To follow pick lists you need to be logged in.



Hugo de Almeida Pinho | Stelios Kallinikou | Andrés Pereira Paz | Pablo Pijnappel | Biljana Popovic

Press release

Hugo de Almeida Pinho – Paradox of Plenty
Approaching the past and present relationships between ecology, economics, conflict and technology, Hugo de Almeida Pinho’s exhibition reflects on how the geological materiality of earth defines the technical culture of media by the extensive use of mineral resources in technological devices, but also on the implications between the history of technology and the inner histories of colonial and neocolonial societies. Taking the form of several installations, Paradox of Plenty is composed by three main axes: a critical approach to the nineteenth-century geological museums created after European colonial expeditions to Africa and South America; the so-called conflict minerals or 3TG (Tantalite, Tungsten, Tin and Gold) from these same (neo)colonial territories, that still carry different entropic, environmental, labour and bellic costs; and the lithium fever in Portugal, that has become the scene of a conflict between the political and economic interests and the concerns of local people regarding the environmental and social problems arising from the lithium prospection.
The artist will present a Performance Act in the installation ‘New Natures’, every Tuesday 17-19h (28.05/04.06/11.06) at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, and a side programme – co-curated with Sara Castelo Branco – composed of an artists’ film screening named “Out Off Nature”, in Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst.

Stelios Kallinikou – rcsaerh
As a trained archaeologist, Stelios Kallinikou seeks to make visible narratives about places that settle beyond words; in an introspective, almost meditative way, he creates worlds that function like speculative scenarios exploring the intersections of territorial and ideological concepts of landscape.
In the exhibition rcsaerh, Kallinikou focuses on different places of ‘in-between’ and the politics of action within them. His video work Trailer, which is shown in the Künstlerhaus as a loop on four monitors, is a collage of found video material about the area around Akrotiri, a British overseas territory with a military base in Cyprus, which coincides with a unique biosphere landscape of supra-regional importance as it is the military base for observing developments in the Middle East. Kallinikou has documented flying fighter jets as well as resting flamingos and combined the pictures with YouTube material of celebrating participants of a youth camp on the military grounds in images that often seem picturesque. The result is an abstract, poetic film, carried by a specially composed sound piece by Panagiotis Mina: an artistic attempt at the complex relationships and contradictions of this landscape with its many nuances and interstitions.
Kallinikou’s new series rcsaerh which he developed in Berlin, continues his interest in the pictorial representation of landscape under new aspects: he first photographed paintings in the Alte Nationalgalerie in which relationships between man and nature are thematized in different ways. Later, he searched online for these very images and took screenshots of the image matrices of the search engines, precisely at the moment of the delayed upload in which the image is seen as a monochrome square block. In a further step, Kallinikou brought the “momentary” and the actual image together in a digital collage; playing with surface and meta-surface, he thus created new, enigmatic images in painting format, located in the intersection between tradition, painting, photography, and the era of metadata. Kallinikou’s approach interrupts the process of a painting becoming a picture and makes it visible at the same time – the viewers are offered a fragmentary narrative which they can then complete for themselves.

Andrés Pereira Paz – Radio Carabuco
Radio Carabuco at Künstlerhaus Bethanien has evolved from the podcast station of the same name created by Bolivian artist Andrés Pereira Paz. The starting point is the artist’s critical reflections on a vision of hell produced by the painter José López de los Ríos, created in 1664 in the town of Carabuco in Bolivia. This painting, commissioned by the Catholic church,  can still be seen in Carabuco’s church on the shores of Lake Titicaca in La Paz. As European engravings were widely known during the colonial period, these sincretic depictions of ”Glory”, ”Purgatory” and ”Hell” may correspond in part to engravings made by French artist Philippe Thomassin during the early 17th century, highlighting the interchange of images at that time. As in many other paintings of the period, the Christian motif was reproduced by the Spanish colonial power for the purpose of ‘pagan conversion’ and as propaganda to hammer home Catholicism’s message of salvation as intended for transfer to Latin America. Against this background, Pereira Paz will present a series of podcasts exploring the forms and effects of religious and cultural colonization and investigating various political and social perspectives, particularly with regard to his native Bolivia. The focus will be on the demonization and suppression of the ‘Other’. Thinking of the exhibition space as a setting for listening, Pereira Paz has collaborated with international artists, social scientists, performers and activists (Gabriel Acevedo Velarde, Ana Alenso, David Aruquipa Perez, Stanisław Czaplicki, Elia Nurvista, Liv Schulman) to produce specially commissioned audio pieces and podcasts on various subjects, such as the emerging European far right, LGBT performances in Bolivian folklore, the presence of evangelical Christians in South America, and extractivism, etc.
The audio installation at Künstlerhaus Bethanien is supplemented by a selection of images from the ‘’David Aruquipa Perez and Comunidad Diversidad’’ archive as well as an object-based installation created by the artist.

Pablo Pijnappel – From Admiration to Shyness
Pablo Pijnappel’s work revolves around the relation between storytelling and the concoctions of memory. Taking psychoanalysis and literature as their starting points, his works are meta-narratives that poetically combine cultural, historical and ancestral identities, meshing them together through the prism of the past. For Pijnappel, language plays a central role in bridging the mechanisms of the mind and the world, whether as video installation, text or performance, his works lay at the crossroad between cinema, photography and literature.
For this current exhibition, Pijnappel’s works use the authoritative language of instruction manuals, self-help guides and the rulebooks of board games as ready-made narrative structures. Two works: From Admiration to Shyness and Sensual Exercises, appropriate such texts as film scripts, following their prescriptions, as if the subjects of the films were automatons devoid of empathy and even common sense.
Following appropriated and self-imposed rules is a common strategy of conceptual artists and composers, like John Cage, that hope to subvert notions of direct authorship by using indeterminacy. From Candy to Ashes expands the card matching game known as Memory, using the images on the cards to prompt another kind of memory in the player. As a result, players weave together a mosaic of short accounts, different at each telling and shared as if around a bonfire or in group therapy.
In Lucas, Pijnappel pursues the idiosyncratic relation we have with images, the work takes a narrative device from a Julio Cortázar novel; a diary of day-dreams that instead of stating real events charts a chain of associations and catalogues the places that the mind has wandered, creating an incidental, poetic prose.

Biljana Popovic – The Doubleghost
Biljana Popovic’s artistic research deals with questions of society, art in public spaces and the physical structures of our environment. Based on the premise that architectural environments provide information about the people who inhabit or use them as well as about aesthetic or stylistic concepts, Popovic gives architectural or interior design elements in her artistic works a new conceptual framework. By merely hinting at or alienating the familiar, Popovic offers recipients new perspectives on the physical environments in which they move.
Popovic’s project The Doubleghost uses the example of the well-known subway station Hermannplatz to examine the history and architectural history of the Berlin subway and its connections to the political history and ‘national’ identity of Prussia and Germany. In fact, the name of the square does not refer to the first name widely used at the time the station was inaugurated (1926/7), but to the pre-Christian history of Germania: it comes from Hermann the Cheruscan, whose figure became a national symbol of identification with Heinrich von Kleist’s drama Die Hermannsschlacht in the 19th century. Kleist’s work marks the burgeoning German nationalism in literature after Napoleon’s destruction of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. Based on this historical fact, Biljana Popovic’s walk-in installation at Künstlerhaus Bethanien poses the question of the extent to which architectural style depicts political change and architecture can contribute to the construct of a national identity. Popovic has installed pedestals with seats reminiscent of the subway station against the theatrical backdrop of a ‘movable’ fabric station wall with its typical ceramic tiles, and offers visitors the opportunity to follow a commented slide show with archive material, images, artefacts, and floor plans that, with a view of the Berlin subway, add to a multi-faceted history of both the architectural and the political.