Bunch of Kunst in Quarantine // Paradox Paradise consists of two exhibition spaces. Each of the two spaces “Domestic Dreams” and “Liminal Latitudes” has a capacity of a maximum of 25 people. Click on the images to access the spaces.
Artists: Uli Ap (UK), Katharina Arndt (DE), Lara Verena Bellenghi (AT), Hannah Bohnen (DE), Marta de la Figuera (ESP), Ornella Fieres (DE), Bettina Funke (DE), Sabine Funke & Karlheinz Bux (DE), Fabian Hesse (DE) & Mitra Wakil (AFG), Helena Hunter (UK), Dorien Lantin (DE) & Robert Hecht (DE), Marie-Eve Levasseur (CAN/DE), Martina Menegon (IT/AT), Filippo Minelli (IT), Chiara Passa (IT), Agnese Sanvito (IT), Susan Supercharged (US/UK), Thomas Teurlai (FR), Miloš Trakilovic (BIH/NL).
Curated by Mara-Johanna Kölmel and Tina Sauerlaender
Opening: October 8, 2020, 7 — 9 pm CET
Press Preview: October 7, 2020, 5 — 6 pm CET
Monday, October 19, 19.30 CET. Tour of the exhibition space Liminal Latitudes with curator Tina Sauerlaender (Watch here)
Wednesday, November 4th, 19.30 CET. Tour of the exhibition space Domestic Dreams with curator Mara-Johanna Kolmel (Watch here)
Monday, November 30th, 19.30 CET. Artist roundtable discussion presented by SALOON London and SALOON Berlin (Watch here)
Bunch of Kunst in Quarantine // Paradox Paradise is a virtual exhibition turning its lens on artistic production in times of Corona. It poses the question of how visual art – in the context of social distancing, national demarcation, domestic retreat, economic downturn, rising nationalism and encompassing surveillance – can open up alternative paths for reflection, transformation and solidarity. The works in this show aim to distil the complexities of the current moment into artistic form and thereby amplify European experiences across closed borders. If an invisible force indeed makes visible the weaknesses of our fragile social systems, it also offers possibilities for fundamental change on a personal and collective level. Paradox Paradise symbolizes the state of living between the extremes unfolding between physical and the digital worlds. This paradox conveys a potential to unveil spaces of opportunities that the artists address in the exhibition. As such, the exhibition also aims at re-activating the future as a space of possibility by transforming prevailing accounts and by sharing with one another what moves and connects us in these challenging times. Bunch of Kunst in Quarantine // Paradox Paradise is a new iteration of Mara-Johanna Kolmel’s open call Instagram exhibition Bunch of Kunst in Quarantine // Reflections On The Viral Vacuum that took place from April to August 2020. This edition, developed in dialogue with Tina Sauerlaender, presents selected European artists from the first edition. The artists have adjusted and remodeled their artworks especially for the virtual exhibition space. The project is a part of Kara Agora, the new online art and research center on Mozilla Hubs funded by the European Cultural Solidarity Fund / European Cultural Foundation. It will be presented in two spaces, designed by the artists Sabine Funke and Martina Menegon respectively.
Space 1. Domestic Dreams
Spatial Design by Sabine Funke
The space Domestic Dreams contains artworks that highlight domestic experiences during the height of the lockdown. Highlighting the change of habits in private and public spaces, it captures psycho-emotional states and foregrounds escapist moments which venture towards dream states. Agnese Sanvito carefully observes the queuing in front of local shops by turning her photographic lens on the emerging choreographies of waiting. Uli Ap’s immersive video installation portrays the surreal experience of a lockdown from the perspective of an alien inhabiting an alienated land. Fusing analogue with digital techniques, Susan Supercharged’s films investigate and challenge our current situation in which one third of the world is in quarantine. Through her use of a cut up technique, visual pentimentos emerge. With their contemporary interpretation of still-lifes, Fabian Hesse & Mitra Wakil reflect on domestic life during the pandemic. Traditional vanitas symbols have given way to hand disinfectant and masks symbolising life’s impermanence in times of Covid. Hannah Bohnen turns her attention towards mundane everyday actions and their regained importance during quarantine, such as the twisting of an old telephone cable between the fingers. In Bettina Funke’s works, a remodeled mundane object, namely an apple, embodies the central topics of our current moment: the closing of borders, the forceful demarcations between countries and people, the painful experiences of pain and sudden loss. Continuing his research into the aesthetics of protest, Filippo Minelli creates mysterious 3D renderings of found objects that call for collective action. Marta de la Figuera’s humorous and colourful collages speak of escapist moments and dream states keeping her sane during the lockdown. Lara Verena Bellenghi’s texts in three languages are backward renditions of thoughts reflecting the unease of our time. She reads the apocalypse backwards in the awareness that unease is preceded by the opposite, reminding us that better times await. Karlheinz Bux’s work takes as its departure point a photograph of the Earth superimposed by gently pulsating pink threads. Oscillating between abstract drawing and the recognisable world, the artist explores the ongoing tension between macro and micro states. In their collaborative practice FUX (Sabine Funke and Karlheinz Bux) which fuses futuristic architecture and artistic installation, the artists stage a dialogue between subtle drawing and distorted painting opening up a passage between actual and imaginary space. Sabine Funke’s ongoing investigation of colour and space expands from her paintings and into the spatial concept of the exhibition. Inspired by the Greek agora, each work can be seen from its central space. In the elemental and yet complex spatial choreography, visitors find themselves embedded in an immersive artistic cosmos that unfolds between the breadth of the sky and the protective, grounding stone. Her spatial design accommodates a domestic and yet boundless universe defined by moving images, colours, sounds and shapes.
Space 2. Liminal Latitudes
Spatial Design by Martina Menegon
The space Liminal Latitudes addresses the in-between states that we have experienced during the past months of the corona crisis, our usage of digital technologies, and the liminality between the physical and the digital realm. Marie-Eve Levasseur transfers everyday objects into virtual space and investigates the coherences between haptics, tactility and communication. Hecht & Lantin’s video installation thematizes information overload, fake news, repetitive reporting in the mainstream media, as well as the failure of communication. In her drawings, Katharina Arndt depicts the almost physical connectedness of our bodies to our smartphones, constantly ready to take selfies and communicate. Miloš Trakilovic problematizes the present-day interpretation of data through its visualization. In this work, the human voice gets singled out as the interface that echoes in vain search for responsiveness. With floating, dynamic and ever changing 3D perspectives, Chiara Passa explores materialities of virtual sculptures. Thomas Teurlai transfers an assemblage made of scrap into the virtual world. His 3D model of an air purifying respirator mask evokes states of being during the lockdown. In her digital collage, Helena Hunter poetically addresses the million-year-long transformation and life cycle of stars, juxtaposing the fast-moving nature of human everyday life, almost unbearably accelerated in the digital age. In Ornella Fieres’ video, an artificial intelligence shares its hopes, dreams and fears, giving an outlook on a future where the digital universe unites with the human, forming an entity that could mean the end or the salvation of the world. All the artworks, addressing different layers of feelings during the current crisis, filtered through the interaction with digital technologies, find shelter underneath an open roof of the virtual environment that the artist Martina Menegon has adapted for Liminal Latitudes. This environment is reconstructed from a previous version of her work on the other hand (2020). Monumental hands in unnatural gestures and eerie poses form the backdrop for the exhibited works. The digital versions of the physical body parts address the liminality of the digital space between tactility and immateriality. So does the water surface, that is walkable here in the virtual space, but would make us sink in the physical realm. We experience liminal states and latitude, mobility, or free movement differently in the virtual world – just like we experience togetherness, communication and intimacy differently during our everyday life in the past months of the crisis. Liminal Latitudes reveals the relativity of how everything just depends on the spaces we occupy.
As a European organization, KARA AGORA supports Lesvos Solidarity, an NGO providing shelter for refugees and promoting equality, trust, justice, and respect.
We kindly ask all participants and visitors to donate to Lesvos Solidarity. More information here.
Yellow Alienation, altered video still, immersive video installation, 2020 © the artist
Uli Ap’s Yellow Alienation lets the viewer delve into a state of being different. It’s main character is a shapeshifting creature, an artificial intelligence, an alien, performed by the artist. After having woken up from a long sleep, it finds itself confined in a city under lockdown. Wandering between their multiple personalities, the Alien contemplates and explores the idea of having a body. It wonders how it feels to be touched by a human. The Alien dreams of a utopian world where all humans are turned into Aliens who love each other – a word in which power is not abused and the limiting notions of borders, race, ethnicity or nationality don’t exist. Ap aims to counter moments of human cruelty emerging from alienation and isolation by inviting participants to enter the alien’s universe as an immersive and utopian environment and dissolve in an experience of interactive disorientation.
Film by Uli Ap in collaboration with Jhenyfy Muller. With sound from Syu Iro, International Artist-in-Residence Programme in Aso Japan, Sacred Danger, the Kim Fielding Award for experimental arts, That Side Where Real Is, Crypt@St.Marks, St.Marks Church Kennington London, Anti-Gravity Reality: Inside the Black Cube or Brain AI.
Uli Ap (2020) is a London-based trans-disciplinary artist, with a background in Fine Art, New Media Art, architecture, fiction writing and journalism, who critically investigates technology and its relationship with society and science. Ap creates distorienting interactive installations where virtual and physical experiences collide and alter participants’ mental states, as well as spatial and immersive video-audio environments to transfer physical experiences through digital realms, destabilising performances to question a post-human condition and levels of reality, and AI–VR–BCI–Robotics situations. Uli Ap lives and works all over the globe.
Public Memories, Detail, 2020 © the artist
In Katharina Arndt’s works Constantly Practice To Take Relevant Selfies and Public Memories, the artist depicts two women taking selfies with their smartphones: one at the beach, one at a public restroom. Self-confidence resonates in their poses. This is underlined in their monumentality in the virtual exhibition space. The artist explores the role of women in today’s society, and questions the emancipatory pop-cultural depictions of strong and active women, like those who create and communicate their own self-image. Arndt’s minimalistic yet expressives drawings, executed with markers on shiny glossy surfaces, represent today’s lifestyle and materiality at its best.
Katharina Arndt is a German artist (b. 1981) based in Berlin and Barcelona. She studied Fine Arts at the Braunschweig University of Art and completed her master’s degree in 2006 under the guidance of the Swiss artist John Armleder. The focus of Arndts artistic work is the observation of digital communication behaviour and the visualisation of aesthetics of mass consumption in the digital age. The symbol for this is the topic ‘surface’. In the hyperreal and intangible online world, only visual appearance matters—that of ourselves and the products we should buy.
Lara Verena Bellenghi
Rewinding Your Apocalypse, performance documented in video triptych, 2020 © the artist
Lara Verena Bellenghi’s installation comprises three texts in English, German and Czech, wherein notions of the Apocalypse are expressed. The texts are written out but starting backwards, so as to rewind the Apocalypse to whatever its outset was. Like a yo-yo rolling back up after almost hitting the ground, or a boomerang that keeps coming back, the product reflects cyclicality and new beginnings. In the reversal of these words lies the awareness that before unease there may lie its opposite and that, eventually, better times await.
Lara Verena Bellenghi’s (b.1991) predominantly site-responsive practice frequently takes its bearings from sites and objects that reflect collective conscience or experience. Polaroids, surface particles, and text are the main ingredients of her works and are often paired with footage and documentation of her own whereabouts. The latter tends to include investigative approaches to urban spaces and their histories. Her long-standing interest in mail-art has led to a revisiting of an invitation- and response-based methodology. Currently quarantined in her native Vienna, she sends requests to friends and family abroad for the purpose of fusing words which, in multiple languages, reflect the human condition.
Tendril Perversion, Animated 3D Model by Alex Williamson, 2020 © the artist
These animated works were created in times of social isolation and canceled or postponed exhibitions. With the lack of physical working space, Hannah Bohnen started to turn towards the digital animated sphere. The isolation provided time to study and document more closely our everyday movements and habits such as the twisting of an old telephone cable between one fingers and observing the way these cables tangle or move together. One of the most interesting observations that captured the artist’s imagination was the phenomena of tendril perversion. This is described by the scientist Goriely McMillen as a phenomena that can be classified as an example of a spontaneous symmetry breaking, in which the strained structure of the tendril adopts a configuration of minimum energy while preserving zero overall twist. By capturing the repeated movement of this natural geometric occurrence in her installation, Hannah Bohnen ennobles the seemingly mundane and unrecognised to an encompassing sensual experience.
Hannah Bohnen (b.1989) lives and works in Kiel and Berlin. Bohnen creates sculptures and installations which explore the temporal phenomena of movement that permeate our daily life. Her work considers the uncertain moments of ephemeral action, adopting dynamic materials and flowing forms as a vocabulary to communicate the evanescent and almost imperceptible life of casual gestures. The artistic intervention serves as a memory of the fleeting and gives permanence to what is otherwise transient.
SICHTBARUNSICHTBAR III (WELT), photography and digital drawing, 2020 © the artists
Using digital image processing, Karlheinz Bux changes the work’s underlying original motif from a view of the earth (source: NASA photography) to an interpretation of the world. Vertical lines in pink superimpose the central picture creating a curtain made of fine threads that connect the globe with the surrounding area. Conceived as the strings of an instrument, they set the earth into vibration and refer to its position in cosmic space. The compact closedness of the globe stands in contrast to the opening effect of the parallel line sequence. The pulsating lines transform the earth into a ‘breathing’ world. Oscillating between abstract drawing and recognisable world, the artist explores the ongoing tension between macro and micro states underlying our current condition.
Karlheinz Bux (b. 1952) is a German artist concentrating on drawing and sculpture works. The central pictorial theme of his artistic practice is the line. Clarity, complexity and emblematic quality define his sculptures and mural reliefs which are made out of steel, bronze and wood. His drawings are executed on transparent materials such as glass and polymer foils, with photographic templates constituting the basis of his glass and foil works, and altered by superimposition and linear treatment. His works can be found in many notable European museums and private collections, among others at Kunsthalle Karlsruhe and the Würth Collection.
FUX (Sabine Funke & Karlheinz Bux)
SICHTBARUNSICHTBAR II (ENTFALTETER RAUM IM ZUSTAND DER SCHWEBE), Digital Painting with Drawing, 2020 © the artists
The virtual wall piece ENTFALTETER RAUM IM ZUSTAND DER SCHWEBE was created in collaboration between the painter (FUnke) and the draftsman (BuX). Coloured spaces and lines intersect here and enter into dialogue. Set in opposite directions, the wedge-shaped surfaces underline the horizontal alignment of the extreme landscape format. Emphasizing the vertical, the parallel running line sequences tie the overall composition to the surrounding space. From the dynamic encounter between ‘drawing’ and ‘painting’, a non-representational work emerges. It occupies an imaginary space located between futuristic architectural design and artistic installation. The title of the work translates to ‘VISIBLE INVISIBLE II : Unfolded Space in a State of Suspense’, which points towards an additional layer of meaning. Using an abstracted formal language, it speaks of a state of uncertainty and suspense that may withdraw itself from representation and yet be approached with visual means.
I create paths that lead to the clouds in which we go, 2020, Video, 8:55 Min, © the artist
In Ornella Fieres’s piece I create paths that lead to the clouds in which we go, an artificial intelligence shares its hopes, dreams and fears. It gives an outlook on a future, where the digital universe unites with the human, forming an entity that could mean the end or the salvation of the world. To let the AI speak, Fieres fed a neural network with texts about her artistic practice written within the last decade. Her work deals with the spiritual and uncanny aspects of the digital realm. The AI evolved, like in a self-fulfilling prophecy from the artist’s theories and developed its own unreckoned, dystopian manifest.
Ornella Fieres’s (*1984 Frankfurt, Germany) work explores boundaries and transitions between the digital and analogue space. To investigate these media and time intersections, she develops photography, video and sound techniques that forcefully merge, not only different mediums, but also diverse moments in time. Fieres works with photographs and documentary film material from the late 19th and early 20th century and processes the found footage with seemingly alchemistic methods, using self-built apparatuses or autonomous algorithms. Fieres’s multimedia installations have been exhibited internationally at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Goethe Institut Toronto, NurtureArt Gallery New York, Kunstverein Speyer and Fotografie Forum Frankfurt.
Marta de la Figuera
Pulp Fiction, Digital Collage, 2020 © the artist
Marta de la Figuera’s colorful and playful collages speak of escapist moments and dream states keeping her sane during the lockdown. In Nature Takes Over, Figuera’s protagonist opens her window to a colorful paradisiac world. In her work nature has gained back its ground and humans form a part of a healthy ecosystem, instead of controlling and destroying it. Pulp Fiction beams its iconic protagonists Uma Thurman and John Travolta in an isolated, desert-like setting. Dancing exuberantly on a high wire, they focus on themselves, enjoying the cheerful moment in a dreamlike state, away from the brutal reality. Conceptually and visually, Marta de la Figuera combines notions from different, or even seemingly opposing contexts. Her collages remix and recontextualise a multitude of cultural references, as well as imagery from the digital and physical realm, creating worlds according to her own aesthetic criteria.
Marta de la Figuera (b.1997) is a Spanish Digital Collage artist who lives and works in London. She combines images, colors, and photography playfully in the pursuit of creating a fantasy world where there is no right or wrong. She mixes the surrealism of Salvador Dali with a humoristic and colourful touch. Following her own aesthetic, she is able to bring the viewer to play with their imagination and get immersed in an unexpected imaginary world.
Coronaapfel, Apple and Steel Nails, Photo by Bettina Funke, 2020 © the artist
In March 2020, while being confined to her flat, without access to her studio space, Bettina Funke started to use apples as an easily accessible, transportable and sensual working material. In a time of many restrictions, the reclaimed domestic object uncovered a sensitive artistic perception and also became the symbol for artistic freedom. Bearing visual similarities to the structure of the Corona-Virus, her work evokes a strange bodily reaction and association. Translated from actual to virtual space, her floating and multiplied corona apples take on a monumental form that encapsulates both a moment of threat and a creative change. It is through this simple artistic intervention, that Bettina Funke offers a playful and yet poignant reflection on some fundamental subjects underpinning this time: the forceful demarcations between countries and people, the painful experiences of sudden loss, and the world’s radical transformation.
Bettina Funke (b.1983) is based in Bonn. She graduated with an MA in Art History from the University of Vienna (A) in 2011. Since 2019, she studies Visual Art at Alanus Art school in Alfter (DE). She is interested in space and matter in all their possibilities and is looking for the humorous and beautiful where it is least expected.
SICHTBARUNSICHTBAR I (WATCH THE GAP), digital painting, 2020 © the artist
Sabine Funke’s WATCH THE GAP emerges from the tradition of non-representational, non-narrative painting. It explores the possibilities and energies of colour and space. Funke creates colours and shapes by intuition. Their positioning and meaning develop in the process of making. Funke’s pictures don’t explain, they don’t accuse, they don’t inform, they don’t teach. They are offered up for looking, associating, and for feeling joy. Paul Cézanne once wrote: ‘Colour is the place where our brain and the universe meet. That is why it seems quite dramatic to true painters’. In Funke’s work, this observation expands from her painting towards the spatial concept of the exhibition. In her elemental and complex spatial choreography, visitors find themselves embedded in an immersive and protective space that dynamically yet paradoxically oscillates between the light dynamic sky and the heavy stone floor.
Sabine Funke (b. 1955) is a German painter who lives and works in Karlsruhe. The artist is concerned with the interaction of colour and can be situated in the tradition of colour field painting. Funke studied art history in Bochum, Germany, free graphics at the University of Essen Folkwang University, as well as painting and art theory at Academy of Fine Arts Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main. Her work has been shown in solo exhibitions among others at the Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Kunsthalle Mannheim, in the Orangerie at the Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, the Josef Albers Museum Quadrat in Bottrop, the Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe, and at the Städtische Galerie Offenburg.
Hecht & Lantin
Re-port, Video, 1:51 Min, 2020 © the artists
Re-Port by Hecht & Lantin is a video-sound work, where a TV news presenter glitches out of norm and is corrupted by a modified pop sound. The work addresses one-sided and repetitive reporting in the mainstream media that mostly only represents a small, targeted section of the whole. The song, a noisy karaoke version of Britney Spears’s song One More Time, contributes to the feeling of being trapped in an endless loop. The song consists only of a few lines, one is: “My loneliness is killing me”, which gains a new level of meaning in times of social distancing.
Hecht & Lantin are a German artist duo. They work with media such as sound, video, photo and installation. In their work they propagate their artistic point of view about the outside world. Dorien Lantin is a multimedia artist (*1990, Berlin) who graduated from the Leuphana University Lüneburg and Fine Arts Academy of Kiel. Robert Hecht (*1979, Kiel) is multi-media artist who graduated from the Fine Arts Academy of Kiel, and a self-taught sound designer. Both live and work in Kiel (G).
Fabian Hesse & Mitra Wakil
Still Life, 3D-Scan, Screen Capture, 2020 © the artists
With their contemporary interpretation of a still life, Fabian Hesse & Mitra Wakil reflect on domestic life during the pandemic. Their work records a strange collection of objects that the artist duo gathered on their studio table during lockdown: hand disinfectant, plastic packed fruits, anti-bacterial spray and masks. These objects become the new vanitas symbols for life’s impermanence in times of Covid. The natural composition or decomposition of organic materials thematized in a traditional still life is translated into an uneven and seemingly decaying 3D scan. At a second glance, the oversized arrangement reveals itself as a surreal playground in which the viewer takes on the perspective of an ant. By gliding through apparently opaque surfaces without any resistance, the artists make experiential a concept of the virus as an invisible enemy which has haunted its media perception. The inert objects thereby assume lives of their own by discussing the current constellation of events.
In their work, the artist duo Fabian Hesse and Mitra Wakil focus on the knowledge of working methods and new technologies. Based on the ancient Greek τέχνη (téchne), their work raises questions about how digitality is changing the way we deal with knowledge, social interaction, resources and production methods, and how to transcend the separation between art and mediation. A common approach in their practice is the creation of transitional relationships between workshops, happenings and technology. Their work is characterized by the development of participatory formats that ultimately questions common hierarchies of exhibition and artistic formats. It further asks how they can be transcended by means of technology, printing techniques, and experimentation.
One hundred tons of cosmic dust fall from space to earth each day, digital collage series, 2020 © the artist
With One hundred tons of cosmic dust fall from space to earth each day, Helena Hunter poetically addresses the million-year-long transformation and life cycle of stars. Cosmic dust falls as material from stars many light-years away. It cascades through the Earth’s atmosphere to settle on the surface of the planet. Dust occurs when a star nears the end of its life and in the early stages of formation. This process is connected to the ways in which the universe recycles itself. It causes the ‘extinction’ of starlight, a term used to indicate the dimming of a star due to dust, as seen from Earth-bound observatories. Over the last few months, thinking about the slow fall of dust through space provides some temporary and inexpressible comfort.
Helena Hunter is based in London, her practice operates at the intersections of visual art, poetry and performance. Her artworks utilise poetic and performative modes in relation to environmental change and biodiversity loss, often blending sites such as the field, lab, gallery, museum and online space. She has a Master’s in Fine Art from Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. Her work has been presented at Gasworks, Delfina Foundation, Gazelli Art House, Tate, Arts Catalyst, ICA, Ambika P3, The Showroom, IMT Gallery, [space] (London), MIMA (Middlesbrough), Bòlit Contemporary Art Centre (Girona) and Jerome Zodo Contemporary (Milan).
Tactile cravings (exhausted by oversharing everything), 2020 © the artist
In tactile cravings (exhausted by oversharing everything), there is an overlapping of pictures, shapes, and materials from everyday life, such as a laptop, gloves or plants. Real, tangible everyday objects that symbolize the domestic sphere are transferred into the virtual, public exhibition space. The works have been created intuitively, certainly influenced by “being at home a lot”, and by working and communicating on the computer or watering flowers. The works express the care work being done at home and reveal the exhaustion from being online, as portrayed by a laptop flooded with water, and the tired, glove-like hands that bear witness to this.
Marie-Eve Levasseur’s (*1985, Canada) work deals with intimacy, interactions, mediating devices as extensions and perception of language or images through screens. Using diverse forms and techniques like video, installation, sculpture and 3D animation, she questions the proximity of technological and organic surfaces in a posthuman context. Her works have been shown in many group exhibitions in Montreal, Berlin, London, Paris, Hong Kong and Zurich. In 2020, she receives a research and creation grant from the Cultural Foundation of Saxony. She lives and works in Leipzig (G).
Untitled (Bhutan) 3D scan, rendered, 2018-2020, Courtesy the artist and Ruttkowski68 Gallery © the artist
Filippo Minelli’s Untitled’ (Bhutan) speaks of the artist’s feelings during quarantine: he was poised between a sense of despair for being locked up and a spiritual urge for action. Minelli finds the need for both reaction and protection mirrored in the Buddhist deity Vajrapani, who he studied during his time in Bhutan. The deity is often depicted as surrounded by fire and holding a thunderbolt and can be perceived as deeply threatening. However, at a closer glance, it operates in protest and defence with the goal of self-preservation. With this in mind, Minelli began to revisit some of the found objects he collected around sacred and religious Buddhist sites during his journey to the mountains of Bhutan. By 3D scanning and digitally painting them, he appropriates, recontextualizes, and inserts them into the digital sphere. Just like Vajrapani’s attribute, Minelli perceives his objects as mystic protest-materials. Countering a strongly regulated data driven framework with his mystic objects, he aims to represent a break from a society ruled by technology. It is in a shared social process, he reminds us, that we can attribute meanings to objects, transform them into symbols, and convert them into collective action.
Filippo Minelli (b.1983) is a contemporary artist working internationally He analyses and researches landscapes, politics and communication to create installations and performances documented through photography and video. His work is based on a nomadic practice mainly focused on peripheral geographic areas.
NULL (void *)0 a material cause architecture, 2017 © the artist
The code fragment Null (void *)0 is used in many programming languages to generate the color, shape and size of a 3D object. Null (void *)0, which in Western culture means nothing, is the origin of everything in informatics. This fascinating linguistic paradox linked to this formula forms the basis of Chiara Passa’s exhibited works NULL (void *)0 a material cause architecture and NULL (void *)0 a suspended architecture. In fact, the code “Null (void *)0” generates the large hole, the void, in many of the artist’s sculptures, animations and VR artworks. It stands for the absence of material emanated through the projection of shadows, that spectators can contemplate as suspended aesthetics.
Chiara Passa (b. 1973, IT) uses a variety of techniques, technologies and devices such as virtual reality and augmented reality as an artistic media to challenge the static notion of architecture and its function as an interface. She explores the liminal duality between the tangible and virtual place, using Carrara marble, fresco technique, plexiglass, or 3D printing. Her work has been internationally exhibited including «Object Oriented Space». Solo show at Museum MLAC Rome (2019). «Virtual Natives – Sculpture», Roehrs & Boetsch Gallery, Zurich (2019); «Oslo Night show», HEK Museum Basel (2018); «InSonic», immersive art show, ZKM | Center for Art and Media Museum, Karlsruhe (2017). Passa has been working in media art since 1997. She graduated from the Fine Arts Academy of Rome and holds a Master in audio-visual media at the Faculty of Modern Literature.
Meat N16 (COVID19), from the series ‘London Queues’, 2020 © the artist
For the past few years, Agnese Sanvito has turned her photographic lense on choregraphies of queuing. She has observed people in London queuing to board the bus, to have a coffee, to see an exhibition, and most recently, with the current lockdown situation, to buy all their essentials. Her fascination with the stereotypical English queue emerges from a curiosity about how people so patiently organise themselves in a fair and orderly line. This phenomenon is in stark contrast to the artists’ experiences in her native country of Italy. Within this framework, different types of quirky behavior and distinct poses emerge: people are checking their phones, reading, kissing or simply staring at the line or feeling pleased when the queue grows. Since the lockdown, and with the two-metre gap between everyone, queues have grown longer and more visible. During the height of lockdown, and in the otherwise empty streets of big capitals, queues became an emblem of a deeply altered city and a physical manifestation of the crisis.
Agnese Sanvito (b.1981) is a photographer working in architecture and the urban landscape. She studied Fine Arts at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Bologna before moving to London in 2003. Agnese is interested in how places develop and evolve, focusing on the way colour shapes our sense of space. Her commissioned work includes projects for architectural studios, magazines, galleries and fashion houses. Her work has been featured in RIBA Journal, Architecture Today, Dezeen, Design Exchange and in the book ‘New Architecture London’ published by Prestel.
The Lie Dream Experiment, Video, 2019 © the artist
Susan Supercharged’s films are investigations that thematise and challenge the opacity of our current lockdown environment. In The Lie Dream Experiment, the artist combines analogue techniques such as constructing hand rendered found objects, with digital techniques like creating globally generated sound and image repetition with scissors and smartphones. In her filmic strips, Supercharged makes experimental para-landscapes that resemble dream states in order to demonstrate the ambiguity, frissures, and frictions of this current time. This ambivalence not only triggers thought processes around temporal and spatial realities but also around human relationships. Inspired by The Unlikely Friendship of Mike Tyson and Werner Herzog, the film of the same title was created from the artist’s views from her skyscraper window in central London during the lockdown. The film also portrays her re-entry to public life by observing a skateboard park. It is through these unlikely discoveries, that have become likely, that Susan Supercharged encapsulates a state that has become increasingly unsure, while also sharpening our senses for the potential of a world yet to come.
Susan Supercharged is an artist working in London in multimedia, film and installation. She has shown her films globally in museums such as MOCA in Oaxaca Mexico, The Fashion Institute of Technology, The Miami Museum of Art + Design, and The Institute of Contemporary Art In London. Susan has also worked as a Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum and Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool.
P.A.P.R. Powered Air Purifying Respirator, 2/Googles, 3D model, 2020
Thomas Teurlai’s work P.A.P.R. Powered Air Purifying Respirator is based on a real-life sculpture, an assemblage of a respiratory system built out of scrap during confinement. It entails a vision of a plague doctor paving his way through the heavy smells that are caused by using a self sanitizing propane bottle. The 3D model in the exhibition shows a helmet and the mask of the respiratory system in which you breathe. The model is just like a respirator you would find in the hospital. For the physical sculpture, the artist used clocksmith goggles and dog jaws found during a walk in the mountains and then casted them in aluminum. The colors of the bandana fade away and we cannot grasp which tribe it is from.
Born in the Paris region, Thomas Teurlai (FR, b.1988) went to Belgium to learn how to throw the javelin. After having survived a serious pedal-boat accident in Ostend, he decided to study at the École supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Nantes, then in Nice, and finally in Lyon. He relaxes in Marseille and works just about anywhere.
XYZ, HD Video, 06.47 min, 2016 © the artist
The video work XYZ by Miloš Trakilović problematizes the present-day interpretation of data through its visualization. The digital turnover brought about an increased codification of our everyday life which is not necessarily representational. In this work, the human voice gets singled out as the interface that echoes in vain in search of responsiveness. The video is structured as an online tutorial that critically or ironically questions standard modes of communication in an information age. The XYZ achses, that define the spatial parameters, become our online coordinate system. They represent Facebook, YouTube and Google Chrome. During the lockdown, these have been our constant companions in the virtual realm.
Miloš Trakilović is a Bosnian-Dutch artist. He holds a MFA from the University of Arts in Berlin where he graduated in the Experimental Film and New Media Art department. His practice revolves around the politics of perception; exploring issues of dissolution, fragmentation and memory. His topical interest is the role of vision in the construction of meaning and production of power following the digital turnover. Miloš’s work is most often situated within digital media in the form of moving image, installation, lectures and writings.