Nog drie dagen: Luxus Loft Berlin - The Pleasure House Is About To Burn Down
From fore- to background: Johannes Buss, Ekaterina Mitichkina, Johannes Buss
LUXUS LOFT BERLIN- THE PLEASURE HOUSE IS ABOUT TO BURN DOWN
09-05-2013 till 16-06-2013
Galerie Jaap Sleper proudly brings the Berlin-based artists’ collective Luxus Loft to Utrecht with a group exhibition. Ten international artists present an image of their work in the much discussed city and the dealing with its double bind of both immense popularity and the shaky effects of the economic circumstances.
With a turbulent history that opened the door to new opportunities and possibilities for experiment, Berlin has seen some radical transformations in the past decades. The big amount of affordable spaces, an incredible underground appeal and a kindred spirit for every outcast, provided the ideal circumstances for artists to work, exhibit and develop. But despite the status of the lively cultural epicenter of Europe, the artists in The Pleasure House is About to Burn Down are quite aware that there might be an end to the fun.
In the Berlin scenario of flourishing cultural DIY-dynamics, too, there’s a price to be paid since the crisis. While the physical identity of the city is a silent witness of power structures from the past, the cultural identity of today shows the inevitable impact of more recent political and economic shifts. Exhibition spaces are increasingly scarce and rents keep going up, forcing an ever-growing group of inhabitants to look outside of the centers of Berlin and to move away.
But this doesn’t mean that artists will just hold their breath. Increase the Value of your Property is the Luxus Loft’s ironic slogan, taken from a real estate company’s advertisement. It stresses the longing for self-representation, collaboration and independent ways of artistic production. All social scientific theories of gentrification aside: did Berlin eat itself? If so, Luxus Loft refuses to give up their bite.
All of the participants in The Pleasure House is About to Burn Down moved to Berlin in the past two decades to work as an artist. With the concrete realities of having to leave a studio building that, of course, had to be transformed into Luxury Lofts, the artists united as an act of collectivity and resistance. Since the last years, they’ve reached outside together into an international network, to show what they are confronted with. Luxus Loft is active in organizing shows, participating in art fairs, studio visits, writing and making collaborative artworks. This exhibition at Galerie Jaap Sleper is yet another result of the direct mutual exchange of ideas and joint energies.
The individual artists, German, Dutch and other nationalities, work with sculpture, painting, drawing and video. While some works clearly deal with Berlin, the main common factor is their shared commitment to the future of a city that was claimed to be the center for so many scenes – something that might well be represented in their practice.
John von Bergen
Felix and Mumford
More information: www.galeriejaapsleper.nl
Galerie Jaap Sleper
Lange Nieuwstraat 34
3512 PH Utrecht
Two rocks by Manfred Peckl
John von Bergen
John von Bergen
In de achtergrond: Catherine Lorent
Center: Grözinger, in the background: Felix & Mumford