24.10.2008 - 16.11.2008
Curators from East and Central Europe II:

Elena Sorokina
Subjective Events, Sometimes Recorded

Opening: 24.10.2008, 8PM
Sat. and Sun. 2 - 6PM;
also open 31 October from 8PM -11PM

Tour of the exhibition: 02.11.2008, 3PM

Ana Hušman, Lunch, 2008, video still
Frank Leibovici Giulia Di Leonarda and Armin Linke
Sommet de la méditerranée, 13 juillet 2008, Grand Palais,2008
video still
Curatorial workshop with Elena Sorokina, 24.10.2008. (Background: installation Commemorative CPUSA Stamps, 2007-2008 by Yevgenyj Fiks
REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT, Japanese Garden, 2008 Videostill (detail)

Subjective Events, Sometimes Recorded

Yevgeny Fiks
Kent Hansen und Jo Zahn (for TV-TV)
Ana Hušman
Gulnara Kasmalieva und Muratbek Djumaliev
Franck Lebovici, Giulia di Leonarda, Armin Linke
Alexander Vaindorf
Katarina Zdjelar


In everyday language, an event is a notion that embraces two different meanings - a happening violating limits or, in the opposite, invigorating them. One is destructive, the other restrictive; one is closer to the chaos of a revolution, the other to a meticulously performed ceremony with a set of rules. The work in the exhibition focuses on the second meaning: initially, it comments on contemporary rituals or pronounced interest in social codes, which often re-emerge in times of crisis and insecurity. Through recording, staging, or enacting some examples of today's ritualistic behavior the artists examine how the so-called "flexible personalities" engage in a performance of specific and mainly self-imposed rules.

The group REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT observes visits to the newly built Japanese garden by the inhabitants of the Berlin district Marzahn, Alexander Vaindorf looks into some unusual therapy sessions, Katarina Zdjelar films amateurs singing, and Ana Hušman mocks a perfect lunch with invited guests. In analyzing these voluntary "ceremonial behaviors" proliferating in today's order, which promote "limitless living and choosing", the artists in the show direct our attention to contemporary changes in the nature of limits and social prohibitions.

Introducing the notion of the "subjective event," -- an experience which can't be proven and whose very existence is not certain ---- the exhibition circumscribes a field of tension between the mise en scene of the quotidian and intangible action as material for artists' work. Yevgenyj Fiks and the group Demokratisk Innovation enact subversive gestures or interventions which are inconspicuous and almost invisible for the "general public." Using custom-produced stamps featuring faces of former leaders of the American Communist Party to pay his bills, Fiks, for example, turns a ritual of the capitalist world order - paying bills to corporations - into commemoration of the American Communist movement. Kent Hansen and Jo Zahn from DEM at tv-tvconduct an "emancipatory experiment", handing a camera to random groups. They conclude, however, that the films produced never exceed personal narratives.Finally, some work recontextualizes highly visible public happenings as some kind of subjective events. The footage of visits by heads-of-state to France, used by Franck Leibovici, Giulia Di Leonarda and Armin Linke in their collaborative project, or body searches at airports recorded by Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev - change their possible readings through displacement. These rituals, observed by the artists, collapse into meaningless repetition, never becoming the action they promise to be.

-Elena Sorokina, 2008

Elena Sorokina is a Paris/Brussels based curator and writer. A Whitney ISP fellow, she recently
curated "Petroliana" at the Moscow Biennial 2007, "Laws of Relativity" at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, and "On Traders' Dilemmas" at YBCA, San Francisco. She writes for Artforum, Moscow Art Magazine and other publications


Yevgeniy Fiks
Lenin for your Library?, 2007
100 copies of "Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism" by V.I. Lenin were sent out to the addresses
of World's major corporations, including Gap, Coca-Cola, General Electric, and IBM among many others. In an enclosed letter, it was stated that the book was a donation to the corporate library. Out of 100 copies, 14 were accepted and "thank you" letters were received. 20 copies were returned together with letters stating various reasons for rejection, including a particular focus of the library or their policy not to accept any gifts or
donations from private individuals. The fate of the remaining 66 copies remains unknown.

Commemorative CPUSA Stamps, 2007-2008
The artist published US postal stamps baring portraits of historical leaders of the Communist Party of the USA, including Mother Ella Reeves and William Z. Foster among others. Eight different stamps (eight different portraits), ten with each portrait, eighty stamps total. During 2007-2008 Yevgeniy Fiks was using these stamps on envelops when he pays his monthly utility bills to corporations (Time Warner Cable, Con Edison, T-Mobil, CitiMortgage, Verizon, and other corporations). Fiks subverts the concept of a “commemorative stamp” baring portraits of historical figures by putting on stamps faces of forgotten and repressed leaders of American
Communist Party and using these stamps in his everyday life. (Yevgeniy Fiks)

Kent Hansen und Jo Zahn (for TV-TV)
Ceci n'est pas une interview, 2008
“Ceci n`est pas une interview” is a TV series developed by Kent Hansen and Jo Zahn. The first volume of “Ceci n'est pas une interview” was broadcast for the first time at the Parisian local TV station La Locale 2007. In the production a high end camera is handed to random groups in the streets of cities around the world. Presenting themselves as a TV-crew they invite the groups to record their get-together. The TV-crew then leaves the place, and returns after a while to retrieve the camera. The single edited sequences last for approx. 6 minutes." (Kent Hansen)

Ana Husman
Lunch, 2008
Video, 16’30“

Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev
Something about Contemporary Nomadism, 2006
Video, 12’30“

Franck Lebovici, Giulia di Leonarda, Armin Linke
Sommet de la méditerranée, 13 juillet 2008, Grand Palais

The Japanese Garden, 2008
Video, 9’38“
Idea and concept REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT and Gaby Steiner
The Japanese Garden is located at vacation park Berlin Marzahn in the "Gardens of the World". The employee of a security firm is on guard duty there. It is his job to announce behavioural rules and information about the cultural meaning of the place. To reach all the visitors with his message he has to repeat his directions again and again. In addition the film shows a staff member who rakes the small stones of the garden every morning in a similar repetitive way. The remake of a non European garden in the middle of a prefabricated housing area at the periphery of Berlin causes notable cultural interferences. An environment that is intended to be spiritual merges with the behaviour of the staff and visitors of a middle European leisure facility. The result is a culture of simulation that causes the disappearance of borders between different forms of culture.

Alexander Vaindorf
Every word is becoming, 2008
Video, 2’36“
The video contains personal definitions of wealth collected via survey forms on the web. “Global” submissions - dominant values in western society are visualized as a text subtitles. During the entire video its background fades throughout the full colour spectrum, as each colour assigned to each
definition and its value. The speed of the video is ten times faster then normal which limits the reading
possibility to only a few words at a time, as those become keywords.
Using similar mechanisms as in advertisement the video correlates to a "modern" rapid life style, contradicting
the “actual” time needed to reflect on ones life values. (Alexander Vaindorf)

Katarina Zdjelar
Everything is gonna be, 2008
Video, 3’35“
The video was made with an amateur choir from the Norwegian peninsula of Lofoten, which
might as well have been Burgh-Haamstede, The Netherlands (hiding behind the dunes) or
Dornstetten, Germany (on the rim of the Black Wood) or San Domenico, Italy (the little village
from which you can see Florence), or Héricourt, France (one of these little villages that
gave its name to a great battle). (Frans-Willem Korsten, 2008)

Further documentation to this exhibition at http://c-m-l.org/?q=node/346

Elena Sorokina is a Paris/Brussels based curator and writer. A Whitney ISP fellow, she recently
curated "Petroliana" at the Moscow Biennial 2007, "Laws of Relativity" at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, and "On Traders' Dilemmas" at YBCA, San Francisco. She writes for Artforum, Moscow Art Magazine and other publications.

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