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surplus living | Alte Münze

Upon entering Alte Münze and walking down the steps to the dewy basement space containing surplus living, we were presented with giant iron doors and dark, stone walls with thick pillars parsing the work in each of the two rooms. Aptly presented in an old coin minting factory space in central Berlin, surplus living contained pieces by 19 different artists exploring the presentation and loss of self in pieces ranging from three personified pieces of ice to metal and wood sculpture, video, collage, and more. The show, curated by Harry Burke, Elisa R. Linn, and Lennart Wolff, succinctly captured the gesture toward commodity and threw us into a space where a criticality into the particulars of the movement beyond that gesture can be explored.

Deep Tissue, Harm van den Dorpel, 2014

Alte Münze presented a unique opportunity for a show registering the formation and distribution of individual pieces of work. The combination of the basement, the heavy doors, leaking walls, and dark corners provide the show a sharp contrast to familiar white walls and enhanced the effects of such charged works as a video depicting the darkness of wandering the Mall of America. Even the location in Berlin allows for a more progressive analysis of art as commodity through the support of outside organizations its counterparts throughout the world may not have the funding structures to allow or access.

(L) Mall of America, Josphine Meckseper, 2009. Video, © Josephine Meckseper, Courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York.
(R) Gratuitous Sights, Beny Wagner, 2014

The work, beside ranging in medium, opened a conversation around temporality and its intersection with an emotive and primarily digital community. Pieces explored the ephemerality of gestures like dropping stones into water, the casualties of glitter when sticking it to paper, even cuddling – but as with Jasper Spicero’s melting ice figures, memory becomes the predominant material of the work as even the traces of melted ice evaporate. Exhibitions from http://www.exerciserig.com remembered through the ritual of installs and immortalization on the web so rarely engage with the function of personal memory and time so well, the success of which comes not from each pieces gesture toward ephemerality but through its foregrounding so each successive piece becomes a release from temporality into new spaces of considerations.

Sensitive 2 Detergent, Yngve Holen, 2012
Replaying the mistake of a broken hammer, Raphael Hefti, 2014
Adoration of Saint Joan II, Jesse Darling, 2014

Support for surplus living provided by: Royal Norwegian Embassy, Japan Foundation, wolff:architekten, Allianz Kulturstiftung / Generalvertretung Katja Richterr

March/14/2014 ­ – March/23/2014

participating artists:
Ayreen Anastas & Rene Gabri
Josephine Meckseper
Adriana Ramić
Yngve Holen
Chto Delat?
Jasper Spicero
Tatsuo Miyajima
Amalia Ulman
Beny Wagner
Nina Beier
Britta Thie
Jesse Darling
Michael E. Smith
Wilhelm Mundt
Harm van den Dorpel
Li Liao
Raphael Hefti
Constant Dullaart

(L) Trashstone 538, Wilhelm Mundt, 2012; © Wilhelm Mundt, Buchmann Galerie, Berlin
(R) He Will Wait For You In The Lobby, Amalia Ulman, 2014

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