body as a violent act. Art against imagination as a violent act. Central perspective against subjective history as a violent act. You against I as a violent act.
Eliana Herada / "Magdalena und das Feuer"
"The Punishment of Purity"
"El Castigo de la Pureza"
Repetition and Discipline Action and material A valuable object The obsession to keep it always motionless A fatal scene.
La repetición y la disciplina acción y material Un objeto preciado la obsesión por mantenerlo siempre inmóvil Una escena fatal.
The materials disperse and regroup Each one offers his docility or resistance. Suspension of particles, the visibility diminishes Colors from butter to black A fortress in ruins
Los materiales se dispersan y se agrupan, cada uno ofrece su docilidad o resistencia. Suspensión de partículas, la visibilidad disminuye Colores desde el manteca al negro Fortaleza en ruinas
The Punishment of Purity
El castigo de la Pureza
A guru was once talking about the objectuality of the mind; about the objectuality of the space I does not talk! A guru was once talking about the objectuality of the wind; about the objectuality of the body I does not talk!
Jennis Li Cheng Tien / "Infiltration"
• permeate or become a part of (something) in this way. infiltrate |ˈinfilˌtrāt, inˈfil-| verb [ with obj. ] 1 enter or gain access to (an organization, place, etc.) surreptitiously and gradually, esp. in order to acquire secret information. • permeate or become a part of (something) in this way • Medicine (of a tumor, cells, etc.) spread into or invade (a tissue or organ). 2 (of a liquid) permeate (something) by filtration. • introduce (a liquid) into something in this way. noun Medicine an infiltrating substance or a number of infiltrating cells. taken from the Oxford American.
A guru was once talking about the objectuality of the gaze; about the objectuality of the sound I talks, I talks, I talks ...
Emeka Okereke / "Tunnels of History, Saint Denis, France" The city of Paris is linked to the district of Saint Denis by RER D at Gare de Saint Denis (Saint Denis Station). The RER D is a regional train, which commutes between Saint Denis and Paris cutting through Chatelet Les Halles (Centre of Paris) all the way to Gare de Lyon (South of Paris) and ending in Melum and Malesherbes. Therefore it serves as a perfect symbol of connection between the two settlements. At the exit of Gare de Saint-Denis, a long pedestrian tunnel is situated through which all commuters coming from Paris are bound to dash as they make their way into the heart of Saint Denis. This pedestrian tunnel is situated at a strategic position between Paris and Saint Denis (which harbors most of the foreigners living in France, as well as the French of foreign origin). These commuters are usually inhabitants of Saint Denis coming home from the day’s work or from shopping in the main city; sometimes they are also Parisians who have affiliations with Saint-Denis. The tunnel therefore assumes the role of a space identical to a nexus connecting what could be termed “two different concepts of France.” I adopted this tunnel as a “studio” in which I sequentially photographed the commuters. “These people are the nexus between France of the Past, and that of the Present, struggling with the perplexity and confusion of a constantly shifting National Identity.”
Abrie Fourie /
Darri Lorenzen / "Sometimes" 19 June 2012, Berlin A week ago I met Darri for the first time. I had just moved into his apartment, and one of the first things he threw at me was a small container for camera film, which he said contained contact lenses. We didn't speak much more about it at the time. I guess he has collected these from friends of his; friends who have extracted this part of themselves; who have given away or donated even their sight for a moment, only to venture on further with a new set of "eyes." Maybe he got them from some of his artist friends; perhaps Bryndís whom he introduced me to two days ago at the Icelandic embassy. She and I had this moment. Noticing a beautiful, young woman in a bright, yellow skirt, looking at her simultaneously with admiration, she turned around coyly and gave us both the most adoring, teasing smile. It was really one of those special - yet meaningless - small moments that makes one feel the blood streaming through one’s veins; makes the sun shine just that little bit more. But then again, perhaps Bryndís doesn't use contact lenses. I never asked. A few days later Darri told me about the particular material used for contact lenses, which, he elaborated, is a special kind of silicon plastic that allows for, let's say, osmosis. The lense allows for the transfer and focusing of not only images being passed through itself onto the retina, but also for a transfer of fluids and air necessary for the well being of the eye. And so, it's a soft material, almost organic; a "breathing" part of the body onto which they are placed. Darri went on to show me how these lenses – when removed from their "host" – eventually crumble and harden into a glass-like material. A cast, really. A kind of petrification into a fossil of a not-so-distantly lived experience. Perhaps Bryndís or our neighbors or whomever Darri may have recently met. This weekend I saw the collection of lenses again inside a prison cell. Now they were placed onto a screen in a seemingly random fashion. There was a light from the screen – a movement of brightness emanating from the table that the screen had become. That day I experienced something, which will become clear in some time. By Janus Høm
I is experiencing something, "which will become clear in some time." I still doesn't know what the narrative resultion of this story I am telling you might become. Though the form of this story is the same as I have told you many other times in other places.
Maya Schweizer / "Table Grattée" „The Table Grattée is an old tabletop she found lying around in the hospital and appropriated, using it as the ground for her inscriptions. Later she added legs and made it, for largely symbolic reasons, a table once more. She had inscribed her own experience of the institution on a rejected element of the body of the institution, but at the same time, she had created a simulacrum, a fiction and had made a political gesture. The Table Grattée is an object that incorporates both dimensions of her time at the hospital, unlike anything she had made before. Schweizer used her workshop time to doodle: sometimes with a pencil, sometimes with a sewing machine. Her doodles were something totally new. She never draws; she is a film maker, a video artist. With her doodles, she was coming to her drawing in a parallel way to the patients, also unskilled, as if for the first time. Doodles are ‘meaningless’, or at least their meanings are concealed, only recognizable later, if at all, once the outpouring of images and visual connections are finished. They come from the opposite end of the search for meaning. The detached observer and describer must now engage, invent and inscribe. We ask again: What is the role of fiction, where is reality in this work by Maya Schweizer? Is the Table Grattée authentic, or not? It looks like a piece of outsider art, a found object inscribed as if to ‘appropriate the alien place of the institution’ (…) It asks us, the audience, what we expect of works of art made in madness.“ Peter Cross
Today I replaced the original desk, which stood in the “Doctor office” part of the former prison, with my Scratched Desk, first shown in a former restraining cell of a psychiatric hospital. What is the difference between a psychiatric hospital and the „Arzt Geschäftsstelle“ within a former prison? After visiting the prison for the first time and seeing and smelling the space, abandoned after many years of functioning as a prison or some sort of space of detention, I felt the tension of previous inhabitation: some madness, some loneliness and tangible despair. In my work, I often rebuild and reconnect what has been forgotten or hidden. I bring together text and image, the narrative and the visual, to create a fiction that is itself an appropriation, a balancing act between what has been found and what has been lost.
And I asks again: "What is the role of fiction" and where does the real take place in this story? And I reply again: ...
IMPRINT PUBLICATION TO THE EXHIBITION Positioning Osmotic Impulses CURATORS Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Pauline Doutreluingne ART DIRECTION, GRAPHIC DESIGN & NARRATION Azin Feizabadi EDITORIAL Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Pauline Doutreluingne, Azin Feizabadi PHOTOGRAPHY Mary Fang, Azin Feizabadi CONTRIBUTORS Abrie Fourie (ZA) / Anne Duk Hee Jordan (DE/KR) / Brandon LaBelle (US) / Darri Lorenzen (IS) / Fernanda Trevellin (BR) / Gabriel Acevedo Velarde (PE) / Marc Bijl (NL) / Juan Duque (CO) / Nathalie Bikoro (GA) / Jennis Li Cheng Tien (TW) / Emeka Okereke (NG) / Tere Recarens (ES) / Julia Prezewowsky (DE) / Surya Gied (KR/DE) & Angelo Wemmje (DE) / Ariel Reichman (ZA/IL) / Yassine Balbzioui (MA) / Eliana Heredia (AR/IT) / Maya Schweizer (FR) / Michael Zheng (CN/US) / Anna Anderegg (CH) / Balz Isler (CH) PROOFREADING Emilie Bromberg PRESS OFFICE Claudia Lamas Cornejo PRINTED IN GERMANY © 2012 SAVVY Contemporary © 2012 of texts: the authors © 2012 of reproduced images: the artists, Mary Fang, Azin Feizabadi ACKNOWLEDGMENTS All artists and writers, Azin Feizabadi, Dr. Martin Steffens and the 48h Neukölln team, Angela Rodriguez, Mary Fang, Ebon Heath, Neda Saeedi, Claudia Lamas Cornejo, Emilie Bromberg, Savvy Contemporary team SUPPORTERS Kulturnetzwerk Neukölln e.V
Kulturnetzwerk Neukölln e.V.
Kulturverwaltung des Landes Berlin
Kulturverwaltung des Landes Berlin
Aktion Kultur Allianzen
PUBLISHERS Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Pauline Doutreluingne
Positioning Osmotic Impulses, publication for the exhibition “Positioning Osmotic Impulses”, Berlin, 7/2012 Editorial: Pauline Doutreluingn...