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atb #82 | Stadt und Knete. Positionen der 1990er Jahre

Press release download

November 20, 2020 – March 7, 2021

artists: A-Clip, Gruppe Gummi K / MicroStudio Surplus (Alice Creischer, Martin Ebner, Christoph Keller, Ariane Müller, Andreas Siekmann, Nicolas Siepen, Josef Strau, Klaus Weber, Amelie von Wulffen), Jaaaa & Protzband Nicolas Siepen, Siegfried Koepf & Martin Ebner & Gunter Reski, Josef Kramhöller, NEID, Annette Wehrmann, Ina Wudtke, Amelie von Wulffen and others.

On Thursday February 18, 7 p.m. KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin and after the butcher invite you to an Onlinetalk about the exhibition. Speakers are: Annette Maechtel, Thomas Kilpper, Ina Wudtke and Kathrin Bentele. Zoomlink onlinetalk

Exhibition: November 20, 2020 – March 7, 2021. Due to the current lockdown and until further notice, the exhibition can only be visited online: videowalk through the exhibition.

Production of an A-Clip, 1997, Photo: Katja Eydel

after the butcher presents the group exhibition Stadt und Knete. Positionen der 1990er Jahre, running in parallel with the solo exhibition by Amelie von Wulffen at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin. A collaboration between KW and after the butcher, the show revolves around four collaboratively produced animation films: Infobox (1996), Wie eins zum anderen kam (1996), and Die Krumme Pranke and Egoland (both 1997). The work Infobox by the Berlin artists’ group Jaaaa & Protzband Nicolas Siepen, Siegfried Koepf & Martin Ebner & Gunter Reski, MicroStudio Surplus reads as a commentary of its time on the structural development of Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. The work also refers to the so-called “Infobox” pavillion, which was installed from 1995 to 2001 at Leipziger Platz.

In 1996, the group Gummi K / MicroStudio Surplus produced the video work Wie eins zum anderen kam, which vitriolicly and ironically criticizes the major exhibition Nach Weimar at the Neues Museum Weimar, organized by Klaus Biesenbach and Nicolaus Schafhausen. The work addresses the structural relationships between the Neues Museum and the Gauforum, with the latter being built in the National Socialist era, as well as the resulting legitimization of fascist architecture as an exhibition space for contemporary art.

Die krumme Pranke, a video work by Alice Creischer, Andreas Siekmann, Josef Strau and Amelie von Wulffen performs in the lineage of the classic Derrick crime-series. Situated in Berlin, the visual vocabulary of this metropolitan thriller moves between documentary shots and fictional animation. Domestic politics and the development areas of the 1990s act as central motifs of this filmic montage, in which the artists shift from art practice to political activism and reverse.

Egoland from 1997, is a 55-second cinema spot from the A-Clip series. Collectively produced, the political messages of the A-Clips were first inserted by various cinema projectionists in Berlin in the commercial breaks before the main film.

Taking place in 1997 and 1998 in different cities in Germany and in Switzerland the “Innenstadtaktionen” were activities organized with significant participation by political activists from the art context. Katja Eydel, who was also participating, documented some of the Berlin actions at the time. For the exhibition, Ina Wudtke has put together the video Innenstadtaktionen (2020), consisting of Eydel’s photographs and new fragments of interviews with artists formerly involved in the activities. Kollektive Erinnerungen (collective memories) thus gives insight into the political context of the time in Berlin and is a significant testimony of the art production connected to it.

Hamburg based artist Annette Wehrmann (1961–2010) worked on a long-term project that explored urban space, titled Ort des Gegen. It followed the idea that the quality of a city depends on the number of undeveloped, freely available areas. She concluded that, under neoliberal conditions, the “Ort des Gegen” is able “to take the form of a thorough refusal of exploitation”. It becomes the “flipside” of utopia, “a place, where waste sediments and is not being disposed” (from Annette Wehrmann’s text Ort des Gegen, 2002). The exhibition includes five gouaches from the series as well as the foam sculpture Nein.

As one of the first to publish Annette Wehrmann’s Luftschlangentexte, the artist magazine NEID (1992–2004) also documented fragments of the “Innenstadtaktionen” in Berlin. The exhibition features issues of NEID #4 and NEID #7.

Further, Stadt und Knete presents a series of photographs depicting fingerprints on window fronts of luxury boutiques from 1995 by Josef Kramhöller (1968–2000).

Alongside Amelie von Wulffen’s collaboratively produced video works, the exhibition presents three photo collages depicting buildings in East Berlin reflecting her enthusiasm for the Soviet modernism and the remaining parts of a shop window installation from 1996. The plywood figures depict both found and invented logos of manual craft’s companies.

Photo- and video documentation: Ines Lechleitner

About the artists:

A-Clip, are political short films collectively produced by artists and activists for the cinema, in 1997 and 2000.

Jaaaa (Josef Strau, Amelie von Wulfen, Ariane Müller, Alice Creischer, Andreas Siekmann) was founded in 1996 in Berlin to collaboratively produce animation videos.

Gruppe Gummi K (Alice Creischer, Martin Ebner, Christoph Keller, Ariane Müller, Andreas Siekmann, Nicolas Siepen, Josef Strau, Klaus Weber, Amelie von Wulffen) emerged from the group Jaaaa in 1997 and continued working on video animations.

Josef Kramhöller (1968–2000) was an artist and author. He studied painting at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich and at the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London. His practice spanned performance, photography, painting, drawing, and text.

MicroStudio Surplus was the name for a temporary studio in Burgstrasse, Berlin. It does not denote a fixed constellation of participants.

NEID was a queer-feminist magazine founded in 1992 by Hans-Christian Dany, Claudia Reinhardt, Heiko Wichmann, and Ina Wudtke at the Hamburg Academy of Fine Arts. It was published by Ina Wudtke from 1995–2004.

Annette Wehrmann (1962–2010) was an artist and author. She studied Fine Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg and at Städelschule in Frankfurt. Her work revolved around topics of urban space and forms of self-organisation.

Ina Wudtke, born 1968, is a conceptual artist living and working in Berlin. Her artist’s book The Fine Art of Living, which addresses issues of gentrification, was published in 2018 by Archive Books, Berlin.

Amelie von Wulffen, born 1966, lives and works in Berlin, studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. Her practice entails painting, collage, drawing, and installation. She was represented at the 50th Venice Biennale and Manifesta 5.

Funded by:

after the butcher would like to thank the Kienzle Art Foundation for the kind loan of Josef Kramhöller’s photographic works.

atb #81 | Invisibility Chronicles, Part One / Dubai Gold, Coir Kerala

Michael Baers & Sophie -Therese Trenka-Dalton

Exhibition: October 9 to November 8, 2020

Open upon appointment: or 01783298106. Please wear a mask in the exhibition space.
On October 11, 2020 at 4 p.m. we invite to an artist talk. The event will take place in the courtyard,
registration required at: after-the-butcher

Invisibility Chronicles, Part One

Why do some conflicts, situations, or events become well-known in Western civil society while others remain obscure? How does the mass media organize our understanding of the contemporary world? What social and cultural consequences occur when stories of international relevance fall out of the media’s hegemonic narratization of the world? What advantage accrues to powerful nation-states by heightening the visibility of some stories while relegating others to this zone of invisibility? What enters into media discourse and how it is framed is subject to a complex set of mechanisms, dictated in part by the geopolitical interests of powerful nations. Growing out of prior research on the unresolved conflict in Western Sahara, Invisibility Chronicles, Part One examines these mechanisms, focusing on a current situation where the international mass media news cycles has rendered a story with profound ecological implications invisible: the ongoing saga of the FSO Safer. Owned by the Yemeni state’s state oil company and occupied by the Houthi rebels since 2015, this floating storage and offloading vessel presently sits stranded off Yemen’s coast, its cargo of 1.1 million barrels of oil in imminent danger either of leaking or exploding—threatening the Red Sea with an environmental catastrophe that would affect the people and environment of the region for generations. Michael Baers’ examination of the FSO Safer story takes the form of a graphic essay detailing how the mass media’s treatment of the story has reinforced a prevailing view of the conflict, before whisking it away to that place where formerly urgent news stories go when they cease being “news.” In doing so, he forces the viewer to occupy, in the words of Avery Gordon, “that sad and sunken couch that sags in just that place where an unrememberable past and unimaginable future force us to sit day after day.” This work has been produced in a limited edition, available for free to the viewing public.

Dubai Gold, Coir Kerala

With the installation Dubai Gold, Coir Kerala, Sophie-Therese Trenka-Dalton presents three current video works created between 2017 and 2019 in the South Indian state of Kerala.

The two videos, Dubai Ports World Kochi (2018) and Dubai Gold and Diamonds (2018), focus on the connection between Kerala and the United Arab Emirates, a continuation of her long-term project Dubayyland (2009–2015). Through her trips to the UAE, the artist learned about the special relationship between the two regions. Since the 1970s, the Emirates and other Gulf States have been a main destination for labor migration from Kerala. Decades of exchange now shape both the personal biographies and economic structure of Kerala. The videos show places that refer to this connection, such as the container port of Kochi, operated by the Emirati company Dubai Ports World, or the numerous stores and advertising posters named after cities in the Emirates, which also often employ iconic motifs such as the Burj Khalifa.

The video work Coir Kerala (2019) documents how coconut fiber (Coir) is processed in small village workshops. Coir mats are an important regional product of tropical Kerala and are used both for domestic use and as geotextiles for land consolidation. The small enterprises are organized as cooperatives. Most employees are women, who earn a little money in addition to household supplies. However, due to the low wages, the coir trade lacks a new generation of workers. In recent decades, unionization has led to improvements in working conditions, but at the same time the coir sector has not been sufficiently modernized, as this would mean the loss of local jobs, with dire consequences for the economic balance of village life structures in Kerala.

The video works were realized with the support of the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore and the Kochi Biennale Foundation.

Michael Baers

(* 1968) is an American artist and writer based in Berlin who has exhibited his artistic work in Germany and abroad, including at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Museum Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt am Main, the Van Abbemuseum, and Künstlerhaus Halle für Kunst & Medien Graz. He received his PhD from the Akademie der Bildenden Künste Wien in 2014 from its dedicated artistic research department. Since 2010 much of his work has focused on the cultural outcomes of conflict irresolution in the Middle East and Africa. In 2014, he published a lengthy graphic novel/documentary, An Oral History of Picasso in Palestine, about the 2011 Picasso in Palestine project online with the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. It was released in book form by adocs verlag (Hamburg) in 2016. He has also published many essays on contemporary art and artistic research, cultural politics, and urbanism, contributing to a variety of book and publication projects and internationally recognized journals such as the e-flux journal, Vector – critical research in context, and Memory Studies. He is currently an affiliated researcher at the Leibniz Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) in Berlin.

Sophie-Therese Trenka-Dalton

(*1979 Berlin) works with installation, photography, and video. In long-term projects, she investigates cultural appropriation processes that arise in the course of the implosion, shifting, and new formation of power centers.

In 2016, she published her first catalog PALMS (Textem Verlag), which consists of works on the reception of ancient Mesopotamia, the recent history of Iraq, and the architecture of the United Arab Emirates. In 2017, she traveled to South India to trace the relationship between Kerala and the Gulf States. Currently the artist is working on the realization of the event series The Sky was the Limit – Art and Astronomy at the Archenhold Observatory, which will take place in the summer of 2021.

Solo and group exhibitions (excerpt):  Kochi Biennale Foundation, Kochi, India (2018), Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2018), Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (2017 & 2006), Alserkal Avenue, Dubai (2017), KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2015), Heidelberger Kunstverein (2014), Kunstraum Michael Barthel, Leipzig (2012), Serpentine Gallery, London (2011), Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, New York (2011), DEPO, Istanbul (2010), TÄT, Berlin (2009), Nice and Fit Gallery, Berlin (2008), Foundation d`Enterprise Ricard, Paris (2008), HarrisLieberman Gallery, New York (2008), Institute in the Glass Pavilion of the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz (2007).

Funded by: