MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38 is pleased to present Nina Könnemann’s first one-person exhibition in the United States.
Könnemann is an astute observer of public spaces and the activities they harbor- or ban. Her observations, however, feed into a highly constructive method. Her videos often focus on one particular type of pursuit, social interaction, or the characteristic of a site, which they single out and highlight in such a way as to render them strange or absurd. These are, for the most part, everyday activities we all know but pay little attention to. Sommerleute (2009), for example, pinpoints the public waste bins of Berlin’s Alexanderplatz and the marginal economy of deposit bottles that they mediate. Bann (2012) shows smokers in the City of London conforming as best they can to recent regulations prohibiting smoking in public spaces and workspaces. Other works depict the activities that surround lowbrow rituals or outdoor festivities such as Berlin’s Love Parade or Blackpool’s Illuminations.
Könnemann captures moments that are emblematic, yet distinctly unspectacular. Drawing on different registers of filmic convention, her editing transforms these seemingly mundane facets of social life into elaborate narrative structures, rich dramaturgies that are full of suspense and surprising turns. Könnemann’s meticulously composed videos delight in toying with predictability, while heightening the viewer’s sensibility for, and pleasure in, the subtleties of the phenomena portrayed.
The exhibition at Ludlow 38 will present a new work starring people urinating in public space, alongside the 2004 video Castles Made of Sand.
Nina Könnemann (*1971) lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Her work has been shown at House of Gaga, Mexico (2012); Mathew, Berlin (2012); Museum Goch (2011); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2011); Air de Paris/Castillo Corrales, Paris (2011); Nürnberger Kunstverein (2010); Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (2010); Galerie Karin Günther, Hamburg (2009); Portikus, Frankfurt am Main (2009); Gallery TPW, Toronto (2008); Grazer Kunstverein (2007); Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Berlin (2006); Cubitt, London (2004); and Kunstverein Hamburg (2002).
Curated by Jakob Schillinger