Nordstern Video Art Center Gelsenkirchen

From 2012–2016, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein hosted exhibitions in the Nordstern Video Art Center in the listed Nordstern tower in Gelsenkirchen. At annual intervals and on five levels, changing exhibitions of international video art were held with works from the holdings of the n.b.k. Video-Forum, founded in 1971 and being the oldest and one of the largest video art collections in Germany, comprising more than 1,600 works. In addition to the exhibitions, Silke Wagner’s display system
Ellen (2008) served as a presentation venue for international video practice from its early years up until the present day. A total of 116 works by 115 artists as well as 20 further contributions and documentations were shown. Starting in 2014, the Nordstern Video Art Center and Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, together with Niklas Goldbach, Sanja Iveković and Halil Altındere, produced new video works that as premieres were presented to the public. For several years, the collaboration with the Nordstern Video Art Center in Gelsenkirchen offered the opportunity to develop new perspectives on the collection and to present works in ever new constellations and contexts as well as in a very special spatial structure in which the video art and the historical industrial monument generated a unique synergy effect.

March 19 – December 18, 2016
Exhibition project A Sense of History

Participants: Halil Altındere, Maria Thereza Alves, Yael Bartana, Hartmut Bitomsky, Klaus vom Bruch, Filipa César, Christoph Draeger / Reynold Reynolds, Jimmie Durham, Harun Farocki, Hermine Freed, Dan Graham, Nate Harrison, Helmut Herbst / Friedrich Heubach, Rebecca Horn, Joan Jonas, Angela Melitopoulos, Rabih Mroué, Zoran Naskovski, Marcel Odenbach, Nam June Paik, Eduardo Paolozzi, Hila Peleg, Qiu Zhijie, Oliver Ressler / Dario Azzellini, Mykola Ridnyi, Clemens von Wedemeyer / Maya Schweizer.

With additional contributions and documentations by: Nora M. Alter, Yael Bartana, Christian von Borries, Gerard Byrne, Yilmaz Dziewior, Wulf Herzogenrath, Erika Hoffmann-Koenige, Kathy Rae Huffman, Sanja Iveković, Chip Lord, Antonia Majača, Bartomeu Marí i Ribas, Mark Nash, André Rottmann, Beatrix Ruf, Kerstin Stakemeier, Gregor Stemmrich and Clemens von Wedemeyer.

Curators: Marius Babias, Kathrin Becker

As part of the exhibition A Sense of History, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein presented video installations and film works by 30 artists. The plug-in system Ellen (2008) by Silke Wagner served as a display for 16 monitors with contributions and documents on viewing politics in video art and for the presentation of early works of international video practice with the thematic focus on working with and on history. The exhibition A Sense of History focused its attention on positions within video art that create alternative narratives to established historiography and reflect past and present through the inclusion of historical events and personal experiences. Already in the early days of video art, the use of alien material plays an important role, as in the works of Wolf Vostell and Nam June Paik, who distorted television images with the aid of magnets or technically processed short sequences of images with video synthesizers, in order to show them at rhythmic intervals. The use of found footage and its transfer into new contexts is an indication of the reflexivity of video art and its essentially critical stance towards the truth content of electronic images, as well as towards the hegemonic apparatuses of the mass media. The alternative nature of the medium, its contribution to the autonomization of the producers and the variety of methods of image editing predestine video art also for a critical reflection on ways of depicting historical phenomena and the related claims of truth. In a large number of works in the exhibition A Sense of History, private and public images, photographs, documentary footage, sequences from film classics and family shots are combined to create new narratives in order to make forms of the personal appropriation of history and its related subjectivation comprehensible. The exhibition ranged from Eduardo Paolozzi’s black-and-white film History of Nothing from 1960/1962, the exhibition’s oldest work, to the new production Escape from Hell by Halil Altındere (2016), which was presented for the first time, hence introducing a critical reception of history in video art spanning more than five decades.

March 28 – December 20, 2015
Exhibition project Feminisms

Participants: Marina Abramović, Lynda Benglis, Ursula Biemann, Anetta Mona Chișa, Anna Daučíková, Ayşe Erkmen, VALIE EXPORT, Hermine Freed, Monika Funke Stern, Mathilde ter Heijne, Mwangi Hutter, Sanja Iveković, Shigeko Kubota, Maria Lassnig, Ulrike Ottinger, Friederike Pezold, Lydia Schouten, Ilene Segalove, Hito Steyerl, Marlene Streeruwitz, Pipilotti Rist, Ulrike Rosenbach, Haegue Yang.

Contributions on gender politics by: Lisa Baraitser, Mart Busche, Esma Çakir-Ceylan, Regina Frey, Claudia Gather, Katharina Grosse, Ayşe Güleç, Kübra Gümüsay, Harriet Häußler, Barbara Krijanovsky, Mareen Linnartz, Marian López Fernández-Cao, Philomene Magers, Angela McRobbie, Ann Phoenix, Hanna Rosin, Deborah Ruggieri, Christina Schildmann, Mark Simpson, Bettina Springer, Olav Stuve, Julia Voss.

Curators: Marius Babias, Kathrin Becker

As part of the exhibition Feminisms, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein presented video installations by over 20 artists from the 1970s to the present day – including a new work by Sanja Iveković in its world premiere. Furthermore, a video sculpture by Friederike Pezold, contributions to gender politics and early works of feminist video practice were presented on 17 monitors via the plug-in system Ellen (2008) by Silke Wagner. The invention of the medium of video in the second half of the 1960s signified a radical change and alternative of artistic means of production and a radical autonomization of producers. In contrast to film, video artists no longer depend on the collaboration of a team and the processing of film material. The portable Sony Portapak video camera allowed the recording of image and sound in one hand and the simultaneous control of the recording on the monitor connected to the camera. This, and the medium’s lack of historical references – without any reference to a “biasing cultural history in which the quality criteria for centuries and almost without exception were determined by men” (Ulrike Rosenbach) – made video particularly interesting for women artists in order to deconstruct the male dispositif of perception and formulate a self-determined representation. The title Feminisms – in the Plural – takes into account the decanonization of a white hegemonic feminism and emphasizes that fluid constructs of identity, ethnic and national origin, migrant ways of living, sexual orientation, social status, skin color, age, or religious affiliation are part of feminist perspectives.

March 23 – December 21, 2014
Exhibition project Time Pieces

Participants: John Baldessari, Joseph Beuys, Dara Birnbaum, Hartmut Bitomsky, Arno Brandlhuber / Christopher Roth, Peter Campus, Nina Caspari, Alejandro Cesarco, Anetta Mona Chișa / Lucia Tkáčová, Arnold Dreyblatt, Paul Garrin, John Giorno / Ugo Rondinone, Christoph Girardet / Matthias Müller, Niklas Goldbach, Douglas Gordon, Johan Grimonprez, Laura Horelli, Joan Jonas, Allan Kaprow, Käthe Kruse / Die Tödliche Doris, Zilla Leutenegger, Bjørn Melhus, Nam June Paik / Jud Yalkut, Ulrike Rosenbach, Egill Sæbjörnsson / Marcia Moraes, Karin Sander, Hito Steyerl, Klaus Theweleit, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Charlie White, Ming Wong, Amir Yatziv.

Kurator*innen: Marius Babias, Kathrin Becker

As part of the exhibition Time Pieces at the Nordstern Video Art Center, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein presented video installations by a total of over 30 artists from the 1970s to the present day. Niklas Goldbach’s work The Nature of Things II (2014) was shown for the first time, and in addition Silke Wagner’s plug-in system Ellen (2008) offered the viewers a comprehensive selection of historical and current works from the Video-Forum as well as selected examples from the DVD series “n.b.k. Konzert”. The selection of works concentrated on various aspects of the artistic approach to moving images. In its short history from the 1960s to the present, the medium of video has changed and readapted itself time and again and has produced a multitude of different phenomena and specifics, not least due to the rapid technical development of recording and presentation media and the ever more extensive options for image editing. The exhibition presented examples of the manifold technical manifestations of the medium of video, such as the use of found footage – for example in Karin Sander’s Sigrid 1930 (2013), Hartmut Bitomsky’s The VW Complex (1989) or Christoph Girardet’s and Matthias Müller’s Manual (2002) –, blue-screen compositing and graphic animation, as in Zilla Leutenegger’s Blow Job (2002), as well as early and current key works at the interface of video and performance. Thus the exhibition Time Pieces ranges from works from the 1970s, such as the documentation of Joseph Beuys’ famous action I like America and America likes Me, which took place in 1974 at the New York gallery René Block, and the early n.b.k. co-production Time Pieces by Allan Kaprow from 1973, through to current video performances, such as Hito Steyerl’s Strike and Ming Wong’s Kontakthope (both 2010), as well as documentations of live performances by, among others, Egill Sæbjörnsson and Marcia Moraes or John Giorno and Ugo Rondinone from 2010.

October 6, 2012 – July 28, 2013
Exhibition project Schichtwechsel

Participants: Francis Alÿs, Ant Farm, Heike Baranowsky, Denis Beaubois, Sandra Becker 01, KP Brehmer, Michel de Broin, Pash Buzari, Rui Calçada Bastos, Olga Chernysheva, Călin Dan, Douglas Davis, Shahram Entekhabi, Annika Eriksson, Elise Florenty, Korpys / Löffler, Oleg Kulik, Katarina Löfström, Milovan DeStil Marković, Frédéric Moser / Philippe Schwinger, Heiner Mühlenbrock, Bruce Nauman, Waël Noureddine, Nam June Paik, Daniel Pflumm, Reynold Reynolds / Patrick Jolley, Józef Robakowski, Katya Sander, Larissa Sansour, Corinna Schnitt, Richard Serra / Nancy Holt, Sean Snyder, Hito Steyerl, Maria Vedder, William Wegman, Ina Wudtke, Haegue Yang, Tobias Zielony, Heimo Zobernig.

Kurator*innen: Marius Babias, Kathrin Becker

The exhibition Schichtwechsel marked the beginning of the series of exhibitions at the Nordstern Video Art Center in Gelsenkirchen. Inside the listed Nordstern shaft tower, Schacht 2, for the first time video works were presented on five levels in a special spatial structure, in which the video art and the historical industrial monument generated a unique synergy effect. The historical winding machinery provided an unusual setting for the spacious video projections and monitor presentations. The title Schichtwechsel (shift change) refers on the one hand to the original running of the Nordstern colliery, and on the other it stands for the change from industrial use to a place of culture. For the exhibition Schichtwechsel, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein cooperated with the private collection Goetz in Munich; the Nordstern Video Art Center was used jointly. As part of the exhibition, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein presented the video installation In Free Fall (2010) by Hito Steyerl on level 10, while on level 9 Silke Wagner’s plug-in system Ellen (2008) served as a display for 17 monitors offering the opportunity to view historical and current holdings from the collection of Video-Forum. The central theme of the selection of works was the examination of the phenomenon of space in video art and its reference to media, social, political and psychological spaces. On show were not only key works by important video artists from the 1960s and early 1970s, such as Bruce Nauman’s Bouncing in the Corner No. 1 (1968), Nam June Paik’s Grand Central (1974), KP Brehmer’s Walkings No. 1-6 (1969-1970) and Richard Serra’s and Nancy Holt’s Boomerang (1974), but also positions by younger, internationally successful video artists such as, among others Hito Steyerl, Tobias Zielony, Reynold Reynolds, Corinna Schnitt and Haegue Yang.

All images: © Neuer Berliner Kunstverein / Jens Ziehe