dinsdag 24 juni 2014

LEHRTER SIEBZEHN – Seems Professional

‘Seems professional’, is what Stephanie Greimel (1985) and Johanna Teresa Wallenborn (1989) hear a lot at their openings at LEHRTER SIEBZEHN, a temporary project space in Moabit, just behind the Hauptbahnhof. Only started in september 2013, they’ve managed to get a nice and interesting mixture of pop-up exhibitions going. Media-Art is their one true love, but Greimel and Wallenborn get well out of their comfort zone and present us installations like the ones from art collective Syć, as well as drawings and paintings.

Installation from artist collective Syć @ Some youthless content

The pop-up-strategy fits their space and purpose perfectly. The openings are the main event and attract a crowd. Afterwards you can visit the exhibition for a couple of days. Then it’s over. Like the space itself actually, which will be over in september 2014 when lofts will be realised there.

‘Shame’, I hear you think. May-be, but actually not. Greimel and Wallenborn consider themselves very lucky with their collab with this real-estate office. They made it possible for the curator-duo to start their own space, made it ready AND paid their basic expenses like electricity and water. Wallenborn and Greimels ambition is to explore this way of working further, when LERHTER SIEBZEHN is no more.

Installation from Lisa Billerbeck @ Hiersein ist herrlich// A group exhibition
There are several things I like about the space. For one the treasure-hunting feeling I get from knowing where it is, because it’s not in a place where you will stumble upon it. If the exhibition hits you right, it is a double win. Once you get to the hinterhaus and onto the third floor, you’ll find a big space with an unexpected view. In this way you can zoom in when you look at the exhibition and zoom out to reflect on what you saw when you look out of the windows.

In the future, the name LEHRTER SIEBZEHN will go of course, because of it’s connection to the location. Greimel and Wallenborn decided to go with the comment they heard most and which seems to fit best. So if you want to find events from this curator-duo after september 2014; Seems Professional is the way to search.

What will this seemingly easy way of gallery hosting bring? What are the long term goals and benefits of operating in temporary spaces with a pop-up strategy? I guess the answer is not so exciting and more practical: get experience, built up your name so you can do more long-term project, of the sort that you really want to do.

Check out the upcoming media art walk-in installation Bumm Bumm Ultraposition/ a Korinsky Solo Show, which focuses on vertical sound. Opening 25th of May at 7 pm.

What the $#*& just popped up?

Recently, I interviewed a curator-duo that runs LEHRTER SIEBZEHN, a gallery in a temporary empty building. Stephanie Greimel (1985) and Johanna Teresa Wallenborn (1989) had a real lucky blow meeting with the real estate company that owns the building. The owners were interested in turning one of the floors into an art space. Greimel and Wallenborn pitched a plan and got the floor. They organise the exhibitions, the real estate company pays the basic needs like water and electricity.

The exhibitions Greimel and Wallenborn organise follow a pop-up strategy, which focuses on momentum. In this case opening night, when the big crowd comes. Afterwards you can visit the exhibition for a couple of days and then it’s over. Like the space actually, which will be over in september 2014, when lofts will be realised there.
Entrance @ Lehrterstr. 17

Not only in times of economical crisis does the pop-up strategy come in handy. It’s a win for both parties. The real estate owners get of course attention for their space. It also provides them with a good selling story.  “Did you know that there used to be an art gallery in this nice two-bedroom apartment with a separate kitchen and balcony on the south-side?”, will certainly do the trick.

For starting entrepreneurs it is an ideal way to experiment. Not a lot of start-up money and a limited amount of time are needed. It’s low risk. You can practice, make mistakes, built up a name and network. And by the time you can get the funding for the projects you really want to do, you can develop more long-term goals. ‘Start-up gallery’ is perhaps a better term for this way of exhibiting.

Nowadays there seem to be pop-up everythings. Pop-up restaurants, hotels, festivals, etc. You name it, and it pops up somewhere. There even are several online ‘how-to’ manuals. It feels like a relatively new phenomenon, but is actually long present in society. Think of new years, when suddenly stores pop up where you can buy fire-works.

The pop-up way of doing things comes with a hasty feel. “When is it, did I miss it, am I totally screwed now I’ve missed it?”. We all know the feeling. It does remind one of another art-form widely used since the end of the last century: performance. With the great distinction that performance, if well recorded, can in a way be seen again on a screen.

Of course, because the pop-up exhibition is quick and happening and all that, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the art it features has the same qualities. So instead of the big installation sort which we have become so used to in recent years, they can also present slow art. You know, the kind of art that asks: “Look at me. No, stop you moron, look again. LOOK. And please read the info I left for you on the table. No the other table, the one by the window. THANK YOU!”.

In short: nowadays we are confronted with short term, highly peakable exhibitions that can also show slooooow art. Don’t you just love the art world?