Exhibition

WAS IT A CAT I SAW

7 Jan 2017 – 11 Feb 2017

SCOTTY e.V.

Berlin
Berlin, Germany

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The title WAS IT A CAT I SAW, a Palindrom, is inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland: After the grin of the Cheshire Cat has disappeared, Alice asks "Was it s cat I saw?

About

Bettina Gruber & Maria Vedder
Catfish Tango
1986
7:00 min

music: Bettina Gruber
television production for the ZDF/second german television

In the depths of the blue ocean lies the sunken city of Atlantis, inhabited by ancient fish that resemble pliers, whisks and coffee spoons. And here begins the journey caused by a fish obsessed cat, which at the time is the connection between the ocean dwelling creatures and the flying absurdities of the vast outer space.

The artists Bettina Gruber and Maria Vedder started to collaborate in the 1970's. In 1982, as video artists of the "2nd generation", they published „DuMont Handbuch der Videopraxis". A year later, in 1983, they published the book "Kunst und Video", which was the first quintessential compendium of contemporary video art at the time.

Klara Hobza
Nay, I'll Have A Starling – The Plan
2007
1:12 min

Klara Hobza, born 1975 in Pilsen, Czech Republic, works and lives in Berlin. Hobza’s artistic practice revolves around performance, video, drawing and sculpture. Her pieces are conceptually held together by narrations of self-imposed and large scale endeavors.
Nay, I'll Have A Starling is so far Klara Hobza's most extensive body of work. In progress since 2005, it's based on the following story: In 1890, Eugene Schieffelin and the Acclimation Society of North America decided to bring all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare's plays to the USA from Britain. Among them were 60 European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), because Shakespeare had mentioned them in Henry IV: "Nay, I'll have a starling shall be taught to speak nothing but Mortimer'…" (Part I, Act 1, Scene 3).
The birds were released in New York City's Central Park, and their first nest was found on the roof of the American Museum of Natural History. Since then, the European Starling has spread very successfully in North America, and today we count over 200 million. Note that there are only 300 million starlings worldwide, and in Europe their population is on the decline. Many regard the European Starlings as pests for destroying crops and stealing native species' nesting cavities. They are colonial breeders that are considered aggressive and noisy--an invasive species.
In her role, as a European, Klara feels guilty about the trouble the European Starlings are causing. She decided to capture 60 Starlings in Central Park, send them back to England, and release them in Buckingham Palace Park.

Hobza studied at Munich Academy of Fine Arts under Olaf Metzel, MFA at Columbia University, New York and at Rogue Film School, Los Angeles. Her recent solo exhibitions include Diving Through Europe at Syndhavn Station, Copenhagen (2014), Die große Basler Gipfelbargung at deupiece bei St. Clara, Basel, and On Display at basis, Frankfurt am Main. Hobza has been awarded with grants and fellowships from Stiftung Kunstfonds (Germany, 2012), ars viva/BDI (Germany, 2010), DIVA (Denmark, 2009), NYFA (NY, 2007) and the SculptureCenter Prize (NY, 2005), et al.

Elodie Pong
I am a bomb / Je suis une Bombe
2006
6:12 min

A figure in a panda bear costume performs an erotic pole dance. On removing the panda’s head, a woman appears and steps up to the camera to deliver her own praises of a complex image of woman, simultaneously strong and vulnerable, a potential powder keg.

US born, Swiss artist Elodie Pong is known for her subtle, analytic work, which is often built in multidisciplinary ensembles of pieces including video, installation, interviews, performance and film. Her projects focus on human relationships, cultural codes and their impacts on contemporary society.
Pongs videos have been included in exhibitions & screenings worldwide, and have notably been presented at
Whitechapel Gallery, London, Kunsthaus Zurich, ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, fundacion PROA, Buenos Aires, Para/Site, Hong Kong, Tokyo Wonder Site Shibuya*, Kunstmuseum Solothurn*, Occurence Centre d’art et d’essai contemporains, Montreal*, Lokal 30 , Warsaw and London*, The Kitchen, NY*, Centre Dürrenmatt Neuchâtel*, DBA Christian Haye / The Project, NY*, Ballroom Marfa, Texas, GAMec Galleria d‘Arte Moderna, Bergamo, Le Fresnoy Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing, Mothers Tankstation, Dublin*, Kunstsammlung Jena / DE *, Helmhaus Zürich / CH *
* solo exhibition

Lucy Powell
Impossible Line
2009
Super 8, loop, 3:00 min

In Impossible Line a chicken is hypnotized by drawing a chalk line away from its beak.
After a few minutes the bird awakes from the trance and flies off, unharmed. Filmed in Super 8, the film has an educational film aesthetic. There are many ways to hypnotize a chicken, a state that is referred to by ethnologists as "tonic immobility" – a natural state of semi - paralysis that may be a defence mechanism to feign death in the face of threat. What appealed to me was the idea of the straight line being something so confounding it could send a creature into a trance, or perhaps the idea of having one's world divided in two. What is actually going on in the chicken's mind is something just as mysterious.

Lucy Powell
Birdyhop
2000
1:00 min

A sparrow hops into the centre of the screen and gets caught in a loop. It hops up and down in a sequence of bizarre rhythms before being released back into real time and hopping away.

Lucy Powell is based in Berlin and has an interdisciplinary practice that intersects science and dreams, nature and culture, meaning and absurdity. She studied Fine Art at Liverpool John Moores University. Recent exhibitions/screenings include Screening Nature, Whitechapel Art Gallery / Amateurism, Kunstverein Heidelberg / The Worldly House Archive, Documenta 13 / Jäger und Gejagte, Museum Villa Rot / The Animal Gaze, London Metropolitan University / Animal Kingdom, Schinkel Pavilion Berlin / Tier und Film, Oberhausen Kurzfilmtage / Derridas Katze, Kunstamt Kreuzberg.
She has recently had residencies at the Sirius Arts Centre, Cork, L'Entreprise Culturelle, Paris and Künstlerdorf Schöppingen and is a co-founder of the Satellite Salon for art-science conversations

Dana Sherwood
Feral Nights Florida (possums)
2016
7:00 min

Dana Sherwood (born 1977, New York) is a New York based artist whose work lies in the boundary-lines of the domestic and the wild, and interrogates the semiotics of desire and melancholia present at the intersection of the two worlds. The complexity of interpretation lies in the use of non-traditional materials and unconventional methodologies, which can sometimes involve organic materials and elaborate confectionery as well as interventions by animals.

Since receiving a BFA from the University of Maine in 2004 Sherwood has exhibited her work in New York at Marianne Boesky Gallery (2012), as well as Mixed Greens Gallery (2012), Socrates Sculpture Park (2009), Flux Factory (2010), the Biennial of Western NY (2010) and Prospect 2 New Orleans (2011).  She recently created a new piece for Scotia Bank Nuit Blanche in Toronto, and has shown in venues throughout Europe. In 2015 Sherwood will have her inaugural European solo show at Galerie Nagel-Draxler Reiseburogalerie.

SAGSI-group (Steffi Weismann, Antonia Baehr, Georg Klein, Sigrid Keil, Isabell Spengler)
Inside the Tiger
2014
video, color, sound
14:00 min

The Tasmanian Tiger Immersive Self-Therapy Program (TTIST) offers participants the possibility to slip into a costume and experience being a Tasmanian Tiger (extinct since 1936). The video features four statements by participants of the program alongside a documentation of their behavior during the experience.

Some members of the SAGSI-group have collaborated interdisciplinarily already since 1994. In various group-formations and constellations as co-authors, they have realized numerous productions: Performances, films, installations and book publications. However, "Inside the Tiger" is the only work to date co-authored in precisely this constellation of group members. The impulse for this video production emerged from a prior collaboration between Steffi Weismann and Antonia Baehr in the context of Antonia Baehr's Abedecarium Bestiarium – Portraits of affinities in animal metaphors (2013),

 

Featuring: Klara Hobza, Bettina Gruber & Maria Vedder, Elodie Pong, Lucy Powell, Dana Sherwood,
SAGSI-group (Steffi Weismann, Antonia Baehr, Georg Klein, Sigrid Keil, Isabell Spengler)

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