Blind, 2011, 22 Min.
Annika Larsson explores social mechanisms of dominance and subjugation, control and powerless¬ness. Her figures frequently reveal an unsettling blend of narcissism, obsession, loss of control and vulnerability. Although the protagonists in her videos tend to be men, Larsson’s main interest are not male stereotypes, but rather the codes expressed by body language and the social power structures that underlie them. The male body is a stage and a vehicle for political, sexual, inter¬personal, feminist and queer content.
"Blind, 2011" shows blind footballers – men and women – training at night. The images are shot from a sequence of different angles without generating an overall picture of the action. By departing from the narrative strategies of classical cinema, the artist conveys a sense of anxious uncertainty. Larsson uses the football pitch as a metaphor for a system of social regulation. Within a defined radius, there is a clear understanding from the outset that everyone will play by the rules, and yet conventional ideas of how these rules might work are undermined in Larsson’s setting because her protagonists are blind. We are watching a group of football players with excellent ball control who nevertheless adopt alternative game strategies that depart from the norm. To transfer the social metaphor to the football pitch, the players are operating in a kind of parallel society outside of norms. There is often a pronounced symbolic role in Annika Larsson’s works for the gaze and the notion of “seeing”. These blind football players might be interpreted as the true seers, the visionaries in society.
Annika Larsson (*1972 in Stockholm, Sweden) lives and works in Berlin. In 2000 she obtained her Master of Fine Arts at the Royal University College of Fine Arts, Sweden. Her works have been shown by major international institutions, including the Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Basel, the Fundacion la Caixa in Barcelona, Le Magasin in Grenoble, the Kunsthalle in Nuremberg, the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in London, ZKM in Karlsruhe, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, S.M.A.K. in Ghent and Musac in León. She also took part in the 49th Venice Biennial, the 8th Istanbul Biennial and the 6th Shanghai Biennial.
In collaboration with Ari Benjamin Meyers
32 m.ü.NHN. –114,7 m.ü.NHN. (II)
Cyrill Lachauer’s film "32 m.ü.NHN. –114,7 m.ü.NHN. (II)" explores the way we survey landscapes and the natural world. As in earlier works, his backdrop is the history of European conquest: the efforts of European countries to colonise foreign parts by force have always been closely associated with strategies and techniques for measuring land. In "32 m.ü.NHN. –114,7 m.ü.NHN. (II)" Lachauer draws on a visual medium with strong political connotations: coloured smoke, as used in pyrotechnics and –often reflected in so many media images – by protesters, football fans and guardians of the law to defend themselves, to attack and to stir up an atmosphere. With smoke as the “protagonist”, the super 16 mm positive film implements the notion of surveying a specificterritory: the city of Berlin.
Lachauer ignited cartridges of smoke ranging in colour from orange via capri blue to pale grey at five different spots around the metropolitan region, all of them at different altitudes. Orange smoke, in terms of the geographical map, represents the lowest point, the lakes along the River Havel, while pale grey marks the city’s highpoint, the Grosser Müggelberg. Besides, in their abstract form and expressed as altitudes, the places link the subjective choice of colours to a scientific designation (m.ü.NHN – metres above mean sea level). The real places are only visible when a piece of sky or the glint of water is glimp-sed between the billows of smoke.
What is unusual is that the sound track begins before the first pictures appear on the screen. This dovetailing of sound and imagery, which are two separate components, is a vital fruit of the cooperation between Ari Benjamin Meyers and Cyrill Lachauer. Meyers, who composed and recorded the music for 32 m.ü.NHN. –114,7 m.ü.NHN. (II), provides the film with an acoustic layer which performs a particular service: it preempts any risk that the apparently endless sequence of thickening smoke might be perceived merely as a pretty play of abstract colours. Even before the first minute passes, the smoke has ceased to have anything in common with established imagery from art history – abstract, open and associative. Lachauer’s abstract smoke patterns verge on the aggressive, not just marking a place, but dominating it until nothing remains of its original form.
The film was produced with the support of Sammlung Goetz, Munich.
Cyrill Lachauer studied directing, ethnology and art in Munich and Berlin. He completed his studies at Berlin’s University of the Arts in 2010. In 2011, he founded the artists’ label Flipping the Coin, which he runs together with three colleagues. Distinctions include the 3sat Young Talent Award at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in 2008, the IBB Photography Award in 2010, a Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung fellowship in 2014, and a Villa Aurora grant in Los Angeles in 2015.
More, 2015, 4:30 Min.
Judith Hopf’s works centre on social structures and issues and how to reimagine them. Drawing on the stylistic devices of the comic and grotesque, the artist turns established rules on their head and, playfully tongue-in-cheek, provokes us to think again.
"More, 2015" begins with a zoom-in. Within a few seconds, the viewer has crossed the universe and is following Hopf out of the cosmos and into the Berlin park Tiergarten, advancing towards the suggestion of a microcosm. Before the gaping emptiness, words appear, like “possibilities”, “exhausted” and “new”. They vibrate nervously, dance up and down a sinus wave, constantly merging and networking in new ways. From the matrix of available words, there is only one logical combination that makes semantic and grammatical sense: “exhausted by the new possibilities”.
Hopf has created an image for the web of data in which we are becoming entangled as we seek to grasp and measure the world completely. From this digital surfeit and the apparently unlimited possibilities it offers, we derive neither contentment nor freedom nor greater knowledge. The final conclusion is: “This emptiness is normal.” It is both a criticism of the principles underlying the information society and a meditative personal reassurance.
Judith Hopf (*1969 in Karlsruhe) lives and works in Berlin. Since 2008 she has held a professorship at the Städelschule, Frankfurt (Main). Apart from dOCUMENTA 13 (2012), she has taken part in many international group exhibitions, including at the Liverpool Biennial in 2014, the Museum for Contemporary Art in Basel in 2013 and the Bienal de la Habana (2003). She has exhibited individually at KW, Berlin (2018), the Museion in Bolzano (2016), the Kunstverein in Graz (2012), the Portikus in Frankfurt (Main) (2007) and the Vienna Secession (2006). Her woks have also been shown at film festivals such as the Berlinale and the International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen. Judith Hopf received the Ruth Baumgarte Art Award for 2014.
Die Realisierung erfolgt mit freundlicher Unterstützung der