48 Stünden Neukölln is an event that takes place every summer in the district of Neukölln, Berlin. Founded in 1999, 48 Stünden is an event that above all encourages open participation in the exhibiting, making and viewing of art. Every year presents a new theme as a prompt and the parameters of how to respond (or whether one even needs to respond directly) is left unspecified. Participation is also unregulated, anyone who has access to a space is welcome to present something. The result is an activation of a large portion of the neighborhood, where looking at art is best approached by aimless wandering or word of mouth than by following an organized program. This year was particularly hot, which heightened the sensation of people, sounds and things spilling out into the street. Three installations by four artists emerged from the dizzying spell of heat and activity for a brief reflection.
Gabriella Hirst: Verweilen at LiteHaus Galerie
Gabriella´s piece Verweilen (Linger) is an investigation of material qualities and relationships, particularly amorphous, slippery materials that prefer to take the form of their surroundings than amalgamate into any solid identity themselves. Gabriella uses glass boxes as physical containers in which light, water and silk clouds can bounce off each other in an endless competition between reflector and object reflected. This work followed a project in which Gabriella attempted to paint a storm in the storm, the moment when the sky and the ocean are engaging in a dramatic of exchange. This work recalls our two largest natural bodies, sky and ocean, but bears no particular character of place, it simply touches the two, lightly. Its main operative power draws from an act of containment. The glass tanks of a number of volumes sit at varying heights on simple wooden stilts. The viewer is not permitted to walk between them, observing them as multiple individual sculptures. Instead they cluster together in the center of the room allowing the light and reflections from each object to penetrate and bounce off of the others. Substances that lack material solidity are coaxed into conglomeration through acts of containing and clustering but never achieve a total substantive transformation. What Gabriella provides is a moment of perceived stillness on a continuum of perpetual motion, a physical coagulation and a temporal lingering.
Gabriella Hirst is an Australian artist currently based in Berlin. She recently exhibited at the Australian Center for Contemporary Art in Melbourne and will be a candidate for a M.A. at Slade UCL in London beginning this Fall.
Mark von Rosenstiel: Our Home Was Never Built, It Was Maybe Found at GlogauAIR
Mark von Rosenstiel’s installation uses wood, hay and solenoids to produce a sensory experience involving sight, touch, smell and sound. Pieces of wood are linked to each other to form an enclosing (though not entirely closed) structure; Something like a beaver home but with a not-quite-discernable geometric order. On the ground is a thick layer of hay and attached to the outside surface of the wood are wire nodes that extend upwards and disappear behind a floating ceiling. It seems as though we have happened upon a electrode based brain imaging experiment being conducted on a shelter. Accompanying this scene are tapping sounds emanating from all parts of the structure. The sound creates another moment of perplexity which is followed by the delightful revelation that it is being produced by small motors connected to the wires that tap directly onto the wood. This live action creates a scattered sound which crescendos much like a thickening rain storm. In his work, Mark von Rosenstiel incorporates his background in mathematics and his proficiency in software programming with an attentiveness to the senses and physical material. This inquiry is not as much about producing a one to one metaphor of digital data into material substance (nor the reverse) but rather about situating the viewer in a place where the two languages play with, amplify and distort each other. The discovery of the mechanized and digitally manipulated cause of the sound actually amplifies our awareness of the fact that it is produced by the physical contact between two materials.
Mark von Rosenstiel is based in Seattle and has exhibited internationally. Recent projects include a residency at Meet Factory and Exhibition at Kostka in Prague and a residency at Art Quarter Budapest. His next project will be a collaboration with Israeli artist, Rona Stern at Organhaus in Chongqing, China.
Meike Kuhnert and Michel Aniol: Orientations in Time and Space at Stay Hungry
“Orientations in Time and Space” exhibits the work of two artists in two spaces side by side. One room contains an installation by Meike Kuhnert with a work by Michel Aniol in the window. The other space reverses the relationship with an installation by Michel and a work by Meike. What results is not exactly two solo shows nor a fully integrated group exhibition. The two bodies of work maintain distinct sensibilities and visual qualities and could have successfully existed as two discrete bodies of work. By harvesting one work from one exhibition space and placing it in the window display of the other, Meike and Michel create a dynamic network of possible entry points and nodes of relation between the objects displayed.
I first entered the space on the right with a fishtank in the window, which Michel embedded in a thick palette of concrete with the forms of small objects like shells and toys protruding from its surface. This base gives the impression of a collection of things having amalgamated into a single solidified form, and recalls material transformations that require large expanses of time in the natural world. In the tank two species of primeval crayfish (riops granarius and triops cancriformis beni-kabuto ebi) swim around a concrete cast of a hand. This work in the window by Michel Aniol precludes the installation by Meike Kuhnert situated in the space. Meike constructed a dodecagonal room with six entryways. In contrast to the silty water and dense dusty concrete colors found of Michel’s work, the walls of Meike’s construction are bright and playful, made of blue, green and magenta fabric. Two drawings hang on each wall inside the space that seemed to follow their own system of notation. The installation titled Flexible Moments of Life provides a physical structure for the process of generating, revising and eliminating (not necessarily in that order) ideas for work. It seems to be a visualization of lines of flight, potentials of production, traces of activity before an idea fully crystallizes, a space where the conjunctive tense becomes very useful. The titles of the works contribute additional nodes of possibility – for example Könnte man malen! 1 (One could paint! 1), Aktionsplan (plan of action) and Hanz und Heinz bauen sich ein Flugzeug (Hanz and Hanz build an airplane).
The second space I entered contains drawings by Meike in the window “Könnte man malen! 2” and an installation by Michel Aniol which consists of four concrete slabs resting on chairs that face a large photograph of landscape. On another wall hangs a poster: “Parataxis of Everything.” Miche’s installation, The Group/ Society of Things/ Take a Break and Go Ahead/ The Golden Age of Kommagene is concerned primarily with the role of the collector as well as the specific processes with which objects acquire meaning and value. On the back wall of the installation is a photo of a large dry landscape, the entire image is resting on top of four potatoes. This image refers directly to the backdrops of dioramas in Ethnological museums, but its ability to operate as a model or exemplary landscape is broken by the presence of a modern tv tower in the distance and what appears to be building rubble in the foreground. Facing this landscape are the four concrete objects, whose form and thickness seem to refer to archeological sites. Michel has replaced the object and ground in an archeological site with concrete, a material referring to construction as opposed to excavation. Another act of deviation from expected relationship of subject, object and ground is performed by the positionality of the slabs whom are individually titled The Artist, The Philosopher, The Explorer and the Scientist. These blocks which reference objects embedded in the ground are propped up to assume a figurative presence. These figures sit facing the landscape so the viewer, when entering the space, becomes the object observed in front of the backdrop of the landscape. Lateral to this scene is the poster “Parataxis of everything” with black and white images lined up without margins below the title. “Parataxis”, to arrange beside, is a recurrent action running through the exhibition wherein lateral positionality is favored over subordinating conjunctions.
Meike Kuhnert is a Berlin based German artist who has recently exhibited at Möbelhaus von A-Z, Berlin as well as at Künstlerhaus Dortmund, Dortmund.
Michel Aniol is originally from Poland and currently based in Berlin. He has recently exhibited at Kleine Humbolt Galerie, Berlin and Künstlerhaus Dortmund, Dortmund.