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15 Dec 2010

Gallery Gitte Bohr first exhibition: Frame Shop

Rahmenshop (Frame Shop)
Gallery Gitte Bohr


Opening: Friday 17.12.2010 7pm
Exhibition: 18.12.2010 - 22.01.2011
Open: Thu. - Sat.: 13.00 - 18.00
Closed: 24.12 - 05.01
At the opening, our clubroom 'Le Speakeasy' is open.


Gallery Gitte Bohr
Schillerpromenade 7
12049 Berlin-Neukölln

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On December 17, Gitte Bohr opens its first exhibition in Schillerpromenade 7 in Neukölln, Berlin.

Under the title 'Rahmenshop' (Frame Shop), the newly opened gallery is disguising itself as a shop selling picture frames, but shows nothing but artworks that deals with aspects of the general frameworks of art production. annette hollywood, Kristofer Paetau, Ingo Gerken and Diego Castro present works about the autonomy of the artist, which is weakened by its compromises to the institution, economy, history, careerism, academism.

The Finnish artist Kristofer Paetau shows a video work with the title 'Critical Encounter' from 2010. In a room in a cheap hotel with hourly rates in Rio de Janeiro, DanDara ViTaL, playing a Brasilian curator, meets an artist, played by Paetau, for a 'studio visit.' In the improvised short fiction film, the foreign artist presents the result of a work and research stay in the Brazilian metropolis. A rotating plate with white porcelain kitsch has to submit to a discourse, which probably could not be more stereotypical and full of clichés. Each sentence seems like a cut-up of idioms from contemporary art magazines, catalogues and press texts. The curator reacts to the place of presentation with disbelief and develops a feeling of unease with the artwork, which she shows in an unconventional gesture of rejection.

DanDara ViTaL is a Brazilian actor and transvestite who neither speaks nor understands English. She repeats the sentences phonetically without knowing what she says, while her opponent in the fiction film - who speaks English - fails in his attempt to explain his work to her. Beyond the absurdity of DanDara's performance, the film points to an abyss between two worlds, which shows the irreconcilabilities between the apparent enlightenment of the nomadic Western art scene and the social reality of the Third World. The choice of location and actress seems to be part of the 'musts' for the critical artist: Postcolonial exoticism, slum tourism, urban theories and sexual marginality. Through its comedy, the video throws a critical glance at the results of a cultural colonialism, in which the 'others' and their life world is instrumentalised, without being just towards the object of observation.

The video by annette hollywood analyses ironically the role of the artist in an bloated art system. It has become a star system and, like other areas of the cultural industry, has separated itself increasingly from the established cannon of art theory and inevitably comes to be subject to the laws of popular culture. While the image industry booms, the old standards of art production come to stand in an inflationary relationship to the automatisms of the art market. In the newest video by annette hollywood: 'Artist's Best Friends' (2010), the constant value is the diamonds. In a kind of bling-bling Marilyn costume, the artist recites in sprechgesang a humorous lament for the contemporary artistic existence on the shadow side of stardom, in the end to praise the purity and stability of the diamond, as a metaphor for the ideal value of art. As the artist sings '... so rank high or rank low, you can't buy my ego,' she evokes the incorruptibility and autonomy of the artist's actvity, a work that comes is equated to the diamond cut: 'A diamond cut, not effective, but reflective, pure, a cure.'

Ingo Gerken shows a series of three drawings from the series 'Riot' from 2003. Covered in a balaclava, a stickman uses the tools of protest culture, in order to express an adversity that is both joking and angry. The slogans on the protest signs are directed at famous artists and put them in their (historical) place. The defiance of the masked one maybe stands as representative of a whole generation of artists, and is symptomatic for a time in which the 'big names' rule the industry of the spectacle. The self-sufficient, self-fertilising fervour of the new collectors, art stars and socialites even leaves the vulgar assiduousness of the educated bourgeoisie far behind. The art-side of art is sidelined and the hurdles for young artists to pass to enter in the scene are sometimes very high. The ominous anger of the 'unknown artist' is directed against a power, which it becomes harder and harder to name: On one of the signs, the addressee remains concealed.

Another work by Gerken is two collages made from pages from the advertising sections of glossy art magazines. With simple means, the artist overrides the principles of some galleries' ultra-expensive prestigious advertising. For this he needs hardly more than the shrewd application of a felt-tip pen. In this way, he brings art back from glamour to ground level.

'The Work of Art in the Age of Reproducibility of the Aura' (2008) by Diego Castro is a series of drawings, which was originally meant to be handbills freely circulating in gallery neighbourhoods, thus realising analogically the idea of free copyright 'creative commons.' The slogans and poster ideas by the fictive artist group 'Immaterialist International' criticise the automatisms of the commercial art world, which devaluates the ideal and immaterial content of art in order to maximise profits. The hand drawings are designed on computer and traced on a light table and then photocopied. They are available to the visitor, who is free to make her own copies of them on the copy machine.

Castro's second work, 'Deutsche + Guggenheim, Swakobmund' (2010) is inspired by the globalised art institutions' maintenance of cultural imperialist and colonialist traditions, as pioneered by e.g. the British Museum, Louvre, or Pergamon Museum. As once the raw materials were exploited by the colonial powers, so the principle of transformation of cultural treasures into commercial potential were imposed upon the cultures of indigenous peoples. With the expansion of the zone of influence of the interpretations of Western institutions, 'ideology machines' are still created today, which, equipped with new discourses, propagate dicta of Western world-views and models of critique globally as brands. The African straw hut as an exhibition hall becomes an ironic interpretation of globalised culture. Placed on a plinth and adorned with the brand names of Deutsche Guggenheim / Deutsche Bank, the hut refers both to the history of the Deutsche Bank in the colonial empire, as well as its recent global engagement of the Guggenheim Foundation. In spite its cultural engagement, especially the Deutsche Bank stands for the financial and cultural exploitation of the Third World, then and now, more than most other banks.

Opening: Friday 17.12.2010, 19.00
At the opening, our clubroom 'Le Speakeasy' is open. Cool jazz & cool drinks !
Exhibition duration: 18.12.2010 - 22.01.2011
Open: Thu-Sat: 13.00-18.00
We are closed during the Christmas holidays: 24.12. - 05.01.