The exhibition How To Make Lemons comes in a nostalgic outfit, paying tribute to the widely
known hypertext markup language (HTML) developed in the late 1980s in the context of CERN and recalling the first
self-written websites by private users and their characteristic appearance. HTML is the core of markup languages on the internet,
it has been developed further ever since, providing the base for combinations
simple presentation of text and images evoke a feeling of almost archaic quality.
The eleven artistic positions featured in this pavilion similarly engage with the handmade, the old-fashioned physical experience, and are dealing
with language or (cultural) codes in multi-layered, often humoristic ways.
Grinding, metallic sound accompanies the lazily rolling orange ball (we don't really know what it is), which seems to be moving from the lower right edge of the screen to the upper left in Katja Aufleger's (*1983) video. Upon basic physical knowledge the viewer feels obligated to see through the artist's trick of overcoming gravity. Even the tactile sensation we get from the image/sound combination might be faux?
The World Ends with You by Maxime Caalyiah Cupumba (*1988) seems like a hazily painted tableau, a mise-en-scène group portrait on the river side. However the series consists of prints of photos taken with one of the first widely commercially available digital cameras, HP FCLSD-0411 from 2005. The artist took it on her travels and the effectful image we see is not edited or photoshopped, but only the result of the highest possible zoom level, capturing the distant scenery of illegal golddidding in Laos.
Anne Neukamp's (*1976) works are based on digital models and a black-and-white graphics which subtly get merged on the canvas. The sharp-edged envelope in Circular can be seen as a nostalgic symbol that has become the icon of communicating a written message, while the paper container is disappearing more and more from everyday use. Despite its original flat form, the arrangement of lines has here been turned into a threedimensional object in a grey, almost metallic optic and then retransferred onto the canvas, which shows off its rough texture.
Modern choreography, experimental dance and performance art of the past decades have shown that there is a fascination for strong movement sequences of the body – and it can also be found in the popular »drunk people dancing« compilations on Youtube. Like a boss by Hanny Oldendorf (*1984) is an audiovisual exploration of dance as an aesthetic element on video platforms. It combines found footage of people moving with license-free Trap instrumentals. Trap music, a hip hop subgenre characterized by monotone bass sounds and fast hi hats, is easily compoundable with any sort of rhythmical movement due to its simple structure, becoming the universal soundtrack of this series.
Jil Lahr (*1991) works as a bartender and started to document ashtrays initially out of boredom. She arranges pictogrammed cigarette butts on a bright yellow canvas, referring post-it notes the artist originally sketched them on. The abstracted, repeating symbols form a portrait of a specific period of time at a bar counter.
In his Silicon Valley Talks, Christian Jankowski (*1968) opens the stage for professionals from that very area, who he invited to refer about an everyday subject or a hobby in their specific tech and start-up jargon. Language is here once more identified as a variable code, used, however, to intentionally create mis-understandings. The subtitles show the spoken words translated into everyday language. The creative artificiality of an industry represented in the form of its own language is allegorized in the staged presentation setting.
Philipp Sladkowski (*1983) likes the easy way out – capable of painting photo-realistically, he prefers not to. A Tyrannosaurus Rex stands isolated on an unprimed canvas, ironed on the fabric with a printed transfer film. Looking closer one can see that it was cropped roughly with Photoshop, still showing light blue background at the edges. According to Smithsonian institute, dinosaurs are the second most successful exhibition topic ever.
Pareidolia is the human mind's desire of perceiving familiar forms such as a human or animal face where none exists. Paul Sochacki's (*1983) series Le monde est un portrait uses this pheonomenon to depict moon faces – we recognize button eyes and red lips, sometimes even a phallic rocket speeding towards the moon. The moons also recall the round faces of Rage Comics, which for a long time were an integral part of meme culture on platforms like Reddit or 4chan, mostly used to troll other people. Featuring erotic references and sperm-like lunar oceans Paul Sochacki is trolling the moon and the viewer who really liked this colorful painting.
The video A woman's work by artist duo Latex Cheese (Maxim Frank & Lea Steffens, *1990 & 1985) features a cover version of the eponymous song by Kate Bush with a collage of video commercials from the 1980s and 90s. Female stereotypes are manifested in the images addressed to the woman as the responsible for health and caring issues of the family. Characteristic footage like close-ups and carefully drawn animations of tech devices are enhanced by showing them in slow motion or slightly blurred. In a strange way, the aggressive distribution of gender roles become a nostalgic element through the soft image of easy consumerism, so that aesthetic almost overcomes critical.
Christine Sun Kim (*1980) draws The Sound of Waiting for Customer Service in an Art Supplies Shop using the musical notation system. Keeping charcoal stains and traces of its making the drawing becomes a personal, mindfully humoristic script of a situation. A playful dramaturgy by an artist who, born deaf, shows the variability of experiences and the use of language going beyond the expected.
Names crawl over the screen unpretentiously in Lukasz Furs' (*1983) video work Credits. Starting to read the names of this movie you didn't even watch, one discovers the Kalauer'esque jokes hidden in some of the names, homophonic puns transforming the whole video into an audiovisual guessing game. The names are sourced from different websites generating random names endlessly – the mix of joke and non-joke names creates this strange momentum when the viewer realizes to watch credits for credits' sake.
An online pavilion curated by Annika Goretzki, co-founder of Petrus Entertainment, in the context of The Wrong New Digital Art Biennale