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Wermke/Leinkauf: Grenzgänger and others

Curated by Mitra Khorasheh

signs and symbols, NY

August 24, 2018

 

signs and symbols presents a screening day of a selection of single-channel video works by artist duo Wermke/Leinkauf as part of artists & allies.

 

Keine Zeit, Berlin, 2010
Wermke/Leinkauf walk along a bridge towards each other. Just before they meet, they simultaneously lose their track.

Zwischenzeit (In Between), Berlin, 2008
When a thought turns into reality, when conceived images start to exist. A handcar on the tracks of the metropolis, infinite and without any destination. “Zwischenzeit”tells no story but a condition. It is a declaration of love for the moment. In summer 2007 Wermke/Leinkauf have built two handcars. One of them you can move by using your personal strength, pushing the drive mechanism and the other one is powered by an electric motor for using it as a camera-dolly. Both handcars are collapsible and they can be carried as a backpack. With only a few moves one can prepare it to run on railway tracks. With these handcars, from autumn until winter of 2007, Wermke/Leinkauf discovered Berlin's railway system.

Trotzdem Danke (Thanks Anyway), Berlin, 2006
Armed with only a pail of water and a sponge mounted onto a telescope pole, Wermke/Leinkauf went to clean the windshields of public transportation vehicles.

Grenzgänger (Bordercrosser), Berlin, 2006
Early in the morning, not far from the Reichstag, a person walks naked along the Eastern bank of the river Spree. The person goes into the water, swims to the Western bank, and gets out. It is exactly at that location where the border used to be. The border that divided Berlin and Germany until 1989.

Die Neonorangene Kuh (The Neonorange Cow), Berlin, 2005
An expedition through Berlin at nighttime, one usually doesn't perceive. A portable frame was temporarily set up at various places in Berlin and used as a swing. This approach to dealing with public space opens the view to discover something new in the known.

 

wermke/leinkauf, the celebrated Berlin based artist duo, work on installations and performances/ public space interventions dealing with the hidden possibilities of a city. Using various artistic strategies, the conversion of urban topographies and the exploration of its borders, they create temporary irritations that allow new perspectives on 'everyday' situations. In their artistic practice, crossing the boundaries of individual freedom serves as an extension of artistic and societal scopes. To question common standards and constraints, they "open" the city by using not only their bodies in performances, but also the architecture and the tools of urban spaces. Their work often relates to the Genius Loci and the history of a space. The duo has received numerous awards worldwide, taking them to Athens, Tokyo, Cologne and several locations around Germany. Their work has exhibited internationally in various solo and group exhibitions at venues such as HAM Helsinki Art Museum Finland, Moderna Museet Stockholm, Kunstraum Niederösterreich Vienna, Akademie der Künste Berlin, Manifesta 11 Zurich Switzerland, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo Japan, Museum of Contemporary Art Denmark, KW Institute Berlin and Eyebeam New York among many others. They have received numerous accolades for their work, including Best German Shortfilm & Audience Award at the International Short Film Festival Hamburg, as well as nominations for best Germans Short film of German Film Academy and European Film Award of European Film Academy.