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.
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"
Berthold Reiß, Paradies
Saturday, 22 april, 3 pm
With works by Robert Crotla, Sebastian Dacey, Mani Hammer, Anne Rößner
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, 5 pm
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
Sat, 1 July, 3 pm
Mirak Jamal und 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