October 16, 2016

Such Great Heights. On Artists Climbing High, the A-Team, Frieze and Karstadt

Thinking about religion this Sunday morning, I decided to stay on a high level in the afternoon and go see the exhibition such great heights at a former indoor climbing hall in Neukölln. The exhibition is organized just for the weekend by artists who, when I talked to them, denied having curated the exhibition. I proposed the word “arranging”, but then the word “hanging” came out as the most adequate. Hanging indeed, because the artists must have climbed quite a bit to install the art work on these climbing walls. The visitor could only see the works from above and binoculars were given for close-up viewing. I loved it - I’ve never been to an exhibition where you could see the art only from one perspective, and I can tell you that the perspective from high above is a good one. It made me wonder if even higher viewing perspectives would be possible, like bird view wise. And don't ask me why, but that made me think of a helicopter chase of the A-Team (probably the climbing hall brought me there), and I looked at the artists who were hanging out together in the space drinking coke, and they did look like a team that is acting on the good side helping the oppressed - isn’t that the definition of artists anyway? 

You see, my fantasy was running wild but the exhibition invited me to do so, with calls of birds that only fly on high heights, a boys band singing in the far back, relaxing peignoirs, flags of unknown territories, sculptures that take form in between half human and half something else, and in the middle of it all was a real man working on what is going to be a boulder hall in the future (I asked the artists but they didn’t pay him to be there on a Sunday. Apparently an art exhibition just isn’t something that would keep the guy from working when he wants to. Word!). I googled the exhibition title when I was back home, thinking it must be a reference to something. It is. It’s a song by The Postal Service and it goes like this: “They will see us waving from such great heights, ‘Come down now,’ they'll say. But everything looks perfect from far away, ‘Come down now,’ but we'll stay...” 

Talking about heights, one of the artists is my anonymous source who I’ve been quoting here before. He has great insights into the art world and he travels high places. That’s why I didn’t need to go to Frieze London last week. I just go to Neukölln and talk to my informant. “How was it?” I asked. “It’s like going to Karstadt”, he said, “but then filled with art works.” “Right on,” I nodded, “seen anything new?” “No, just the usual biggies.” “Mmmm”, I sighted. “But the gallerists were happy,” my informant told me, “The sales went great.” “Aha,” I said, losing interest. “Does that phone number on the exhibition poster work for real?” I asked another artist. It says: “For further information please call 0176 72 644 738 / 0151 72 824 116.” The artist smiled mischievously. Why don’t you try it out, my dear reader, and give a call to up above? Tell them to come down, will you? 

* such great heightsantonia breme andi fisch konrad fischer
lucia kempkes hrefna hörn leifsdóttir thomas mader lucas odahara sarah rosengarten sonia senese lea st.
vince tillotson eva vuillemin & frauke schmidt  josh zielinski

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