PEOPLE, INSTITUTIONS, OBJECTS, THINGS
2st December 2017 to 18th February 2018
Opening: 1st December 2017, 7 pm
Since the early 1990s the internationally known artist duo Korpys/Löffler have been investigating the effective mechanisms of media-linked images and their production strategies. In this context, one key motivation behind their artistic work is questioning the postulated, generally accepted truth content of such productions. They confront the latter with new models of approach. In a tightly woven, thematic tour through the rooms of the Kunsthalle Tübingen, this exhibition brings important works from the last twenty years together with recently produced film installations in an extensive show of work.
One working method practised consistently by Korpys/Löffler is observing the periphery of events and collecting evidence from the apparently marginal, thereby successfully recognizing patterns and power structures beneath the surface. For more than 25 years they have been examining methods of modern surveillance, state and institutional power’s secret impact and official representation, as well as the challengers in social opposition and the protest culture.
The starting point of their works is intense, often investigative research and unusual film projects, which are unfurled and expanded using a wide range of media and accompanying objects. Unusual spatial installations develop in this way, in which the relevant theme is circumscribed by continual changes of media and perspective. Here, Korpys/Löffler combine the documentary and the fictional, the biographical and the literary, leading to ingeniously soundtracked film productions involving unusual montages. Beyond the often media-based, powerfully visual stereotypes of representation and image campaigns, they hereby discover novel images founded on experience and witness, as well as alternative narrative threads.
The artists see power as having very different faces. They have filmed during appearances by the American President George W. Bush (2002), for example, or Pope John Paul II (2004), have created portraits about presidents of the BDI (Federation of German Industries) (2000) or the two, now dead founders of the biggest German discount chains (2013). Power is revealed in Personen, Institutionen, Objekte, Sachen (People, Institutions, Objects, Things, 2014), and this is echoed in the title of a more recent video installation. It directs attention to the database PIOS founded by Horst Herold (*1923); during the 1970s, this was a pioneering instrument against terrorism in the BRD. At that time, under the strictest secrecy, the president of the BKA (Federal Criminal Police Office) equipped his institute with computers and databases to collect and evaluate as many data as possible about the entire population. These were used to search for possible perpetrators using criteria of deviation and exclusion. The new networks and search machines of the fully digitalized 21st century, and especially state surveillance systems such as PRISM and TEMPORA, still follow the basic concept of the negative dragnet investigation developed at that time; albeit with totally global dimensions.
The exhibition begins with extensive work complexes relating to this period in the late 1970s, such as the Konspiratives Wohnkonzept (Conspirative Living Concept, 1998 – 2001/2017), Bundesanwaltschaft (Federal Prosecutor’s Office, 1999) or Sandhaufen (Sandheap, 1996/2017) and ends with current researches on the discovery of a “conspiratorial apartment” in Tübingen 1985. Besides the film installations Atom (2010), Nuclear Football (2004), and Gesang der Jünglinge (Song of Youth, 2009) it is possible to see more recent multiple-channel film productions. For example, the artists present the rooms of the Central European Bank in Frankfurt and the strictly secret, inaccessible new building of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (Federal Intelligence Service) in Berlin, which is being put into operation successively. In the process they utilize methods of surveillance themselves; not investigating people but the institutions from which they originate. In earlier projects dating from the late 1990s Korpys/Löffler had already concerned themselves with film visualisations of power-political architecture such as the UNO headquarters or the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, or the NATO in Brussels.
Andree Korpys (*1966) and Markus Löffler (*1963) live in Berlin and Bremen; from 2007-2009 they taught at the HFBK in Hamburg (Art Academy), and since 2009 they have held a professorship at the HFK in Bremen (University of the Arts).
The program accompanying the exhibition examines highly relevant themes such as data protection, secret services, picture journalism and media realities.
A catalogue will be appearing for the exhibition – produced in cooperation with Kunstverein Braunschweig and the Hartware MedienKunstVerein in Dortmund, to which the exhibition will be progressing in 2018.
Curator: Dr. Sabine Maria Schmidt
(Concept: Dr. Holger Kube Ventura, Dr. Sabine Maria Schmidt)
Catalogue with numerous texts and illustrations, edited by Sabine Maria Schmidt for the Kunsthalle Tübingen, in cooperation with the Kunstverein Braunschweig and the Hartware MedienKunstVerein in Dortmund, 128 pages | 21 x 28 cm, German/English. Wasmuth Publishing House Tübingen
Price Kunsthalle Tübingen: 18 €
Bookshop price: approx. 25 €.
Saturday, December 2nd | 3:00 p. m.
Lecture Korpys/Löffler: “The Third Generation of the RAF, Tübingen, Friedrich-Zundel-Str.”
Sunday, December 3rd | 3:00 p. m.
Guided tour with curator Sabine Maria Schmidt
Sunday, January 21st | 3:00 p. m.
Film presentation “For a life after death”
Introduction: Sabine Maria Schmidt
Seats are limited; with a request for registration
Sunday, February 18th | 3:00 p. m.
Guided tour with curator Sabine Maria Schmidt