These Are the Only Times You Have Known
March 7 – May 3, 2020
Due to the current situation regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), n.b.k. will remain closed until April 19, 2020.
On this site we present an extensive photo documentation of the works shown in the exhibition as well as video works in full length (please scroll down).
Here you can find the online presentation of the current exhibition in the
n.b.k. Showroom: Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz. The Right to Have Rights
Artists in the exhibition These Are the Only Times You Have Known:
Frauke Boggasch, Ursula Döbereiner, Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff, Leon Kahane, Şener Özmen, Doireann O’Malley, Sabine Reinfeld, Maya Schweizer, Lerato Shadi, Rui Vilela, Philip Wiegard
Curators: Arkadij Koscheew, Michaela Richter
The exhibition These Are the Only Times You Have Known presents the work of 11 international artists who were awarded the Berlin Senate’s Visual Arts Grant in 2019. The range of artistic positions they represent reflects the diversity of artistic forms of expression in Berlin and includes the examination of different layers of time, hidden narratives, and issues of belonging and performativity. The search for meaning in the present is an element shared by all of the artistic works presented in These Are the Only Times You Have Known, whose spectrum ranges from paintings, photographs, prints, and video installations to virtual reality techniques.
Exhibition view These Are the Only Times You Have Known, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2020, works by Lerato Shadi, Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff, Philip Wiegard, Şener Özmen © Photo: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein / Jens Ziehe
The title of the exhibition is borrowed from the hit album Let Them Eat Chaos by British singer and lyricist Kate Tempest. In the opening song Picture A Vacuum, the protagonist travels from the abstract, timeless blackness of the universe to planet Earth, as if plunging into the present. Her line “These are the only times you have known” underscores the contemporaneity of the positions assembled in the exhibition, while at the same time pointing to the individual artistic achievements, each of which formulates questions about the present, past, and future in its own way.
Exhibition view These Are the Only Times You Have Known, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2020, works by Şener Özmen, Ursula Döbereiner, Frauke Boggasch © Photo: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein / Jens Ziehe
Exhibition views These Are the Only Times You Have Known, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2020, works by Frauke Boggasch © Photos: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein / Jens Ziehe
HI NO YOU JIN – ghost edition, 2020
Spatial installation, soundtrack in cooperation with Mieko Suzuki
o.T. (umibozu), 2019, painting, oil on canvas, 200 x 150 cm
o.T. (fuYu), 2015/2020, painting, oil on linnen, 200 x 160 cm
love, hate und Eismann, 2015/2020, painting, oil on linnen, 150 x 130 cm
o.T. (onh), 2019, painting, oil on canvas, 200 x 140 cm
o.T. (ynh), 2020, painting, oil on canvas, 200 x 150 cm
o.T. (Sekien), 2020, painting, oil on canvas, 200 x 140 cm
Frauke Boggasch creates large-format abstract oil paintings, which can take up to half a year to complete. Based on spontaneous drawings, her works are created layer by layer – a process during which Boggasch continually moves back and forth between gesture and reflection. Her motifs are not fixed from the outset, but emerge only in the course of time. Based on an intensive study of literary works, the imagination and reality of the life of an artist, and contemporary events, Boggasch develops subjects that tread the line between imagination and reality. For the exhibition, she created a large spatial installation that unites her paintings in a specially manufactured space. The works start from old pictures that Boggasch then overpaints like a palimpsest to produce new paintings in which earlier forms are preserved as shadowy fragments. The works combine abstract and figurative elements, and are influenced by Japanese culture as well as a critique of the art system. They are accompanied by a soundtrack, which combines field recordings and feedback into haunting sounds.
Exhibition views These Are the Only Times You Have Known, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2020, works by Ursula Döbereiner © Photos: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein / Jens Ziehe
Scan/Signalstörung 200201 – 200218, 2020, 16 digital prints on paper, each 118,9 x 84,1 cm
In her drawings and prints, Ursula Döbereiner deals with the automation of the design process. They entail references to the urban locations she frequents and to the spatial conditions she finds at the respective exhibition site. In doing so, she makes use not only of different printing processes and material resistances, but also of the possibilities of specifically allowing and provoking “errors.” Her method of working in series underscores the technical matrix in which the individual works are produced. Her site-specific wall work Scan/Signal Interference 200201 – 200218 is based on the combination of scanner and printer on the one hand, and on the other hand on the software for displaying image files on the computer. The prints, which show different patterns of disturbance and blurring caused by manipulating the page scanned on the scanner plate, are hung in the exhibition in an arrangement that resembles the random opening of several documents in windows on the computer screen.
Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff
Exhibition view These Are the Only Times You Have Known, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2020, works by Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff © Photo: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein / Jens Ziehe
Study for Paradise at TV (Kitchen I, Group I, Group II, Preston, Kitchen II), 2019, Silver gelatin prints, each 30 x 36 cm
Spree (Michaelbrücke I, Wilhelmine-Gemberg-Weg, Michaelbrücke II), 2019, Silver gelatin prints, each 38 x 38 cm
Study for Paradise at TV (Preston), 2019 © Henkel / Pitegoff
Spree (Wilhelmine-Gemberg-Weg), 2019 © Henkel / Pitegoff
In their work, Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff consider social relationships, the formation of communities, and the spaces in which these processes take place. They often work collaboratively and their plays and performance series have been staged at independent theaters such as the New Theater, which they ran jointly from 2013 to 2015, and the Grüner Salon of the Volksbühne (2017–2018), both in Berlin. Study for Paradise at TV is a play written for the camera in which a fictional group of restaurant staff is confronted with the fact that their manager never returns from vacation. The employees – mainly performance artists and actors who consider the restaurant their side job – decide to take over the restaurant, restructuring it with the logic and hierarchies of a theater. The script and photographs serve as a study for a long-term television project that Henkel and Pitegoff are currently shooting in the bar they run, named “TV”. With their series Spree (all 2019), Henkel and Pitegoff create images of the Spree River bank between the Mitte and Kreuzberg districts in Berlin – on the site of the former Bar 25 – addressing the exploitation of the city’s nightlife scene by investors, which is causing property prices in the area to skyrocket.
Exhibition views These Are the Only Times You Have Known, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2020, works by Leon Kahane © Photos: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein / Jens Ziehe
D.K.01, D.K.02, 2020, c-prints, laser prints, object frames, each 120 x 80 cm
Leon Kahane examines identity formation, suppressed narratives, and the role of commemorative culture in modern societies. In doing so, he pays particular attention to traditional stereotypes and breaks them down, usually by referring back to historical documents and artefacts. In the works D.K.01 and D.K.02, Leon Kahane deals with the life and exhibition history of his grandmother, the artist Doris Kahane. After escaping from the French internment and transit camp Drancy near Paris, from which mainly French Jews were deported to German concentration camps, starting in 1945 Doris Kahane lived in East Berlin, where she studied at Weissensee Art Academy from 1951 to 1955. Leon Kahane takes his family biography and his grandmother’s exhibition activities as an opportunity to examine the personal and professional constraints of an artist living and working in East Germany. In doing so, he also asks about approaches to freedom of expression. Superimposed acrylic glass panes in Kahane’s work serve to hold documents such as archival records and ephemera; they are presented on a wall of the exhibition space, which is oriented towards the Dorotheenstadt Cemetery, where Kahane’s grandmother has her final resting place.
Exhibition view These Are the Only Times You Have Known, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2020, video installation by Şener Özmen © Photo: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein / Jens Ziehe
Energize!, 2019, 3-channel HD video installation, color , sound, 3:54 min
Energize!, 2019, 1-channel version of the eponymous installation © Şener Özmen
Şener Özmen takes a look at power structures and local infrastructures through videos, photographs, and artist books, as well as in his work as a curator and author. He questions the apparent inevitability of authoritarian formations, social disparities, and existing taboos by means of subtly and poetically conceived works that draw the viewer’s attention to social problems and their possible transformation by artistic means. His own role as an artist or the implicit awareness of his own position and responsibility as an artist is a central motif in Özmen’s works. The video work Energize! was created after Özmen moved from Diyarbakır via New Jersey to Berlin. It alludes to teleportation scenes as known from the television series Star Trek, which are introduced with the call “Energize!” Dressed similarly to the protagonists of the science fiction series, Özmen can be seen walking along the city walls of Diyarbakır and through Berlin. Near Alexanderplatz as well as at the Marx-Engels-Forum at Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse, he tries to get “beamed away” – his increasingly desperate calls to “Energize!” alluding to lost hopes and dreams, forced migration, issues of adaptation, and the impossibility of return.
Exhibition view These Are the Only Times You Have Known, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2020, VR installation by Doireann O’Malley © Photo: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein / Jens Ziehe
New Maps of Hyperspace_Test01, 2020, virtual reality installation, color, sound, 8 min
New Maps of Hyperspace_Test01, 2020, video simulation of moving through the virtual reality installation © Doireann O’Malley
In their video works, Doireann O’Malley create worlds that are free of binary gender stereotypes and fixed role models, drawing on psychoanalytic techniques such as dream analysis. They interweave these with borrowings from queer theory, quantum physics, and trans- and posthumanist considerations such as those by Karen Barad. In New Maps of Hyperspace_Test01, viewers follow a floating sphere through a fictional universe in which humanity has vanished from Earth and machines are conducting experiments in a laboratory to re-establish human life on Earth. The concepts of mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing (1912–1954) and of biologist Terence McKenna (1946–2000) with his research on consciousness, play a central role. The work includes a spoken text that quotes excerpts from McKenna’s lecture “New Maps of Hyperspace” (1984). McKenna takes the notion of hyperspace, which is a concept in science fiction used to bypass the limitations of real physics, and applies it to the human body and consciousness. These are seen as a small part of a larger continuum that implies unknown possibilities for action.
Exhibition views These Are the Only Times You Have Known, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2020, spatial installation by Sabine Reinfeld © Photo: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein / Jens Ziehe
Cars Land, 2020, 3-channel HD video installation, color , sound, plexi, rotator, music: Hanno Leichtmann
Sabine Reinfeld’s works aim to open up new views of spaces and places – their physical parameters as well as social contexts – and thus to produce narratives that deviate from conventional perspectives. Reinfeld mainly works performatively but also with the media video and photography; the focus is always on her body, which she repeatedly pushes to extremes as a means of expression. The multimedia installation Cars Land takes as its starting point the car city of Los Angeles, in the wooded hills of the celebrity neighborhood Bel Air. A dilapidated Volvo from the 1970s – a decade in which questions about the limits of economic growth were first raised – becomes the crux of Reinfeld’s preoccupation with ideas about personal freedom, a fascination with technology, and isolation. Her filmic staging is inspired by the book Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies by the architecture critic Reyner Banham (1922–1988), and shows Los Angeles as a “text that can only be read through the rearview mirror.” Reinfeld’s panoramic view focuses on an individual history of immigration as well as on media realities and an capitalistic social order.
Exhibition views These Are the Only Times You Have Known, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2020, works by Maya Schweizer © Photos: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein / Jens Ziehe
Insolite, 2019, HD video, color , sound, 12:16 min
L’étoile de mer, 2019, HD video, color , sound, 11 min
Insolite, 2019 © Maya Schweizer
L’étoile de mer, 2019 © Maya Schweizer
With her video essays and films, Maya Schweizer traces everyday phenomena, which appear as strange and unusual under the gaze of her camera, while otherwise often going unnoticed. Schweizer’s work is based on intensive, long-term observations, which she processes into complex narratives that incorporate found footage. In the exhibition at n.b.k., two works by Maya Schweizer are shown back to back. Visitors are welcomed by the work Insolite (French for “unusual”), which combines contemporary images of Vesuvius – including scenes from seismological stations and infrared images of the crater – with historical images of the eruption of Vesuvius in 1944. The potential of the eruption of the only active volcano on the European mainland, which once buried Pompeii, becomes a manifest threat in Insolite. In L’étoile de mer (The Starfish), Schweizer metaphorically and factually dives below the surface of the sea to explore images and spaces of forgetting with underwater shots and associatively collaged excerpts from films and television footage, some of which has been visually distorted or otherwise manipulated by the artist. In doing so, Schweizer draws on iconic works from film history, creating a dense system of references that seeks to capture moments of disappearance on film.
Exhibition views These Are the Only Times You Have Known, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2020, wall installation by Lerato Shadi © Photo: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein / Jens Ziehe
Batho ba me, 2020, wall installation, neon lighting, paint, 500 x 400 cm
In her installations, performances, and video works, Lerato Shadi points out processes of suppression, exclusion, and erasure. The spaces of remembrance and visibility she creates invite reflection on the position of the artist and on the subjects she deals with, as well as a critical examination of the role of the viewer. Her work engages in questions concerning the possibilities of one’s own actions and the constitution of future communities. Her work Batho ba me, created for the exhibition, quotes the opening phrase “We the people” found in the constitutions of numerous states and expands it to pose the question “Are we the people?” Like all the titles of her works, which are in Shadi’s native language Setswana, Batho ba me (“My people”) points to a lived context that not everyone can access, thus questioning how the notion of a “we” is formed. The “own” people who are addressed in political speeches often indicate a certain group of voters. The structural exclusion that underpins assumed and legal groups like these has to be continuously questioned.
Exhibition view These Are the Only Times You Have Known, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2020, video work by Rui Vilela © Photo: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein / Jens Ziehe
Anticolonial Quotations, 2020, HD video, color , sound, 55:40 min © Rui Vilela
Rui Vilela is concerned with written and spoken language and the stories that are transported through it. Starting from a sociopolitical context, he investigates the interrelation of language and narratives in collaborative projects. Anticolonial Quotations interweaves accounts by female resistance fighters about the Liberation Movement in Guinea-Bissau against Portuguese colonial rule with performative quotations of a radio broadcast by the information services of the political party PAIGC in Creole from 1972. This is now in the archives of the National Radio Broadcasting Corporation of Guinea-Bissau. The work investigates how the anticolonial memories, which are part of a globalized community, can be repeatedly evoked and upheld. Conveyed through sound, music, song, and spoken word, they contribute acoustically to a public decolonization process.
Exhibition views These Are the Only Times You Have Known, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2020, works by Philip Wiegard © Photos: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein / Jens Ziehe
Task, 2019, polymer clay mosaic (mounted on acrylic glass), 41,3 x 32 x 0,3 cm
We had fun, 2020, polymer clay mosaic (framed), 108,2 x 61,7 x 0,4 cm
What about you, 2020, polymer clay mosaic (framed), 121 x 68,5 x 0,4 cm
Let me be, 2019, polymer clay mosaic (artist frame), 41,5 x 32,5 x 0,3 cm
Philip Wiegard’s artistic practice has a focus on craftsmanship and creative skills as well as on the underlying production conditions and values from the pre-industrial age to the present. In early 2019, Wiegard started working with polymer clay, a heat curing modelling clay also known under the brand name FIMO. The hobby material is used worldwide and is often processed into “canes,” elongated bodies with an extruded motif that is scaled by stretching or compressing. This simple reproduction technique was already in use in ancient times in glass processing for the production of so-called mosaic glass or millefiori. Today, unfired polymer clay canes, which can be further processed in various ways, are traded on digital marketplaces by hobby artists and artisans. Wiegard assembles the entire surface of his large-format mosaics from thin slices of such canes, combining his own designs with those of others. The flat sculptures reflect the specific possibilities of the material as well as new developments in the creative industry and forms of collaboration.
Public Program – all events until April 19 are cancelled until further notice
Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 7 pm
On View: New acquisitions 2019 for the collection of the n.b.k Video-Forum
Screening with video works by John Bock, Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz, Candice Breitz,
Eduard Constantin, Antje Ehmann und Eva Stotz, Tomas Schmit, Hito Steyerl, Clarissa Thieme
Thursday, March 26 / April 16 / April 30, 2020, 7 pm
Love the idea of being live! #1–3
Performative activation of the installation Cars Land (2020) by Sabine Reinfeld (artist, Berlin)
Thursday, April 2, 2020, 7 pm
Recipes for Survival. A Village in the Backlands of Southern Brazil
Panel discussion with Maria Thereza Alves (artist, Berlin and São Paulo), Wilma Lukatsch (art historian and author, member of the DFG Research Training Group „Knowledge in the Arts“, Berlin University of the Arts) and Teodora Kotseva (cultural manager, curator and author, Berlin)
Sunday, May 3, 2020, 7 pm
Performance and book presentation with Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz (artists, Berlin) and Werner Hirsch (performer, Berlin), concert by Aérea Negrot (musician and performer, Berlin)
Free admission to all events
As part of the n.b.k. book series “Berlin”, a bilingual publication (DE/EN) is published by Walther König, Cologne, including an introduction by Klaus Lederer and Marius Babias as well as texts by Arkadij Koscheew, Michaela Richter, and Marlene Streeruwitz.