»Zimmer mit Aussicht | room with a view«
Alicja Dobrucka, Filip Dujardin, Claudio Gobbi, Kathrin Ganser, Antje Guenther, Beate Gütschow, Susan Hefuna, Rolf Julius, Steffi Klenz, Eva Leitolf, Gregor Neuerer, Roselyne Titaud, Thomas Weinberger
Opening: Friday, February 19, 2016, 18-21h (Facebook Event)
Exhibition: February 20 –
April 9 May 5, 2016
Opening hours: Wed-Sat 12-19h
Extended opening hours for Gallery Weekend Berlin 2016 (Fri, April 29 – Sun, May 1):
Friday – Sunday 12-19h
In the relationship of photography and architecture photography conventionally plays the role of serving architecture as a means of illustration. Photography thus fulfils the role of capturing architecture and thereby placing it as a historic fact or best possibly reproducing it as a contemporary, progressive statement that finds its way into different discourses of special interest publications.
The conventional allocation of roles also requires photography to showcase places for particular demands that cover attractive postcard motives, offers from the tourist branch, the sketch of new urban districts to the point of the promise of a better life that has far more to offer than a room with a view.
Thanks to many contemporary artists photography has developed into an autonomous imaging instrument that comments both visually reflective and critically on architecture, its manifestations and its cultural and economic conditions as well as the accompanying circumstances: be it the revision of socio-utopian large scale concepts, the ideal city or public housing. Or be it the reference to current building concepts that try to congenially represent living and working in a fancy environment as the reward for success in the free play of interests.
At the same time the technological development of the photographic process significantly contributed to use built and enclosed spaces as a backdrop to clarify the a priori of the photographic image, which is light and to precisely visualise how the built and enclosed spaces are structured. Furthermore photography has the potential of enlightening the impact of ongoing ethnic and religious conflicts that force humans to either create a precarious home in conflict areas or to decide to leave the jeopardised homeland in order to seek shelter in initial reception facilities.
If nothing else history often manifests itself in specific places: for example in the visual and material preservation of the type of the Armenian crossed-dome over centuries as an identity forming structure for a religious denomination across borders. Or in places, where a simple hut or shack has always served as an efficient provisional solution to mass accommodation, respectively enforced internment. From this perspective the artistic work with photography also shows how much cultural persistence is represented by a certain type of building on the one hand and how on the other hand a per se »neutral« architecture can according to its purpose turn into a space of defencelessness, trauma and its processing.
The photographic works in the exhibition will be complemented by drawings of Susan Hefuna that were artistically inspired by the Mashrabiya, i.e. the decorative latticework that is used in traditional Egyptian architecture panelling of windows, doors and balconies. The exhibition in the gallery will be continued in public space by the series of posters »THE FUTURE IS TOO EMPTY TO INHABIT« (2016) by Antje Guenther. It will be on view in the following places: Café Nil (Kurfürstenstrasse 36), Pro Seniore (Genthiner Strasse 26-28), Apotheke (Potsdamer Strasse 101), Potsdamer Strasse 102 and on site fences and billboards in the neighbourhood.
We would like to thank all artists, Galerie Barbara Gross, Munich, and Van der Mieden Gallery, Antwerp, as well as all parties involved in making the poster series possible.