From September the 29th to October the 3rd, 2022, the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin will show the video installations by Clara Alisch, Steph Joyce and Lisa Hoffmann selected for this year’s Rundgang 50Hertz on the theme of “Cross-over of Art and Knowledge”. The scenography is designed by Louise Nguyen (raumlabor, Berlin). The artists’ works are also now accessible on the project website together with the exhibition catalogue and films about their working and creative processes by the Berlin cameraman Alexander Gheorghiu: www.rundgang50hertz.de.
Image above: Lisa Hoffmann, Screentesting: (ghosts are made of bedsheets), 2021, Still from the 4-channel video, 32:30 min. (loop), without sound © 2022 by the artists
After the public call in September 2021 on the theme “Cross-over of art and knowledge”, the works were submitted digitally. The call was directed at students who, in the sense of a cross-over approach, translate the findings of scientific disciplines such as ethnology, physics, ecology, mathematics, anthropology, archaeology, biology, history and geophysics into an artistic work. The forms of cognition that an interlocking of the arts with the sciences leads to are determined by the discussion that has been conducted with varying intensity at art colleges in Europe since the 1990s under the term “artistic research”. The question of the recognition or denial of the epistemological content of the arts resonates in the debate. The necessity of this discussion is evident in the visual arts, which develop as a discipline by means of artistic research and respond to the current socio-political situation. This necessity is the theme of the Rundgang 50Hertz in 2022.
The jury consisted of Gabriele Knapstein, Deputy Director Hamburger Bahnhof, Sylvia Borcherding, Labour Director 50Hertz, Kerstin Maria Rippel, Head of Communication & Politics 50Hertz, and the artist and filmmaker Felipe Castelblanco. The jury session was prepared and moderated by Melanie Franke, Professor of Art Studies at the University of Potsdam and curator of Rundgang 50Hertz.
In her video installation “Lactoland” (2021), Clara Alisch (born 1986 in Münster, lives in Bremen) addresses the transfigured notion associated with breastfeeding and the image of motherhood linked to it, which is based on an intimacy between mother and child. It is about reproductive work (care work), which is traditionally done by women in the domestic sphere and is neither paid nor recognised by society. This is where the cyborg comes into play, a hybrid of human and machine. It becomes the protagonist of a scene designed by Alisch in which it provides milk by pumping it. By means of numerous prosthesis-like utensils, the milk is processed into sweets. This creates a double added value: “breastfeeding” is transformed into the production of milk and transforms the idealised idea of an intimate connection between mother and child into a narrative of value-creating labour. In this way, the artist attempts to overcome the separation of the sexes and comes closer to the ideal of a transgender world.
The video installation “Crow Calls Twice” (2021) by Steph Joyce is the result of a month-long exploration of the relationship between humans and crows from different perspectives. They meet and an exchange begins on one level, which becomes more and more intense in the course of the work and seems to be characterised by mutual understanding. Finally, the sphere of the animal connects with that of the human in the direction of a communication at eye level.
The video installation “Screentesting: (ghosts are made of bedsheets)” (2021) shows partly distorted and ghostly images that Lisa Hoffmann (born 1991 in Schlema, lives in Berlin) recorded in a video performance in a domestic environment and projected onto bioscreens. These projection screens are made of compostable, gelatin-based bioplastic produced by the artist, which slowly dissolves over time. In the installation, the relationship between the technically projected image and the organic projection surface becomes increasingly confusing depending on the angle of view. After knowledge as something secured has been made to disappear, it shows up again in the work – now as something phantasmatic.
The Rundgang 50Hertz is a project to promote university graduates in the fine arts. It is based on a cooperation between the Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the transmission grid operator 50Hertz that was initiated in 2017. The project supports works by young contemporary artists from the Berlin University of the Arts, the Weißensee School of Art in Berlin, the Hamburg University of Fine Arts and the Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts.
Thursday, 29 September until Monday, 3 October 2022
Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin