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Via Lewandowsky: a case-study

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Curated by Isabel de Sena

In collaboration with the Ivo Wessel Collection

Opening Saturday 9 August, 19.00 – 22.00

Exhibition 10 August – 7 September


Kunstquartier Bethanien, Mariannenplatz 2, Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany

Gallery opening hours: Thurs – Sun, 13.00-19.00

Or by appointment: contact Isabel de Sena


Thursday, 21 August, 20.00

Lecture / artist talk

with Isabel de Sena & Via Lewandowsky






Sunday Performance Series and Gallery Exhibition


Gallery Exhibition

4 – 29 JUNE 2014



Thomas Eller // Jia // MNM (Christian Graupner with Mieko Suzuki & Ming Poon) // Qui Anxiong
Cai Yuan and Jian Ju Xi (Mad for Real) // Feng Bingyi // Xu Wenkai // Isaac Chong Wai

Curated by Rachel Rits-Volloch


In partnership with:

For the MPA-B Month of Performance Art Berlin 2014, MOMENTUM reprises its month-long program of Performance Sundays entitled WORKS ON PAPER. WORKS ON PAPER II inverts classic assumptions of paper as a medium, inviting performance artists to approach paper not as a static blank canvas, but as a dynamic source of conceptual and performative possibility. This year’s WORKS ON PAPER takes place parallel to MOMENTUM’s exhibition PANDAMONIUM: Media Art from Shanghai. PANDAMONIUM is the collision of Panda Diplomacy – China’s longstanding practice of sending cute fluffy mammals into the world – with its most enticing cultural export of the day: Contemporary Art. WORKS ON PAPER II focuses on China, where the painting of calligraphy, from its very origins, has a performative aspect. The WORKS ON PAPER II performance series explores how artists from a culture with an ancient artistic tradition of works on paper transform this medium through performance. Engaging all aspects of performance, the outstanding artists in this series use sound, installation, lectures, workshops, and video to work on paper and with paper to activate all the possibilities of the medium in unexpected ways.

Taking place each Sunday in May, WORKS ON PAPER II opens on Gallery Weekend with a performance and panel discussion at the Collegium Hungaricum, and every Sunday thereafter it takes place at MOMENTUM alongside the PANDAMONIUM exhibition, ending with a finissage panel discussion, performance, and party on Sunday, June 1st at the Kunstquartier Bethanien. Join the FB Event

“Performance has been considered as a way of bringing to life the many formal and conceptual ideas on which the making of art is based”.

Rose-Lee Goldberg, Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present





Shot and edited by Dian Zagorchinov

CVWebsiteSee the photo gallery

Thomas Eller (b. 1964) is a German visual artist, curator, and writer based in Berlin. In 2004 he founded the online magazine Artnet China, and in 2008 was the artistic director of the Temporäre Kunsthalle, Berlin. Thomas Eller is the curator of Die 8 der Wege, the exhibition of art from Beijing running concurrently with PANDAMONIUM. For PANDAMONIUM he will show work responding to themes and influences from China.

THE white male complex (endgames), 2014

THE white male complex (endgames) is the working title of a series of art works, performances and talks by artist, curator Thomas Eller, in which he navigates the cultural plateau we have all entered in the West. With little chance for change we are collectively engaged in re-spelling the vocabulary developed by artists generations in the past 40 years – a conservative approach to progress resulting in endless artistic endgames. At PANDAMONIUM he puts this approach in stark contrast with a group of media artist from Shanghai largely unencumbered by such deliberations.


Feng Bingyi (b. 1991, Ningbo) is a young emerging talent in the Chinese art scene. Having studied under Yang Fudong at the China Academy of Art, she follows in his footsteps with her focus on cinematic traditions, while employing a poetic language. Distancing herself from the chains of external reality, she looks for inspiration within her internal impressions, which she expresses in the forms of installations, photography, documentary and animation. After receiving both the Outstanding Graduation Work Award and the China Academy of Art Scholarship from the China Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou in 2013, Feng continued her studies at the Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts in London in 2014. Though she has been exhibited in China alongside well-established contemporary artists, she has never before been shown in Berlin. Feng is one of the artists undertaking the PANDAMONIUM Residency.

Shot and edited by Valentina Ciarapica

WebsiteSee the photo gallery

Isaac Chong Wai is a Hong Kong artist and MFA student at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in Germany and received his BA in Visual Arts (Hons.) from the Academy of Visual Art in Hong Kong Baptist University. He works with diverse art forms, including performance, site-specific installation, public art and multimedia. He is perceptive and insightful in expressing and situating exquisite concepts intuited from living space and the surroundings. Chong’s video, Equilibrium No.8 Boundaries, received honorary mention at the Award of the 2nd OZON International Video Art Festival in Katowice, Poland, in 2013. He was awarded the first runner-up prize for the 2012 Hong Kong Contemporary Art Award. He participated in IAM (International Art Moves) in Dresden, Germany in 2012. Chong has also been shown in a solo-exhibition at the Academy of Visual Arts Gallery in 2011.

Equilibrium No.8 – Boundaries (first performed in 2012)

The body extensions which generate traces and symmetrical balance unconsciously create a dialogue with one another by means of body language. The movement of the arms creates boundaries in geometrical forms and explores the human form and the boundaries among people. We were quiet and paying attention to draw the area that we could reach and meanwhile, we were listening to the combined sound made by the drawings. By the movements and the instructions that the artist gave, a record of our bodies was marked. This performance was done on a large-sized paper and the place of each performer was determined by the artist. In this sense, the form of the human shape was lightly deconstructed by the overlapping drawings. The instruction is: the artist counts from 1 to 5, then all participants start drawing. There is no limit of time, however, the only limit is that of the material, the charcoals. Once the charcoals cannot be used anymore, participants stop drawing. The artist listens, when there is no longer any sound of drawing, he counts again 5 times and then everyone leaves.

Shot and edited by Valentina Ciarapica

WebsiteSee the photo gallery

Jia (b. 1979) is a Berlin-based artist, born in Beijing. Jia’s work reinterprets Chinese paradigms, such as compositional patterns in Chinese calligraphy, and projection systems of the traditional Chinese landscape. This general tension of cultures between the work’s formal and conceptual elements serves a more specific critique of conditions in both China and the West. Most often, the artist chooses for the work an outwardly “pretty” aspect in order to address an atrocious reality. For this exhibition, Jia is premiering a new performance installation.

Untitled, 2014

Untitled is a combined text installation and performance work in which the installation remains as a discrete work once the performance is finished. The titles of several thousand exhibitions that have taken place in public institutions and private galleries of note, internationally, during the past ten years, are projected onto the walls and ceiling of the exhibition space as though they were constituents of a single sentence, an arrangement that empties them of their original meanings, and makes possible many alternative possible meanings by virtue of their juxtaposition. A podium holds a book of similar dimensions to a book of Scripture, but which contains a succession of the same titles, together with the dates and the institutions where the exhibitions took place. In the performance phase, the artist enters the installation space and, in solemn tones, reads from the book the titles of the exhibitions contained therein, and then exits the space, converting it thereby to a spatial metonym of the semantic emptying of the titles the installation imposes.

WebsiteSee the photo gallery

Born in China in 1956 and 1962 respectively, CAI YUAN and JIAN JUN XI have been living and working in the United Kingdom since the 1980s. Cai Yuan trained in oil painting at Nanjing College of Art, Chelsea College of Art and the Royal College of Art. Jian Jun Xi trained at the Central Academy of Applied Arts in Beijing and later at Goldsmiths College. They started working as a performance duo in the late nineties with their action Two Artists Jump on Tracey Emin’s Bed (1999) at Tate Britain’s Turner Prize Exhibition.

Mad for Real are renowned Chinese artists known for their pioneering performances and interventions in public spaces. Their work acts as a dynamic dialogue with institutional and cultural power structures, taking the idea of the ready-made and transforming it within contemporary, everyday situations. The duo also creates installations that reflect on globalization and on the role of modern China in the 21st century. Mad For Real’s oeuvre has continually questioned the relationship of power to the individual. Using a position of resistance, Cai and Xi have consistently produced work which is necessarily oppositional, yet its warmth and humor also acts to draw viewers in. Their performances have taken place as radical gestures, calling to mind notorious artists of earlier radical art movements, though the historical, linguistic and political context of their practice is often related specifically to their origins: China.

Scream (first performed at the Venice Biennale, 2013)

Inspired by Edvard Munch’s most famous painting The Scream (1893), Mad For Real’s eponymous performance reactivates this iconic picture into a live, vocalized expression of contemporary angst. Whereas Munch’s screams came from the madhouse or the abattoir of the 1890s, Cai Yuan and Jian Jun Xi’s Scream invites participation 110 years later in a globalized context of economic and social uncertainty. Resonating with well-known texts of Chinese modernity since the May Fourth movement, such as famous author Lu Xun’s volume Call to Arms (吶喊) of 1922, Mad For Real’s Scream reaches across time and culture into a single, communal burst of humanity.

MNM (Christian Graupner with Mieko Suzuki & Ming Poon)
Artists’ BiosWebsiteSee the photo gallery

MNM portrays the Hiroshima born sound artist Mieko Suzuki and the Singaporian dancer Ming Poon in their sound- and body performances and generates an ongoing media concert that constantly creates new video and sound clusters. The headstrong canonical composition of vocal and percussion loops depicts the topic of total (body) control in golden times of casino-capitalism and its meltdown. The protagonists’ performances are directly connected to the form and materiality of a triptych frame and a huge hacked Maneki-Neko derived figure which underlines the sculptural character of MNM. Visitors are invited to co-compose and influence the flow of the so called Humatic Re-Performance by feeding and operating the triple channel installation like a gambling-machine or to control MNM like a musical instrument.

Christian Graupner, the Berlin based Director, Media Artist & Producer studied graphic arts & developed interactive audio visual concepts. As a composer & music producer (artist name VOOV) he published records & CDs, created sountracks for movies, theatre & radio, music clips. He founded ‘Club Automatique’, formed the independent production company HUMATIC. Universities & Institutes such as ZKM have invited him for lectures & residencies. The latest production MNM (2013) received an honorary mention at Prix Ars Electronica. His recent sculptural / media work explores the practices and myths around pop and contemporary music, combining multiscreen videos and multichannel sound with partly machine- partly user-controlled ‘humatic’ interfaces and mechanisms. With the media slotmachine MindBox he and his team received a Guthman’s New Musical Instruments Award in Atlanta Georgia.

Mieko Suzuki having come from a pianist background and studied fashion, has been organizing events and performing as a DJ and sound artist worldwide since 1998. Mieko has won awards and taken part in artist residency programs whilst also performing as a musician and DJ at clubs and international art and fashion events. Selected event include Calvin Klein Tokyo Collection 2008, Female:pressure Japan Tour 2009, MOMENTUM Sydney 2010, Kunsthalle M3 Berlin 2010, Japan Media Arts Festival 2010, REH Kunst Berlin 2012, GALLERY WEEKEND Berlin 2012, JULIUS Paris Collection 2011-2014, Cynetart Dresden, Craft Gallery Melbourne 2013, Patric Mohr fashion show Berlin 2014, Marrakech Biennale5 2014. She has also collaborated on sculpture, visual, sound and multi-media installations with artists.

While Ming Poon comes from a dance background, he prefers to describe himself as a movement performer. He readily experiments and combines elements from an eclectic mix of techniques and disciplines. He sees the body as a predilection of viewing as an object, by stripping it to its physical and affective functionality and mechanics. His idea of dance is one in which there are no ‘dancers’ on stage, only bodies that are in the process of forming, transforming and disintegrating. He has worked with international dance companies in Italy, Germany, Spain, Belgium, The Netherlands and Singapore. His choreographic works include: ‘The man who looks for signs’, ‘A piece of heaven’, ‘Ghosts’, ‘Back’, ‘Topography of Pleasure and Pain’ (dance film). ‘Gravity’, ‘(un)it: HD85828|in.ViSiBLE’ and ‘The Infinitesimal Distance Between Two Bodies’.

Shot and edited by Dian Zagorchinov

CVWebsiteSee the photo gallery

Qiu Anxiong (b. 1972, Chengdu) was born in the capital of Sichuan province in the southwest of China. There, he studied under the progressive artistic practice of Ye Yongqing and Zhang Xiaogang. Qiu and his friends collectively founded a bar which became a hub for the blossoming underground music and art circles in Sichuan, and his colleagues included He Duoling, Zhou Chunya, and Shen Xiaotong. In his animated films, Qiu co-mingles the classical and the contemporary, using the traditional Chinese ink-and-wash style to transpose contemporary social and environmental issues onto traditional Chinese landscapes. A friend and neighbor of Yang Fudong, Qiu has exhibited broadly internationally, having studied contemporary international art and traditional Chinese culture at the Kunsthochschule Kassel, Germany. In 2004 he began teaching at Shanghai Normal University and currently lives and works in Shanghai. Qiu received the Chinese Contemporary Art Award in 2006 and has exhibited widely, including a recent solo-show, titled Qiu Anxiong, The New Book of Mountains and Seas II at the Arken Museum of Modern Art in Ishøj, Denmark (2013) and group exhibition ‘Ink Art’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (2013). He is one of the artists undertaking the PANDAMONIUM Residency, and will be producing new work for this show.

Finite Element (2014)

A work-in-progress developed specially for MOMENTUM’s ‘Works on Paper II’ performance series during Berlin’s Month of Performance Art. PANDAMONIUM’s artist in residence Qiu Anxiong embarks on an experiment to explore new, uncharted territory in his artistic practice. For the first time in his oeuvre, Anxiong will combine video with live performance and animated paper cut-outs, all overlaid to create a surreal contemporary re-invention of the traditional Chinese art of Shadow Theatre. Projected onto a screen resembling the form of classical Chinese scrolls, the traditional medium of paper is here re-imagined and animated with moving images and moving bodies.


Xu Wenkai (Aaajiao) (b. 1984, Xi’an) is one of China’s foremost media artists, bloggers and free culture developers. Having studied physics and computers, Xu Wenkai is self-taught as an artist and new media entrepreneur. In his works he focuses on the use of data and its various forms of display. In 2003 he established the sound art website and in 2006 he founded the Chinese take on the blog We Make Money Not Art: We Need Money Not Art. He is devoted to Processing, an open-source visual programming software, Dorkbot, a non-profit initiative for creative minds and Eventstructure, an interdisciplinary center for art, media, technology and academic research based in Shanghai and founded by Xu. In his works, Aaajiao focuses on the use of data and its various forms of display and on the processes of transforming content from reality to data and back again. His most significant contribution to the field of new media in China is a social one, as he act a as a vector for the interpretation and communication of international and local trends in the artistic use of software. Recent exhibitions include his solo-show titled The Screen generation, at C Space (2013) and chi K11 Art Space in Shanghai and at 9m2 Museum in Beijing (2014) and group-exhibition TRANSCIENCE – INTRACTABLE OBJECTS at Taikang Space in Beijing (2014). Xu is one of the artists undertaking the PANDAMONIUM Residency.

Jia – Untitled Photo Gallery:


Equilibrium No.8 – Boundaries Photo Gallery:


Finite Element Photo Gallery:


THE White Male Complex (endgames) Photo Gallery:


Scream Photo Gallery:


MNM Photo Gallery: