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15 May 2009

fake or feint: Scenario 5

© Daniela Comani, from the series `Eine glückliche Ehe´(A Happy Marriage), 2009

Daniela Comani, Keren Cytter, Heiko Karn


Opening: May 16, 2009, 7 to 9 p. m.

Opening hours:
Thursday + Friday 4 to 7 p.m.,
Saturday 2 to 7 p.m. and on appointment


im Berlin Carré
Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 13
10178 Berlin

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With works by Daniela Comani, Keren Cytter and Heiko Karn, the fifth scenario traces social dimensions of body, language and gaze.

The photos of Daniela Comani's series Eine glückliche Ehe (A Happy Marriage) show a couple in situations of shared everyday life and leisure activities: walking along the beach, toothbrushing, engine trouble, shopping in the supermarket. Only at second sight it becomes manifest that it is the same person (namely the artist herself) who is embodying both characters.

In her visualisation of the 'artificial product 'heterosexual relationship'' (Hanne Loreck), Daniela Comani addresses the sustained effectiveness of the stereotyped idea of the harmonic coexistence of the sexes with predesignated roles. Alongside the technical post-production that assembles two pictures into one, it is especially the performative production of the characters respectively perceived as 'male' or 'female', that is able to operate by the most simple means: Various combinations of garments from the artist's personal wardrobe and a glued-on three day beard account for a (minimal) difference of outward appearance. Gestures, postures and a few props reproduce cliché attributions such as: 'traveling, car, explaining – male domains; listening, communication, the ability to be lead, devotion – women's characteristics' (Hanne Loreck), and thus complete an amazingly effective illusion.

The series, perpetually continued since 2003, can be read as a consistent approach to the mechanism of repetition that confirms and stabilises such notions with each new inscription of stereotypical visual data. In a new picture Daniela Comani refers to her latest work Neuerscheinungen (New Publications).

Keren Cytter's short film Der Spiegel (The Mirror) confronts the viewer with the naked body of a woman aged about 40. In a spoken stream of consciousness she expresses her desire for a younger body and for a man to save her from her loneliness. A chorus made up of three further women comments on and moderates the events. It represents the 'mass' which is as 'proud and frisky' as it is merciless. As two men arrive the situation sharpens dramatically.

The theatrically condensed setting takes place in a single, almost empty room; it is registered in a single shot by a restlessly moving hand camera. Camera and mirror, other's glances and comments are the instances that confront the protagonist with the reality of her ageing body and -time and again - make clear how self- and external perception differ. The individual's relation to its social surrounding is staged in the shape of its perpetual collapse. The film thereby fathoms the expressional potential of verbal, visual and theatrical languages.

Within Heiko Karn's space installation Separate Together the perspective shifts from social interaction through gazes, gestures and language to the furniture that arranges and structures these relations.

Functional furniture such as lecterns, podiums and curtains produce certain speaker positions and viewpoints, thus defining a social and political space of interaction. Vertical blinds for example represent economic activity/administration and the defence against intruding looks and outside threats. A speaker's desk for its part organises the relation of sender and receiver by materialising attributions like authority and listening, overview and being looked at.

In Heiko Karn's installation these functional properties of the furniture appear as placeholders for socio-political scenarios. Yet they stay open and undetermined in relation to a specific use: as single curtain-elements hanging from the ceiling, as a pedestal or podium whose interior is visible and whose lifted surface is laid under a hybrid object composed of both lectern and voting booth.

fake or feint is a seven-month exhibition project taking place at Berlin Carré at Alexanderplatz, Berlin. Five consecutive exhibition scenarios and a film scenario at Kino Arsenal at Potsdamer Platz deal with the politics of the surface and acts of marking as an intervention. Internationally renowned artists show works ranging from photography, video- and space installation to site-specific intervention. A ‚second section' designed by artist Katrin Mayer hosts a process-related archive with selected material. A series of events accompanies the exhibitions with seminars, lectures, performances and artist talks.

Upcoming scenario:

Scenario 6 (June 27th to July 25th, 2009)
e-Xplo, Daniel Knorr, Eske Schlüters / Axel Gaertner and Tom Holert

Series of events:

18 May 2009
Performerstammtisch presents performances in relation to the project's issues.

11 June 2009
Elena Esposito on the Paradoxes of Fashion.

02 July 2009
Annette Maechtel, 'Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 9-11, Videolecture'

Markus Rautzenberg, The Aesthetics of Interruption

09 July 2009
Martin Beck and Johannes Schülein on Difference.


Joerg Franzbecker with Martin Beck (curators), Adrian Bremenkamp (catalogue and archive), Bärbel Hartje (consultant), Katrin Mayer (exhibition design), Flo Gaertner (graphic design), Elena Zanichelli (film program) and Bettina Wenzel (curatorial assistance).

fake or feint is funded by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds. Furthermore the realization of the project is due to the support of cine-plus, BB Bank from funds of the Gewinnsparverein Baden e.V., Pilsener Urquell, Österreichischen Kulturforum Berlin and the Kulturbehörde Hamburg.

Media partner of fake or feint is the tageszeitung (taz).