Last week we had the honor to visit the “Labyrinth of Lies” exhibition in Berlin and shot a video of our impressions. Created by PlusOne-Art and curated by Verena Schneider and Clara Cremer, this show really was a smash hit combining art and current political topics bothering mankind for decades. The Willner Brauerei was packed on Thursday and Friday, 2800 art lovers wanted to see the artworks and installation works by The Connor Brothers and Sven Sauer with sound art by Bony Stoev.
As a media partner and having worked with Sven Sauer before I knew a little bit what to expect, seeing images of the installation and the progress of the construction a couple of days before. I’ve also seen his works at The Dark Rooms Exhibition before. But little did I know how my expectations were excelled entering the darkened exhibit rooms. I must admit that I really took my time and went through the exhibition a couple of times triggering new thoughts everytime.
It started with a short documentation film about a guerilla ad-removing campaign, which The Connor Brothers started, placing their own fake Vogue / Condé Nast covers into original ad billboards in the city and filming the reaction of the people seeing it. Having images of refugees integrated into the “usual” boulevard topics and showing them like models with the hashtag #refuchic made the people think how insane the balance is, living in our rich world and looking what the celebrities do instead of helping people in need.
After a dark passage with the lit cover artworks the next room got a bit brighter showing the large series of work The Connor Brothers did during the last years. Painting acrylics on top of vintage books and posters adding their signature quotes to it. Consisting mainly out of pulp fiction covers the sentences gave a nice twist and added personality to the shown vintage models on the cover.
Another curve through the dark labyrinth and a video captured my attention, giving me the introduction for the title of the exhibition. It has shown violent scenes of demonstrations in Egypt, Turkey and Hong Kong where we could see poses of certain people, which were used as iconic covers by the press. These poses inspired Sven Sauer to create his huge Kami installations. Especially the demonstration in Hong Kong, where the mainly peaceful demonstrators got striked with tear gas by the police. Umbrellas helped to shield them making it the so called Umbrella Revolution. 400 colorful umbrellas made the Labyrinth of Lies through which we had to walk. Combined with the dark sound installation by Bony Stoev these colorful umbrella walls cause a rather threatening feeling.
Then there they are, 4 huge installations showing men and women wearing “Kami” masks and captured in the mentioned poses. On several transparent layers the figures are cloaked with smoke/tear gas. As I walked around the 3D effect was really astounding. From the back the 4 persons were police officers showing their codes on their backs. This intriuing art installation lurred the lines for us visitors on which side we are standing. Whom can we trust. On which side do we want to stay? Fantastic and overwhelming by the combination of light effect, 3D layers, smoke, sound and topic. That’s art you have to experience on site and by your own.
Sven also had some smaller versions of the Kami ready for us with lights dangling above them. This time the layers were printed on acrylic glass so the lights enhanced the volumetric effects these artworks had. I arrived in the next room to take a short break talking to people and having a drink. The grand finale was still awaiting upstairs.
The final Kami with the iconic pose of the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong stood in the middle of the old grain stock of the Willner Brauerei. Accompanied by the dark bass sounds from below the visitors stood in awe making pictures, videos or just enjoying it. Me as well:)
These are the kinds of art experiences you really keep in mind like a good vacation or a remarkable concert of your favorite band.
Thanks Verena, Clara, Sven, Mike and James, Bony and all the helpers who made this exhibition possible. The venue was really perfect for such an exhibition.
I am excited to see more of the PlusOne series and we keep you posted on glarify.com
Enjoy the short movie here:
Brought to you by Felix B. Haas