A Sketch of Manners (Alfred Roch’s Last Masquerade), 2013, 12 Min.
"A Sketch of Manners" was prompted by a black-and-white photograph taken in 1924 at an annual masquerade party hosted by prominent Palestinian socialite and politican, Alfred Roch. Guests pose in Pierrot costumes for a group picture, recalling the bourgeois settings of Berlin in the 1920s.
Palestinian artist Jumana Manna discovered the picture and became intrigued with its theatrical and enigmatic depiction of a radiant urban modernity. In re-enacting the photograph, she creates a filmic tableau vivant, peering into the sophisticated world of Palestinian urban elites under their British Mandate. By transposing the event to 1942, Manna repositions Palestine in the history of global crises and their consequences, allowing Alfred Roch’s last masquerade to unwittingly encapsulate a premonition of the difficult years that lie ahead.
"A Sketch of Manners" is the first part of a project called "Imagined Cities", which links the histories of Jerusalem and Los Angeles as different kinds of promised lands.
Jumana Manna was born in New Jersey (USA) in 1987. She studied in Jerusalem, Oslo and Los Angeles and was an artist in residence at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. The venues that have so far exhibited her work include the 11th Sharjah Biennale, the Sydney Biennial, the Toronto Biennial, Kunsthall Oslo (Norway), Kalmar Konstmuseum (Sweden), Kunsthal Charlottenberg (Denmark), the ifa-Galerie in Stuttgart, the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, and a number of film festivals. In 2017 she received the ars vive Prize for Visual Arts.
City Language I, 2009, 4:50 Min.
In "City Language I-III" (2009), a work in three parts, Nevin Aladağ creates an audio-visual portrait of Istanbul.
"City Language I" features four traditional Turkish instruments brought to life by elements and living creatures in the city: a tambourine glides across the sea; a ney – a long flute – whistles in the wind of a moving car; a saz – a string instrument – is plucked by pecking pigeons; loose chimes roll along streets and down steps. The boundary between noise and music is fluid, and as the tapestry of sound thickens it weaves a poetic picture of this city where tradition blends with modernity.
City Language II, 2009, 7:31 Min.
"City Language II" is made up of eight pieces, one of which is on show here. It depicts the conservative Istanbul district of Fatih, filmed from a passing motor bike and reflected in its wing mirror. The direct impression is not very distinct as the bike is travelling too fast, whereas the mirrored image is clearly recognisable. Instead of the obligatory safety warning on wing mirrors in the United States and Canada (“Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear”), the mirrors display passages from contemporary pop songs.
Nevin Aladağ was born in Van, Turkey, in 1972. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. Among the venues to have exhibited her work are Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Wolfsburg Art Museum, the Konsthall in Malmö (Sweden) as well as the 11th Sharjah Biennial, the Venice Biennale (2017) and the documenta 14, Kassel. Aladağ lives and works in Berlin.
Next Year / L’Année Prochaine / 明年, 2016, 17:40 Min.
Ming Wong’s video works are often founded on the artist’s response to feature films or quotations from pop culture. He examines how gender, language and identity are constructed and creates a place in between, an ambiguity.
In "Next Year / L’Année Prochaine / 明年" (2016, 17:40 min.) Wong takes on Alain Resnais’s film "L’Année dernière à Marienbad" (1961). This icon of New Wave cinema is distinctive for its diffuse narrative and innovative visual idiom – and Wong intensifies both these factors in his work. In "L’Année dernière à Marienbad" we never find out where exactly the story is set, and Wong exploited that ambiguity to include Marienbad Café and Fuxing Park in his version. Both these places are in Shanghai and both display colonial influences. This overlaying of cultural codes also leads to some bewildering moments, as when Wong plays both the male and the female roles, breaking with the customary principles of casting.
Ming Wong was born in Singapore in 1971. He studied at the Slade School of Art in London, and at Nanyang Academy in Singapore. Among the venues which have recently shown his works are the Busan Biennale in South Korea, the 53rd Venice Biennale, the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, nGbK in Berlin, the Hartware MedienKunstVerein in Dortmund and the Gropius Bau in Berlin. In 2016–2018 he was Guest Professor at the University of the Arts in Berlin. Ming Wong lives and works in Berlin.
Tarahi III, 2006, 1:08 Min.
Without ever leading to a specific narrative, there are some themes and aesthetics which weave their way consistently through Haris Epaminonda’s artistic work. In particular, there are recurrent references to the history of her native island of Cyprus and the way it is reflected in collective memory or specific political narratives. She also makes frequent use of archaeological and ethnological photographs, and of kitsch from Greek television programmes and soap operas.
Epaminonda’s early videos usually focus on a small numberofimages, sounds and impressions, but these combine into a highly complex, carefully composed interplay. The fleeting moment captured in a photograph, if watched at length and combined with music, can be transformed into a spectacular, emotionally charged cinematic plot. The artist often uses filmed pages from books or fragments of found footagefrom the cinema and television of the 1960s and 1970s, distilling them intopithy, atmospheric impressions. In her audiovisual montages, she frequently works with cross-fades, repeats and loops, inverts direction or alters the speed. The frames blend with a sound track composed of classical music or subdued background noise, complementing and reinforcing the visual mood and the hints of a narrative. Some of the videos assume an almost abstract atmospheric quality, leaving visitors to their own resources and their own associations.
For the virtual video space the artist has put together a programme from a selection of her early works from 2006. In June we will show Tarahi I, in July Tarahi III and in August Gramophone.
Haris Epaminonda (*1980 in Nicosia, Cyprus; lives in Berlin) co-represented Cyprus at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007, took part in documenta13 (with Daniel Gustav Cramer) in 2012 and at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019, for which she was awarded the Silver Lion. That same year she was nominated for the Nationalgalerie’s Young Art Award. Solo exhibitions (selected): Secession, Vienna, 2019, CAAC, Seville, 2016; Le Plateau, frac île-de-France, Paris, 2015; Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice, 2014; Point Centre for Contemporary Art, Nicosia, 2013; Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, 2013; Kunsthaus Zürich, 2013, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, 2012; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, 2011; Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2011; Tate Modern, London, 2010; Malmö Konsthall, Malmö, 2009; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, 2008.