Thomas Helbig group show "Intelligence" @ Giesebrechtstraße 6, Berlin-Charlottenburg, Berlin, Germany



Andrew Gilbert Thomas Helbig Erwin Kneihsl + Zeitblom

curated by Cora Waschke | Giesebrechtstraße 6 · Berlin-Charlottenburg | September – October 2023


In Charlottenburg‘s Giesebrechtstraße, not far from the apartment where the exhibition Intelligence will take place in September 2023, there was once the noble brothel Salon Kitty. If one believes the film of the same name by Tinto Brass with Helmut Berger from the year 1975, foreign diplomats and high-ranking animals of the National Socialists, among others, were spied on here in a frenzy of lust. The written records of the seductresses were compared with the acoustic facts via listening devices. Such perfidious interweavings of cold calculation, eroticism and violence evoke eerie fascination and works of art. The story, which was later spread by SS men, cannot be substantiated. However, it reflects the „satanic synthesis of reason and nature“ that the social philosopher Max Horkheimer recognizes in fascism and cites as an example of the concept of instrumental reason that he coined. Technical-rational means are used to pursue irrational ends; the domination of nature results in universal oppression, including of one‘s own species. Instrumental reason is diametrically opposed to Jean Gebser‘s integral consciousness. Let us leave for a moment the linear narrative of time and enter Gebser‘s aperspectival world. „Time,“ says the poet and philosopher, „expresses itself as the unity of past, present, and future; as the creative, as imagination, as labor, even as motor activity.“ So let us enter into the „supervenience of the new integral consciousness“ in recognition of our magical, mythical and mental-rational parts. From the salon Kitty we follow our shadow to the stately apartment diagonally across the street. He opens the door, in the rooms we are alone. An abandonment that has taken place over the decades can be seen on the floors, ceilings, and walls. The ever-dwindling resident hears of Lundmark‘s discovery of extra-galactic nebulae and star systems, reads of efforts at recolonization. He is seduced, interrogated, abducted, reconciled, unified. He looks at the TV sky, sees atomic bomb and airplane, he looks at the laptop and sees AI. We look at the walls and see wallpaper, see the voids of suspended pictures and coats. We hear noises, sounds, voices. We stand in front of the things that are works. This is the exhibition. Andrew Gilbert‘s works show a conglomeration of domination and consumerism in colonial history and today. The paintings and drawings invoke and often satirize existing images and genres, including battle paintings, portraits of rulers, works of expressionism, advertising pictures, tourist photos. Between caricature and religious vision, depicted with biting humor, naive and drastic at the same time, animal-like or mushroomheaded figures become mindless, consumerist perpetrators of violence among battered and dismembered bodies of meat and vegetables. Thomas Helbig‘s wall objects appear like relics or trophies of machines. Between a technoid and a religious impression, they could have emerged from a clash of spheres whose fragments have amalgamated into props of a mythical-intelligent power elevated above time and space. An epic space opens up in Helbig‘s paintings. Symbolistically, as it were, objects such as mirrors, flying bodies, and hands appear in front of celestial formations. The play of forces between good and evil, between consciousness and dream is here in eternal suspension. The image of the sun is the strongest of all symbols of power. Erwin Kneihsl has photographed the sun countless times and used it to illustrate the dualism of light and darkness with and in photography. The highcontrast, coarse-grained analog photographs stapled to cardboard move between alchemy and punk. His Berlin photographs reflect Kneihsl‘s photographic flair for undercurrent subjects. Exemplary here is the confluence of Nazi architecture and bondage in the Berlin Trade Fair. In the sound installation by the electroacoustic composer and sound artist Zeitblom, disappearance becomes present in sound. Ghostly noise seems to emerge from the walls as soon as one approaches them. Crackles, pops, fleeting voices emerge and get lost in the darkness of silence. This hauntological sound intertwines temporal planes and imaginative processes in architectural, acoustic and mental interstices.

by Cora Waschke


Thomas Helbig group show "Intelligence" @ Giesebrechtstraße 6, Berlin-Charlottenburg, Berlin, Germany  | lynda benglis, marco cingolani, ron gorchov, simon linke, klaus rinke, galleria d'arte bergamo

Research from our users

Lynda Benglis

Marco Cingolani

Oscar Giaconia

Ron Gorchov

Thomas Helbig

Simon Linke

David Novros

Anatoly Osmolovsky

Edoardo Piermattei

Klaus Rinke

Erik Saglia

Joe Zucker

Galleria d'arte Bergamo