Berlin – Los Angeles Connect | A Group exhibition with Nadja Buttendorf, Esben Holk, and Cornelia Sollfrank from Berlin, and Petra Cortright, Julie Orser and Peter Wu+ from Los Angeles.
About the exhibition
panke.gallery (Berlin) and JAUS (Los Angeles) are delighted to present “Post Cinema” a group show at Open Mind Art Space in Los Angeles with Nadja Buttendorf, Esben Holk, and Cornelia Sollfrank from Berlin, and Petra Cortright, Julie Orser and Peter Wu from Los Angeles.
The catchy title of this exhibition echoes post-internet as much as postmodern or post-digital, but it is not about "post," or is it? Wasn't TV already post-cinema? For decades, dreams of global utopia have been rushing over the airwaves and electronic superhighways into the clouds of the internet, flowing further into the (inter)streaming networks of today. The artists in POST CINEMA use various digital mediums to explore common themes throughout the history of cinema and TV within the context of today's cyber world dominated by social media and virtual reality.
POST CINEMA takes an early TV performance from Cornelia Sollfrank as a starting point. As a member of the artist group frauen-und-technik (women-and-technology), Cornelia filmed herself meditating within the Piazza Virtuale, a project by Van Gogh TV [https://vangoghtv.hs-mainz.de/?portfolio=hamburg-2&lang=en] that somehow - very precisely and as early as 1992 - predicted twitch.tv. Sollfrank's performance anticipated the next step in the development from post-cinema to post-TV, finally accomplished by platforms such as YouTube, whose slogan appropriately commanded: "broadcast yourself". With their simple tools, defaults, templates and their UI’s programming user behavior,those platforms strongly shaped our perception and expectations of film and TV.
Petra Cortright's web video VVEBCAM, from 2007 highlights this moment. While there had already been experiments in the early 90's (one of them being the web videos Gil Kuno did on his page unsound.com, for example), Cortright's early work marks the time of so called Web 2.0, when platforms began to rule the appearance, framework and sometimes the content of the videos, too. In the case of VVEBCAM, the artist’s practice of playing with the standard TAG function of the platform got the video suspended. Not only is the platform an integral part of Cortright's artwork, its functions, such as comments, as well as the standard webcam video filters, are also the subject of the video, while the human and meditative presence in the video are reminiscent of Cornelia's piece 15 years earlier. Furthermore, the platforms now seem to move away from desperate self-broadcasting to brand and popular content creator channels, in a wicked twist backwards towards the idea of classical network TV.
Similarly, in ROBOTRON - a tech opera, Nadja Buttendorf is broadcasting herself in the format of a TV show, using the notion of "seasons," and even publishing "making-of" episodes. In a very personal way, she is telling the story of Robotron - the East German IBM - inspired by the biography of her parents who had met and worked there. Nadja uses the narrative as a framework to reflect on the topic of women and technology, from the socialistic times of the GDR to today's hyper capitalistic society.
EPOCH (organized by Peter Wu+) and Esben Holk develop 3D worlds in which the spectator becomes the actor. With their works, the artists play on the intersection where games, movies and TV intertwine. In Esben's work the narration is unfolded by the audience, its subject is actor Jennifer Aniston and the world of the sit-com, Friends. The Jennifer Aniston Superfriends Tarot is exhibited in a Web 3D world through which the user has to navigate and create their own, intimate Tarot reading session. EPOCH presents Cryosphere, a collaborative online universe that presents work addressing the climate crises and the melting of the Arctic, and more specifically Alaskan glaciers, a process that has been accelerated in the last century and which has been roughly parallel to the existence of cinema and television.
Finally, Julie Orser presents NotAMuse (Unknown Artist, vol. 2), a video-art piece culled from hours of material from movies and television shows created between 1914 and 2022 depicting the male artist and his female muse. In the piece, the model's image is not only “captured” on canvas and in stone, but she is the “object” of his obsession that she must ultimately destroy. The work is at once a reflection of recurring tropes within the cinematic medium but also serves as a powerful critique of the entertainment industry's perpetuation and self-mimicry of the gendered relationship between artist and subject.
Nadja Buttendorf (1984) questions current norms and codes of gender constructions and value creation mechanisms of the human body in our digital society. Her works make it clear that our understanding of technology is also linked to patriarchal power relations. Her interactive works and video projects, on the other hand, draw multi-layered new narratives in which women become visible again as an elementary part of the history of technology. She extracts communicative moments of participation in the Internet both in her performative jewelry objects and in her tutorial workshops. DIY, as a widespread online aesthetic, is used specifically as a strategy of access and rejection of neoliberal work ethics. Works and workshops by Nadja Buttendorf have been shown at the HKW Berlin, the Hartware MedienKunstVerein Dortmund, Künstlerhaus Bremen, LaGaîtéLyrique Paris, the MU Eindhoven, the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf, Halle 14 - Zentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig, the D21 Leipzig and the panke.gallery Berlin. She has also given lecture performances at Re:publica, the CCC, Creamcake and the nGbK Berlin. Nadja Buttendorf is a trained goldsmith and studied fine arts at the Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle (Saale). https://nadjabuttendorf.com/
Petra Cortright is an Internet artist (b. 1986, Santa Barbara) lives and works in Los Angeles. She has studied at Parsons School of Design in New York and California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She was a member of the Nasty Nets Internet Surfing Club, Loshadka Internet Surfing Club and Computers Club. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Doota Plaza, Seoul; LIMA, Amsterdam; UTA Artist Space, Los Angeles; University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh; and Depart Foundation, Los Angeles. She has also participated in numerous group exhibitions at international venues including the MoMA New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Ludwig Museum, Budapest; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; KM – Halle für Kunst & Medien, Graz; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Kunsthaus Langenthal, Langenthal; New Museum, New York; 12th Biennale de Lyon, Lyon; and SJ01 Biennial, San Jose. https://www.petracortright.com
Esben Holk (b. 1992 Copenhagen) is an interdisciplinary artist, curator and programmer exploring virtual existentialism, -identity and technoscience through digital media, worldbuilding technology and creative coding. Blurring the lines between the material and the virtual, their work grows an ongoing rhizomatic fiction, referenced in 3D landscapes, memes, collages and videogames, in which the posthuman digital anatomy is corporeal, play is integral and everything is surrealistically endowed with soft spoken agency. As a member of queerfeminist, absurdist art collective HOUSE OF KILLING, Esben generates art that bridges the self-deprecating personal with the utopian political. Through this hybrid position they articulate personal experiences with queerness, work, failure and abjectification and deploy strategies from game- and software design in interactive works that turn precarity, emotional polysemy and ontological uncertainty into tools of resistance. Mutate material reality with the semiotics of the unreal! We vehemently want reality to mutate. Esben Holk @ HOUSE OF KILLING has exhibited across Europe in various institutions, galleries and off-sites such as HKW Berlin, Panke Gallery Berlin, Arebyte On Screen, Green Cube Gallery, Dada Post Berlin, and Museum Human Achievement Texas, and has been included in CTM Festival (2021), Die Digitale (2020) and Transmediale Festival (2019). https://www.houseofkilling.com
Julie Orser (b. Chicago, IL) received her MFA in Studio Art from California Institute of the Arts. Her videos and multimedia installations have exhibited at the Luckman Gallery (Los Angeles), Yuz Museum (Shanghai), The Gallery Loop (Seoul), Shoshana Wayne Gallery (Santa Monica), Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), Il Magazzino d'Arte Moderna (Rome), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, The Armory Center for the Arts (Pasadena), Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (Salt Lake City), and her videos have screened at the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Souvenirs From Earth (SFE TV), the Drawing Room (New York), the Athens International Film + Video Festival and Saison Vidéo (Hauts-de-France). Orser is a recipient of 2010 CCF Visual Artist Fellowship and the 2014 & 2009 CCI Investing in Artists grants. Julie lives in Los Angeles and is an Associate Professor in the Creative Photography and Experimental Media Program at California State University, Fullerton. https://www.julieorser.com/
Cornelia Sollfrank (PhD) is an artist and researcher, living in Berlin, Germany. Since the early days of the World Wide Web she has explored the potential of the digital for rethinking traditional aesthetic categories while also searching for innovative forms for aesthetic and political transformation. Recurring subjects in her artistic and academic work in and about digital cultures are artistic infrastructures, new forms of (political) self-organization, critical authorship, aesthetics of the commons, and techno-feminist practice and theory. Her experiments with the basic principles of aesthetic modernism implied conflicts with its institutional and legal framework and led to her academic research. In her PhD report titled “Performing the Paradoxes of Intellectual Property,” Cornelia investigated the increasingly conflicting relationship between art and copyright. This led to her research project “Creating Commons” (2017-2019) based at the University of the Arts in Zürich. In her current research “Latent Spaces. Performing Ambiguous Data,” she investigates the potential of social media for political manipulation. Recent publications include The beautiful Warriors. Technofeminist Practice in the 21st Century (minorcompositions.org), Aesthetics of the Commons (diaphanes.net) and Fix My Code (with Winnie Soon) (eeclectic.de) – all open access. | https://artwarez.org/
EPOCH is an artist-run virtual experiment organized by Peter Wu+. For the Post Cinema exhibition, EPOCH will present CRYOSPHERE featuring Carolina Caycedo, Patricia Echeverria Liras, Jiabao Li, Alfredo Salazar-Caro, Nathan Shafer, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, and Studio Above&Below. CRYOSPHERE is inspired by the Matanuska Glacier in Alaska and the climate crisis has caused ice forms in Alaska to disappear at a faster rate than other glacierized regions on Earth. These arctic areas play a crucial role in regulating the planet’s atmosphere and have been called “ground zero” for environmental collapse, as rising temperatures and melting sea ice impact local communities and the global destabilization of weather precipitation. The Matanuska Glacier has lost over 84 million tons of ice since 2002. | On June 18th, the entirety of the CRYOSPHERE exhibition was released as a singular NFT containing a compilation of artworks by participating artists and will be minted on Algorand which is a sustainable and green blockchain. A portion of the proceeds will go to support Cook Inletkeeper, an Alaskan non-profit organization which engages with local communities, Indigenous-led movements, and a strong coalition of groups working to build a bridge to the future by protecting wild salmon landscapes and addressing the climate emergency. https://epoch.gallery