Aus aktuellem Anlass | KÖNIG GALERIE | Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz | 20.11.–31.12.2004
with Yael Bartana, Carsten Fock, Tue Greenfort, Ulrike Kuschel, Natascha Sadr Haghighian
Press Release:

Yael Bartana, Carsten Fock, Tue Grenfort, Jonathan Horowitz, Ulrike Kuschel, Mark Lewis, Michaela Meise, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Ines Schaber, Silke Wagner

“Aus aktuellem Anlass” is the phrase used to interrupt television and radio programs to report current events. It is also the introduction to topics spontaneously included in the news, for example elections, natural disasters and selected wars and social conflicts. When audiences become used to the manner in which reports are covered, the news is no longer sensational, often causing viewer ratings to decline. The manner of reporting is changed, the topics remain. Reacting to and processing of the content of the news takes place only within the immediate. It is no wonder that events and changes continually appear in similar brisance and constellation and news constantly goes from being up to date to obsolete. The works shown in “Aus aktuellem Anlass” have been combined, for their various values in relation to the news. Each perspective complies, for the most part, with a principle of artistic appropriation of the photographic and cinematic image that is always a part of and often the basis of western reporting.

By hanging the official portrait of the president upside down, Jonathan Horowitz’ piece “Official Portrait of George W. Bush Available for Free from the White House Hung Upside Down” (2001) questions the opportunities of representation in photography and furthermore its value in general. Likewise a U.S-American theme that also became globally relevant, is the psychological disposition of the soldiers who fight in wars. In his large format marker piece, Carsten Fock refers to Paul Heartcastle’s song, Ninteen, concerning the average age of US soldiers in Vietnam. In “…deeply_to the notion _that the_world is_to the observer… (committed) (real) (external)” (2004) Natascha Sadr Haghighian displays in television format, a staged situation which records an engagement with the (alleged) shortage in resources. One observes two young women who’s political activism begins with the oil crisis of the early 1970s. Activism and its central realization also plays an important roll in Michaela Meise’s “Black Laundry Cube” (2002). The artist unites the language of minimalist form with an image from the news depicting women’ rights activists at a demonstration in Tel Aviv. The feasible media image can be seen in Tue Greenfort’s “Störung in Verkehrsablauf” (2003). The artist maps where he is observed and monitored in his daily life. The “grand” monitoring system, which the enclosure of the Palestinien region aims to be, is portrayed in Yael Bartana’s “Blimp/ In and out border control” (2003), depicting supervision blimps. In “Children Games, Hegate Estate” (2002) Mark Lewis satires architectural social utopias that in reality transformed to the opposite: the playing children are mere figures of a departed idea. Compared to social utopias, the underlying photograph’s of Ulrike Kuschel’s ”2.Mai 2002” become sobering. Worker’s extirpate the remnants of (assumed) worker demonstrations. Environmental protection on a micro-political scale is the theme of Silke Wagner’s “Artenschutzbox Berlin” (2002). In 2000, the agency Artenschutz set up information booths, from which they conducted demonstrations and distributed information on nesting habits. In “culture is our business” (2003/04), Ines Schaber shows historical media images as commodities, presenting as a central theme, the way in which past press coverage has been commercialized by private corporations (here: Bill Gates), thereby making the images available to public conciousness only in exchange for money.  

This exhibition has been made possible through the kind support of the Canadian Embassy in Berlin.