200409: NGBK Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Kunstraum Kreuzberg: Islands + Ghettos. On the territorial segregation of cities in the 21st century

NGBK Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Kunstraum Kreuzberg: Islands + Ghettos. On the territorial segregation of cities in the 21st century Think outside the box A few days ago it was announced that Heidelberg would receive the ADKV Art Cologne Prize for art associations ; the award winning works are currently displayed in Berlin. The project of the Heidelberg Kunstverein “Islands + Ghettos” has been taken on by numerous institutions. The awkward title might be deterring, but it holds more than it promises: not a hermetically super-intellectualized theoretical depiction, but individual artistic positions, which complement each other. They deal with the phenomenon of an increasing spatial polarisation - observed in many cities, and with their geopolitical and socio economical coherences. Numerous cartographic illustrations, architectural models or photographic city views are displayed. Brothels, call-centers or autopsy centers are marked on a map by the van Lieshout studio in their work “Slave City – Urban Plan” (2005). In “Crossing Gates” (2008) Michael Zinangel & Michael Hieslmair combine soundtracks, on which you hear the daily transgressions within an urban as well as a socio-cultural framework, with fragments of models of different cities. The photographs of Luis Molina-Pantin stage the - at times - grotesque excesses of architecture in Cali and Bogotá. In her series “Body Techniques” Carey Young approaches the contrasting city setting of Dubai with her own body. The constantly expanding cities Dubai and Caracas are the central theme of the exhibition, which – in view of the current financial crisis – offers an enlightening if not exemplifying comment. Stuart Elster’s “Colossus” (2007) depicta money, and thereby illustrates its symbolic value as well as the implied exclusion mechanisms. Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber’s video work “Living Megastructures” (2003 – 2004) is devoted to the mass apartment blocks in the Barrios of Caracas. Dorit Margreiter and Annette Baldauf’s “The She Zone” show a shopping mall in Abu Dhabi, which is exclusively accessible to women, and Harun Farocki’s analysis of “non-locations” (“The creator of shopping worlds”, 2001) seems absurd and odd, maybe because he focuses on Austrian and German conditions. Javier Téllez’s “One flew over the Void (Balla Perdida)” (2005) abrogates solid structures with a special kind humour: a procession of mentally ill at the Mexican-American border are confronted with a human canon – an American citizen – flying over the border fencing. Peter Coffin goes one step further: in “Micronations” (2009) he assembles objects such as stamps or national flags, which avow a fictional “other place”, just like John Lennon and Yoko Ono longed for in their “Mind Games” album (1973): “NUTOPIA has no land, no boundaries, no passports, only people”. The German conditions might not have taken this path yet, but this exhibition, taking place in the 20th year commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, offers a gratifyingly different perspective - not stinted by self-referral. By Naoko Kaltschmidt NGBK Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst 10997 Berlin, until 26. 04. 09 www.ngbk.de Kunstraum Kreuzberg 10997 Berlin, Mariannenplatz 2, until 26.04.09 www.kunstraumkreuzberg.de next venue: Stadtmuseum Graz 8010 Graz, Sackstrasse 18, from 08.05.09 until 05.10.09 (opening 07.05.09) www.stadtmuseumgraz.at
Mehr Texte von translated and summarized by: Liz Wollner-Grandville


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nGbK neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (alte Location)
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