A site visit is usually part of an exhibition planning: An artist visits a location regarding a prospective exhibition. Based on this ritual the Kunstverein Freiburg invites guests and combines this with shifts of certain time and space parameters of its exhibition programmes. It is less a format of an inventory more of a futures draft: It asks what could be, and focuses on potentialities of artistic practices and presentations from a future perspective.
At present our view into the future seems concealed. Instead of an opening to the unknown evaluated forecasts and techniques to manage the hereafter only seem to extend the presence. The format Site Visit evolves in the charged relationship of a seemingly eternal presence tending to disaster and an open, desirable future. Regarding the activities of the Kunstverein Freiburg, the future could be planned and organized by using the limited budget to use the hall in a proven manner for exhibitions and accompanying programmes. Even on the background of pragmatic considerations and Excel sheet arithmetics Site Visit is an experiment to break the routines and to reshape the facts by exploring possibilities.
Artists and other guests are invited whose works could be relevant for the activities of the Kunstverein Freiburg both for future exhibitions and regarding the possibilities of presenting and discussing art. One focus lies on artistic practices which include cooperation and self-organisation or are (re-)connecting their own conditions and modes of circulation. Like a site visit the invitation focuses on the future concerning something that could be realized by the Kunstverein Freiburg up to something seemingly totally utopian or fictitious. During their usually multi-day visit the guests receive an impression of the institution and its circumstances. At the same time the format allows the visitors and members of the Kunstverein to get to know the guests and to gain an impression of their work, issues and ideas.
The guests are asked to bring along something. It could be a work in progress, a prototype, an uncompleted or an in situ work. The contribution can but must not relate to the Kunstverein or an aspect of it, it could also be a free speculation on the future. Every visit is connected with an event in an open form: performance, conversation, excursion, lecture, hiking ... Instead of realising an exhibition planned in advance with every visit, the events and materials can proliferate into the unknown.
Harm van den Dorpel develops the website http://sitevisit.site for Site Visit with online contributions of the individual guests. The artist duo It’s Our Playground creates the adaptable and extendible display unit Framework for the spatial presentation of the different contributions. During the life span of Site Visit the office of the Kunstverein will be transferred to the exhibition hall. Thereby the persons and the processes behind the planning of the exhibitions will become partly visible. Most importantly the visitors and the team of the Kunstverein team can come together in conversation. In this way the office that works on future projects after the opening of an exhibition will be relocated into the presence of the exhibition hall.
Directed towards the future, Site Visit breaks open and hybridises the exhibition programme of the Kunstverein Freiburg. But what could new rhythms and rituals that challenge our thinking, nourish us, and bring us together look like? What would it be like to become a machine or a turtle? Do we need to cut through the conceptions of a linear time that moves from the past into the future?
During her site visit Chus Martínez initiates a conversation about the need for new rituals, the role of fables, different words, and the meeting of many bodies. The music and the evening are designed and performed by Severine Christen, Desiree Nüesch, Yanik Soland, Inka te Haar and Adrian Eiserlo..
Martínez (* 1972, Spain) is the Head of the Institute of Art at the Academy of Art and Design in Basel. Previously she worked as the Chief Curator at El Museo del Barrio, New York (2012–2013), as the Head of the Curatorial Department of dOCUMENTA (13) (2012) and as the Director of the Frankfurter Kunstverein (2005–2008).
Aaron Angell, 2017 Aaron Angell (* 1987, UK) works in numerous media, including reverse glass painting, ceramics, and other sculpture. With a great interest in the particularities of his material he creates maquette-like sculptures for larger environments, which will never be constructed. Angell turns his attention to non-canonical history, simulative or dishonest materials, and literary references including but not limited to the novels of Peter Vansittart and the poems of D.M. Black. His work brings together visual worlds from these diverse areas of interest and merges them into a new whole, a process he describes as composting. At the same time Angell is running Troy Town Art Pottery a radical, psychedelic ceramic workshop for artists.
During his site visit event Angell will demonstrate how to copy a Roman seal matrix used to seal a letter. The letter contains a poem by Lucy Mercer (* 1988, UK) that will be read during the performance. Angell’s demonstration serves to illustrate how an ancient method of authentication and encryption can be forged and circumvented. The demonstration is followed by a screening of the British science fiction thriller ‘The Final Programme’ (1973). A contemporary critic, cited on Wikipedia, describes the film as ‘an almost unmitigated disaster,’ with ‘an ending so inane that you will want your money back even if you wait and see it on television.’
The evenings programm will be in English.
Amy Lien & Enzo Camacho Photo: Ilya Lipkin Amy Lien (* 1987, USA) & Enzo Camacho (* 1985, Philippines) have been collaborating since 2009, initially between New York and Manila, which has set the conditions for a practice that attempts to feed back certain fissures in globalized exchange. They maintain a restless flexibility with regards to material processes, less concerned with the interplay between established artistic mediums (sculpture, photography, painting, performance, etc.) than with the interplay between physical materials, living bodies, and information.
During their site visit they will present a video project on which they have been working since 2012. It takes as its starting point the 1979 experimental melodrama 'Palermo oder Wolfsburg', directed by the German filmmaker Werner Schroeter. That film traces the story of an impoverished young Sicilian man who, after migrating to Germany, finds employment and a new life at the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, until a thwarted romance with a young German woman leads him to murder two German men. Lien and Camacho appropriated this film as a psychologically-loaded lens through which to investigate the themes of transnational movement, labour, trade, and cultural difference into the present day, suggesting also how artist bodies are moved and circulated by these broader economic forces. The rough cut includes footage shot in Palermo, Wolfsburg, Manila, Singapore, and recently Yiwu and Shanghai, and is edited to a looped audio sequence from the original film.
The evenings programm will be in English.
Pakui Hardware, Hesitant Hand, 2017. Exhibition View at National Gallery of Art, Vilnius. Photo: Andrej Vasilenko Pakui Hardware is the label that Neringa Černiauskaitë (*1984, Lithuania) und Ugnius Gelguda (*1977, Lithuania) run together. They investigate the interaction of materials, technology and bodies as well as the economical forces behind them. Their arrangements, consisting of synthetic materials that can also include organisms or machines, encourage speculative visions of the future. Within these visions, natural and artificial increasingly merge into each other and man is merely one of many participants. Such post-human scenarios are central to their lecture-performance Hesitant Hand. Automated Efficiency.
Over the past years we have been gradually delegating our routine tasks to our tools: the private environment and the industry is becoming increasingly automated, when people both at home and at work act among programmable non-human beings. In contemporary theory this automation was named a fourth technological revolution, when machines operate with each other in a network without a visible human intervention. Mechanical human work is substituted here by the robotic choreography, while the man took more virtual role in the system by being responsible for programming and providing connectivity and energy supply for their automated colleagues. It is an autonomous ecosystem, a post-human collective which is rapidly expanding by including more and more mechanical beings.
The evenings programm will be in English.
Berthold Reiß, Paradies, Oil on Canvas, 120 x 85 cm, 2017 In 1928, when discussing the Orient Wilhelm Worringer spoke of “the finite only in the infinite”. The murals that Berthold Reiß drafted as prototypes in 2017 present tangible forms on a dark background. Paradies (Paradise) offers up this counterfactual perspective as communication. In 2010 Angelika Neuwirth described the paradise that can be found in the Koran as “the restoration of lost communication".
In the introduction to his artistic practice (3pm) Berthold Reiß presents his work as public art. Some of his sculptures represent monumental buildings that, without the changing of public spaces themselves, are unthinkable in the public sphere. That these sculptures appear only as illustrations underscores this possibility.
In contrast to this, the exhibition itself is made up of original artworks from other artists. They remain present in Site Visit and stand for a real beginning. Berthold Reiß relates to Robert Crotla, Sebastian Dacey, Mani Hammer and Anne Rößner in a different manner to that of his public art. This reference stretches from living together to opposition.
An excursion (4pm) transfers an impression of unity found within the Orient to Freiburg. In Turkey, Berthold Reiß exhibited 'Üçüncü, Das Dritte (The Third)' at the 2014 Sinop Biennale. What is this third that connects a glass window from the middle ages with a modern fashion store?
The artist's talk Paradies (6pm) displays the European appropriation of Islam as a perspective within which the project of modernity re-emerged anew. With regard to the speech itself, Ayşe Polat's comment “It is like an abstract picture”, made in reference to another talk held by Reiß in Istanbul, is befitting. This particular talk will also be made available as part of Site Visit in the form of the publication relief.
Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 21.22.49.tif
Screenshot of http://harmvandendorpel.com/transplant.
Courtesy: the artist
Harm van den Dorpel (* 1981, Netherlands) is one of the key players in the so-called „Post-Internet art” movement. One major aspect of his work, which consists of digital and traditional media, can be described as collaboration with algorithms. He has conceived a series of Web-exhibitions, as well as the non linear social network site deli near info. In addition to this, he also runs the blockchain-based online-gallery left gallery.
Harm van den Dorpel will present an artist's talk about change, disappointment and hope. As a child of the eighties, he grew up with the increasing expectations of the messianic potential of digital technology. All information for all (all of the time and for free), everybody and anybody could be famous and all content would be equally important.
These promises pointing to an increased dematerialisation of daily life (a fluid change of identity), of professional life (the paperless office), and of art (from concept art to net art) did not reach their utopian realisation. Or did we reverse them or did they get reversed to their opposite?
To what extent have these supposed technical liberations been caused and prevented by economic mechanisms? What implicit ideology was at work, disguised as progress?
Lukas Quietzsch, Philipp Simon, buffet of good causes, 2017
Lukas Quietzsch (* 1985, Germany) and Philipp Simon (* 1987, Germany) work independently from one another using imagery, objects, material and space or by working with texts. In their joint exhibition projects, they play authenticity signals and alienation mechanisms off against each other. In doing so, they cultivate contexts that go beyond commonly used strategies in artistic positioning. Since 2014, together with Monika Senz, they have been running the exhibition space LISZT (http://lisztliszt.de/) in Berlin.
For Site Visit Quietzsch and Simon have planned an intervention that involves not only the Kunstverein's office within the exhibition hall, but also the upper level's surrounding balustrade. This places an intimate and personal area in direct contrast to an inaccessible and functional organisation. In a joint reading the artists will attempt, through a mixture of narrative and contemplation, to fill the seemingly interchangeable and hollow forms and figures which they positioned in the space. Within the texts themselves, the insinuated bipolar model in the spatial setting is turned against itself.
“...It is important for us to give you an impression of how we understand the site visit, not only as part of our own work but also as an experiment. One of our main interests is the act of working together, but ultimately the visualisation and creation of new frames within another frame. In this particular case, the Kunstverein, in combination with your own curatorial idea in relation to Site Visit, to present artistic references and methods in a more organic, processable and progressive manner. We want to build a frame that allows for a multitude of perspectives in regard to these themes and starting points – a buffet of good causes. (Lukas Quietzsch and Philipp Simon in an e-mail to Heinrich Dietz on 21.03.2017)
It‘s our Playground: Bildunterschrift: It's Our Playground, Reconstructive Memory Exhibition View, Galerie Valentin, Paris, 2016 Photo: Grégory Copitet, 2016 Courtesy Galerie Valentin, Paris
It’s Our Playground (IOP) was formed in 2009 by Camille Le Houzec (* 1986, France) and Jocelyn Villemont (* 1986, France). IOP’s productions mainly take the form of exhibitions, Internet projects, display or installations, using curating as a medium. They pursue an uninhibited reflexion around modes of presentation, exhibition devices and the influence the Internet has on contemporary production. IOP curated the SWG3 gallery in Glasgow and is running the website and online exhibition space http://itsourplayground.com/ . A matter of key importance in their work is the relationship between physical presence and online circulation of artworks.
For Site Visit, IOP have developed the exhibition display Framework, which provide free standing and flexible frames for the presentation of the various artistic contributions. The model-like units seize upon an issue relating to physical exhibitions, that of installation views, which through their digital circulation have come to take priority as a means of reception. Even though the artistic contributions displayed are connected with a concrete place or site visit within the Kunstverein Freiburg, Framework creates a (photographic) background that offsets its location. It is as if these contributions are not quite there yet or already on their way into digital circulation. On the exhibition's opening night IOP will be using these presentation elements as the background for their performance Standpoint. Together with the Kunstverein's exhibition photographer Marc Doradzillo IOP will document artefacts from their investigation of the Kunstverein Freiburg. Through this act of documentation they will transfer these objects, that relate to and reflect the Kunstverein, from their physical context into a free floating virtual existence.
New Noveta Bildunterschrift: New Noveta, Fateful, 2017, Photo: Louis Backhouse, 2017 New Noveta is a collaborative project from the London-based artists Ellen Freed (* 1988, Sweden) and Keira Fox (*1984, UK). Their multidisciplinary performances connect sound recording and production, props and costumes in combination with installation building and live body action/dance. The work is engrossed in ideas of social and political conformity and methods in which to channel day to day anxiety and mental and emotional struggle. Within the eruptive performances, the entire proceedings as well as the performer's bodies appear to be seized by panic, by urgent yet seemingly aimless action. It is as if the pressure of exploitation and success within our high-performance driven society is completely out of control. At the same time, New Noveta also presents instances of support and empathy within these moments of catastrophic loss of control. For the opening of Site Visit New Noveta will present their new performance Fateful:
Locked into the repeated loops
The banal content of the drive
Reconstruct ourselves through the stress
"weakness" "illness" "pacification" "power"
Sat, 27 May, 3 pm
Stephan Dillemuth, Corporate Rokoko
Fri, 24 March, 7 pm
New Noveta, Fateful
It’s Our Playground, Standpoint
Thu, 6 April, 7 pm
Lukas Quietzsch, Philipp Simon
Wed, 12 April, 7 pm
Harm van den Dorpel, Some things that work in one decade don't work in the next.
Sat, 22 April, 3 pm
Berthold Reiß, Paradies
With works by Robert Crotla, Sebastian Dacey, Mani Hammer, Anne Rößner
Thu, 27 April, 7 pm
Pakui Hardware, Hesitant Hand. Automated Efficiency
Thu, 4 May, 7 pm
Amy Lien & Enzo Camacho, oder
Thu, 11 May, 7 pm
Aaron Angell, Roman Seal Matrix Forgery Demonstration
With poems by Lucy Mercer
Wed, 17 May, 6 pm
Nicht in die ferne Zeit verliere dich, den Augenblick ergreife, er ist dein. With works by Severine Christen, Desiree Nüesch, Yanik Soland, Inka te Haar and Adrian Eiserlo.
Sat, 27 May, 3 pm
Stephan Dillemuth, Corporate Rokoko
Sat,17 June, 3 pm
Susanne M. Winterling, Pandora’s Box
Thu, 22 June, 7 pm
Dominik Sittig Monkey Memoir
Sat, 1 July, 3 pm
Mirak Jamal & Santiago Taccetti, Stoneroses #7
Sat, 8 July, 3 pm
Angela Jerardi & Antonia Lotz, Future Activity
Sat, 22 July, 7 pm
Louise Guerra, Chapter 20, Further Futures
From Fri, March 24th
Harm van den Dorpel, sitevisit.site, Website
It’s Our Playground, Framework, Display Units
Fri, 24 March, 7:30 pm
Introduction: Heinrich Dietz, director
From Fri, 24 March
Office of the Kunstverein in the exhibiton hall
Thu, 1 June, 7 pm
Personal guided tour (director) and discussion
Thu, 13 July, 7 pm
Sun, 7 May, 2 pm
Die Jungen Wilden – Workshop for kids
Tue – Sun, 12 am – 6 pm
Wed, 12 am – 8 pm, Mon closed
Easter Holiday and Whit Monday open
Entrance: 2 € /1,50 € Thursdays free, Members free