Hundreds of Post-It notes screen printed with mosque motives adorn the walls of a box on the Kleistpark U-Bahn upper level platform. Closed off and with every surface covered, the repetition and layering of the screen-printed Post-Its transform the space into a mosque of its own. Each Post-It behaves differently. Some lay flat, while others curl up, a few descend to the floor. A neon cage is suspended from the ceiling within which the words ‘Vatanim Vatanim Vatanim,’ glow florescent into the air. Vatanim is Turkish for “My country.”
“People always say it three times,” Ardan explains.
The installations three-dimensional depth translates into a depth of meaning—on the surface, it is colorful, lighthearted and extremely fun, yet an entirely different character and tone eclipse the space.
The installation sheds light on a certain nostalgia that develops when one lives in a country other than that in which they were born. The moment when a person exclaims lovingly, mockingly, that things are so much better at home. Where casual reminiscence through the tunnels of one’s imagination and memory transform home and country in an overtly flattering way. It’s a bitter-sweet thing coming to know two cultures.
Ardan Özmenoglu is a versatile Turkish contemporary artist who works in a wide range of mediums including large-scale glass sculptures, Post-It® notes and neon lighting.
Platform Berlin is pleased to present Nicholas Norris with an installation JUMPIN’ OFF on view from October 2nd - 30th, at U-Bahn Kleistpark.
JUMPIN’ OFF is the second in a series of solo exhibitions presented by Platform Berlin, featuring contemporary artists living and working in Berlin. The exhibitions seek to engage new audiences and present socially relevant artworks outside of the white cube.
With JUMPIN’ OFF the American born artist Nicholas Norris presents his indulgence in spatial reconfiguration through the vocabulary of painting, from which an installation is developed.
A San Diego seascape is viewed through the confines of an anonymous architectural platform in a large oil painting hanging on the wall. The painted wall on which it hangs creates the second dimension and the painted box the third. Spatial repetition brings forth a portal to the San Diego sun line. A home away from home.
With references to the hazy colours of Richard Diebenkorn and the Morrocan series by Matisse, we have a gateway to the light of Southern California. Soft, translucent colours and geometric divisions of space offer a glimpse into the artists sehnsucht, his gaze, and perhaps his longing.
Standing on the platform, the viewer is at once brought closer to the ascending sun, the sea and sand. Yet the repetition of structure fundamentally separates any person that is standing outside and looking in. Absent from the piece is the depiction of human form, making the viewer the reflected subject of the very painting to which they observe. Each of us that looks in is invited for a lonely moment of contemplation and perhaps, a questioning of our solitary existence.
About Nicholas Norris
Nicholas Norris was born in Arizona, USA and now resides and works in Berlin. He was a fellow at Yale Summer Studies at The Institute of Studio Studies in Auvillar, France with Professor Robert Reed in 2012. In 2014 he graduated from Maine College of Art with a BFA in Painting.
Photos by Eric Tschernow
If you are reading this, you are at Pola Esther’s EYE EAT YOU. This is a sensual re-imagination of food, flavor and sensibility. Platform-Berlin is thrilled to be showing a series photographs printed on fabric and hung in the box. To excite you, we’ve made all the photographs visible at the opening. But over the course of the next six weeks we will have five separate exhibits that show selected photographs with built installations.
Pola is originally from Lodz, Poland but is now based in NYC. Rumor has it she was kissed by the Pope and that is what made her the way she is. Pola Esther has photographed for a variety of print magazines including Purple Magazine, Kaltblut, The Opéra and WhiteLies Magazine.
Fee Kleiss is a painter and sculptor working in Berlin Germany. In her work, the artist reckons with planetary realities of gravity, inertia and balance. For the installation TOAST HAWAII, Kleiß works almost exclusively with sculpture combining found objects with artificially rendered structures and shapes resembling those found in nature. A variegated biome of the artist’s imagination has sprouted. Slender stalks stretch upright placed next to squat tumescent bulbs, solid teardrops descend the walls and sculpture seamlessly extends itself to the painted canvas. Balance is brought into question as objects differing in shape, size, and velocity are pushed towards one end of the interior. The landscape is artificial in its depiction of nature, but also all together new and no longer bound by terrestrial constraints.
Platform is a mobile art installation project exhibited in formerly commercial locations on Berlin’s U-Bahn platforms. Its goal is to interrupt commuters for a moment, and thus inject contemporary art into a situation and collective mentality where it ordinarily would not be found.
Fee Kleiß ist eine aus Kuchen stammende Malerin und Bildhauerin. Ihre Kunst befasst sich mit den physikalischen Gesetzen der Schwerkraft, Trägheit und des Gleichgewichts. Für die Installation TOAST HAWAII arbeitet Kleiß größtenteils mit Skulpturen, die in Ihren erschaffenen Formen Strukturen aus der Natur aufgreifen und oftmals gefundene Objekte einbeziehen. Es entsteht ein vielseitiges Biom ihrer Fantasie: Schmale Stängel, die nebst gedrungener Zwiebelchen in den Himmel ragen; feste Tropfen, die kahlen Wänden entspringen - die Skulpturen scheinen förmlich nahtlos mit der Leinwand zu verschmelzen. Des Betrachters Vorstellung von Gleichgewicht wird durch scheinbar unzusammenhängende Formen, Dimensionen und Umlaufgeschwindigkeiten herausgefordert. Die kreierte Landschaft wirkt unecht in ihrer Darstellung der Natur. Gleichzeitig geht etwas Neuartiges, Frisches aus ihr hervor. Etwas, das nicht länger an irdische Beschränkungen gebunden ist.
Platform-Berlin ist ein mobiles Installationsprojekt und zeigt Kunst in ungenutztem oder für gewöhnlich zu kommerziellen Zwecken genutzten Raum auf der Berliner U-Bahnstrecke. Ziel ist es, die physische und mentale Routine der Passanten durch die unerwartete Begegnung mit zeitgenössischer Kunst zu unterbrechen und zu irritieren.
Moirai Realität is a mixed media performance and installation, developed upon invitation by Avenir Institute. It is a critical reflection on the process of narrating, legitimising and consuming the subjective "real" in the age of media. As Nietzsche murdered the divinity and post-modernism granted access to ultimate freedom in designing one's values and perceptions, the new normal shifted towards somewhat confusing personalised pick-and-choose 'curation' out of the randomness of ever-increasing information flow.
Moirai are the goddesses-witches in the Greek Mythology that stitch the carpet of fate for both wo(man) and Gods. They were among few characters feared even by the Olympians.
The installation consists of the set of printed statements on the walls of the Platform and the numbered balls, which are drawn from the bowl to be turned into a fresh narration of a constructed reality. The order of drawing the balls by the performers sums up in a reason-consequence sequence, which is in fact randomly composed by impartial "moirai": beyond morals, strategies and schemes.
This written essay FOAM featured below was written by Ian Warner from Slab-Mag and commissioned by Andrew Thomas Parry. Parry, a British artist and architect, approached Warner in May 2016 after his own research into foam insulating panels led him, inexorably, to Slab. The text accompanied the installation entitled “Let ’em Kuchen essen”, exhibited in the Platform art-space, a vitrine in the Kleistpark metro station. Parry’s installation is a social critique of Germany’s ongoing federal subsidisation of façade insulation, which is often used by property owners as a mechanism to increase rents prices.
In the urban imaginary, foam proffers itself as an allegorical narrative of social mobility. Foam is a useful metaphor for a specific expression of material wealth typified by a fetishistic appreciation of reductive aesthetics, as well as a tangible substance inherent to the fabric of our built environment and our culinary conventions.
In the multi-scaled system of foam we find the bubble as its smallest unit. Intrinsic to the lifespan of a bubble are gentle inflation and rapid collapse. In bubble economies, asset price inflation combined with unbridled credit expansion precede the crash. A single bubble might burst violently, but the steady depletion of foam soothes us with the promise of a soft landing. Foam’s abundance is a structural antidote laced with our desires.
The proliferation of the latte macchiato as a ritualistic medium through which to celebrate modest luxury permeates the urban econoculinary landscape. The rise of the neoliberal market economy – overlapping the second and third-wave coffee movements – was ushered in by the two-decade, bugle-call, background howl of the espresso-machine steam-wand. The latte macchiato’s emblematic ascent coincides with the exponential growth of Starbucks following the end of the Thatcher-Reagan era. When company stock began trading on Nasdaq in 1992, the chain had 195 stores. Twenty years later, there were over 17,000.
Writing in 1998, New York Times food columnist Molly O’Neill described late Michelin 3-stared chef Alain Chapel’s foamy mushroom cappuccino as “legendary”. Significantly – for analogies with late-capitalism – she frames the frothing of soups as a “subversive act, a way of blurring the distinction between the light and the heavy, the austere and the indulgent.” More recently, molecular gastronomist Adrià Ferran inadvertently helped to whip foam into the mainstream where it has since sagged into an aspirational cliché of more pedestrian eateries.
It is in the soufflé, however, that we find the embodiment of mastery over the inflation and collapse of textured hydrocolloids. First recorded in the early 1700s, the soufflé was developed and popularised by Marie-Antoine Carême 100 years later. Abandoned by his parents during the French Revolution, Carême apprenticed as a pâtissier close to the Palais-Royal neighbourhood in Paris, where post-revolutionary high-society congregated. He rose to fame after opening his own pâtisserie, where he regularly astonished the public with spectacular pièces montées in the shop window. These creations, made entirely of marzipan, sugar and pastry, were towering structures which mimicked architectural motifs: tiered pyramids, arches, turrets, domes and porticos.
Contemporary domestic architectures (another kind of pâtissier’s confection), with their smeared surface layers of coagulated polymer goos, are complicit in the swindle of the light masquerading as the heavy. Historical buildings, meanwhile, are coerced into the opposite: the seductive idea of indulgent austerity, heaviness rendered light by effervescent financial mechanisms. Subsidised foam cladding ostensibly addresses environmental concerns, but is also the driver of asset price inflation by passing on the remaining costs to those already ascendent on the socio-economic soufflé, and forcing aside those who are not. Profits swell on the back of a bubble.
As a sign of a certain kind of spirituality, foam, noted semiotician Roland Barthes, “has the reputation of being able to make something out of nothing, a large surface of effects out of a small volume of causes”.
Andrew Thomas Parry
Andrew Thomas Parry is a contemporary artist living and working in Berlin.