Andrew Hurle, Wolf von Kries, Paulette Phillips, Gavin Wade

March 12. - April. 9. 2005

in Sparwasser HQ Torstrasse 161m, Berlin Mitte
Wed-Fri 4-7pm, Sat 2-6pm

Curated by Lise Nellemann
Thanks to Henrikke Nielsen and Wolf von Kries

press image

The exhibition title, "DYING TO MAKE A LIVING," emerges from recent thinking on the logic of exchange. "DYING TO MAKE A LIVING" continues the train of thought set out in the previous exhibition, "THE GIFT," and introduces the topic of experimental economies. The exhibition raises questions about how we spend our time, the parameters by which we judge the value of time, and the exchange that is generated in these processes (of living, working, and dying). When the time dedicated to making a living is spent in such a way that it can be characterized only as dying, we find ourselves in a deadlock:

Is life itself a logic of exchange? And if so, then an exchange between whom?
Do we have to give in order to gain life? Or can we simply live?
Who or what defines the logic/law of exchange: God or Capitalism?
Is there an escape from this logic/law?

We present no conclusive answers to these questions; we have, instead, brought together the following artists, whose positions we consider helpful to an investigation of the issues.

The economy of Transformation "...risk it all, you will fall and rise again"

Gavin Wade's "Life Cycle" is a depiction of the artist as transforming and transformative being: the artist is compelled by economic, aesthetic, and social forces to alter his modes of production and engagement. Accompanying the life cycle graphic, Wade sings a version of his ongoing "Transformation Song," which tells of great warriors who fall and rise again. At this stage in his own life cycle, Wade is an artist-curator.

The economy of Behaviour

Paulette Phillips' video-works, "It's about how people judge appearance" and "Crosstalk," refer to erratic behavior, demeanor, and unreasonable reactions. Crosstalk is a term applied to the communication of organisms in distress. In the "Crosstalk" installation, a disturbance has been extracted from the scene. As we form a circle, to watch the invisible event or trauma, we become aware of our own voyeurism, and that those around us are watching too. The video, "Floating House" (a preview screening, in the first two first weeks only), makes this voyeurism explicit; we observe the event from a great distance, removed from its context or any possible involvement.

The economy of Time

Wolf von Kries' installation, "Crown of Gold," investigates the relationship between two systems of compression in the production / consumption chain. A gold crown, from his own tooth, is removed and placed inside a stack of supermarket packaging, then compressed into a bale. Merging industrial packaging compression with the human digestive process, von Kries emphasizes that the dialectics of staying alive and making a living follow a similar logic: the principle of added value or, simply, sticking a piece of gold in a pile of garbage. Complementary to this work, von Kries has realized the intervention "Double Bottom;" he cut away part of Sparwasser HQ's back wall, over the staircase. This removal gives a view into the hidden space above the lowered ceilings, in which are stored the remains of years of exhibition practice.

The economy of Autonomy

Andrew Hurle presents "76 Defunct Artist-Run Galleries," contemporary photographs of artist-run gallery sites in Sydney and Melbourne. The criterion for inclusion was simply that the sites no longer be operating as galleries. Hurle also brings his artist-run space, "Quadratmeter," to Sparwasser from the corridor outside his current studio at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien.

*Logik of Exchange, please see the privious exhibition



With friendly support from the Embassy of Canada Berlin.

Sparwasser HQ is partner to

The Danish Arts Council, Committee for International Visual Arts

For more information contact mail@sparwasserhq.de