« Randbemerkungen | Marginal Notes » is a photographic exhibition summarizing 8 years of urban explorations by the ogino:knauss collective into the modernist built environment. After their award-winning movies about Cuba and Moscow, the exhibition also becomes the platform to launch the new movie project about Berlin, called « Randbemerkungen », as well as the release of travelogue books about Berlin and Cuba and the launch of « Reconnoitering Berlin« , a series of urban « dérives » that will investigate the urban identity of the Hauptstadt through multiple perspectives.
For 3 weeks, Urban Spree will host an installation of printed works and videos, completed by a series of events including live concerts, talks, workshops, book presentations, screenings and performances.
ogino:knauss is a Berlin-based, independent research group dealing with audiovisual language, urban cultures and human environment’s transformations.
Re:centering Periphery originated in 2006 with a live-media work commissioned by the Biennial del Arte de la Havana. Starting from Alamar, a new city built in the 70s in Cuba, the group investigated everyday life practices that inhabit, question and reinvent urban peripheries produced as a result of modernist ideology. The main outcome of the project was a film-series produced through a participative methodology. Until now the group has worked extensively in La Habana and Moscow, with the production of two films, set preparatory works and surveys in Kiev, Belgrade and Berlin; and opened up research files on such cities as Mexico City, Casablanca, Marseille, Tel Aviv, Detroit and Hong Kong. The project advancements are regularly published on the R>CP blog.
The first film in the series « Doble Forza » (2008, 30’) tells the story of a self-constructed new city built with Soviet-style prefabricated panels in the 70’s in the outskirt of La Habana. It has been awarded with the Best International Documentary at the Istanbul Architecture Film Festival in 2008 and at Sezze Videofest.
The second episode « Dom Novogo Byta« , explores the imagined and built landscape of Moscow, confronting utopian visions which emerged in the light of the October revolution with the reality of contemporary post-communist Russia. The film takes the cue from the dilapidated Narkomfin building, a prototype for revolutionary communes designed in 1927 by Moisei Ginzburg, today facing hard survival in a central plot of land highly attractive to real-estate speculators.
During the exhibition the two films will be screened at Il Kino in Neukölln.
The exhibition displays a selection of photographs of La Habana, Moscow, Kiev, Belgrade and Berlin, capturing the urban and social landscape of modernist peripheries and the inner margins of the metropolis. The textures, geometries and patterns designed by the brutal architectural practices of the 20th century are shown alongside cracks, eruptions, signs of colonization and the re-appropriation by the everyday life.
Two video installations complete the set up, representing opposite directions of research. The first, focusing on the abstract substance of the architectural modernist vision, shows geometrical patterns and symmetries being digitally explored and transformed into a hypnotic graphic landscape. In the second work, conceived as a study for the forthcoming full-feature film, the attention is conversely shifted towards the human body- “Der Mensch, das Maß aller Dinge”, following through a longer sequence an elderly hindered man slowly crossing the streets of Berlin, Mitte. A live audiovisual performance will be presented at the opening night.
R>CP OPEN WORKSHOP
More than a showcase of past productions, the event at Urban Spree is primarily intended as a discursive platform for realising the new film project Randbemerkungen.
During these 3 weeks, a series of events will involve known as well as new collaborators of the group presenting and performing theme-related works in progress. According to the participative methodology of the group, interdisciplinary conversations, live audio video performances, live sonorisation of films, workshops of spatial assessment and dérives, will act as resource-material for the upcoming film. During the last days of the exhibition, the launch of Reconnoitering Berlin will take place, a series of urban dérives that in the following months will investigate the urban identity of Berlin according to multiple perspectives.
The Re:centering Periphery Travelogues is a new series of photographic essays documenting the survey into global urban peripheries done by the collective:
-La Habana InT/Ext (2006) is a 5-week diary shot in Cuba, focusing on the strong dichotomies affecting the Cuban social landscape.
The basic cinematographic dialectics interior / exterior is variously reinterpreted as centre and periphery, legal and illegal, private and public…
-Exposing Berlin, is the result of a long-term observation of the transformations of the city since 2007, when the collective moved its base. The photographic essay dedicated to Mitte and Friedrichshain points at the conflation of image and spatial production in a neo-liberal urban development. The camera investigates the attempt to reinvent a unified central identity of Berlin in the place of the fragmented urban reality which carries scars and memories of a divided past.
The R>CP Travelogues are printed in a limited edition of 200 copies, available at Urban Spree’s Bookshop.
One of the exhibition’s main purposes is to sustain the future development of the project and support the realisation of the film Berlin Randbemerkungen. In the occasion of the exhibition a crowdfunding campaign will be launched to support the pre-production work for the film. Photographic prints, silkscreen prints, books and other limited-edition products will be on sale during the events at Urban Spree.
FULL PROGRAM: The full program of events accompanying the exhibition is available here.
R>CP RANDBEMERKUNGEN is a production of Ogino Knauss and Tesserae Urban Social Research in association with Urban Spree.
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« Randbemerkungen/Marginal Notes »
An exhibition by ogino:knauss at Urban Spree Galerie
Vernissage: 21 March 2015 at 19:00
Exhibition: 22 March 2015 // 11 April 2015