Kristine Agergaard/Janne Schäfer, Maija Blåfield, Anssi Kasitonni, Maria Pask
Curated by Henrikke Nielsen

November 5. ­ December 17. 2005

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

press photos and artists/curator CVs


SUSPEND DISBELIEF addresses the generative nature of conviction and belief. Through various strategies and medias, the artists appropriate notions of religion, superstition, self-sustainability, rituals, and constructed realities. Humour and irony is at stake, but they are at the same time powerfully sincere, and can be regarded as a sort of naive private or collective rescue attempts, whereby they express a critical attitude without deteriorating into missionary statements or didactic enlightenment.

Kristine Agergaard and Janne Schäfer present a new body of work that has developed from and with a fictive cult initiated by the artists, and dedicated the worship of the golden dolphin. A photo-series documents the artists searching for the golden dolphin in a voodoo-like manner, and a wall painting declares "Free Gold". The paradox involved in this motto is typical for Agergaard and Schäfer's investigation of religious worship and the promise of transformation. Their performative approach in terms of language can also be traced in the piece "Hopeful and fearful instructions": a flag with an embroidered set of instructions that can be read simultaneously in a positive and negative way.

In opposition to this staged reality, Maija Blåfield's "Saving The World" is a video documentary about Marcel Bloemendal who suffers from schizophrenia and believes he is a secret agent set out to ensure eternal peace in the world. In 1976 he began an endless missionary journey around Europe, and Blåfield has joined him partially during the past five years: from a demonstrating crowd in Stockholm to the living room of a mysterious clairvoyant in Vienna. We experience reality through the eyes of Bloemendal and are gradually convinced by his own logic concerning his disease: "if I did not have it I would be just boring and average, but now I can save the world". The film is one hour long, and questions the problematic line between normality and abnormality, sanity and insanity.

In the basement of Sparwasser HQ, Anssi Kasitonni's video "The Knockers" is on view. The film combines rural prospects, television police shows and science fiction. As the two leading characters, father and son, are leaving in order to carry out a planned bank robbery in their yearning for "something more", we are introduced to two strange creatures living in a subterranean high tech space capsule. Representing consciousness they are alarmed whenever something immoral is about to happen. The film is realised with primitive special effects and a good deal of humour, but it has an undertone of sincerity and melancholy ­ not the least due to the accompanying acoustic pop music played by Kasitonni himself.

"The Kit (Emanuelle's Annual Manual)" by Maria Pask is a cheaply printed publication that contains various methods of self-sustainability, survival and problem solving "in preparation for a world crumbling around you". The edition for sale at Sparwasser HQ demonstrates, among other things, how to build your own shelter or a survival-cocktail-bar, a "wild food adventurer" (all tested by the artist herself), as well as a guide to reshape love! In short it is a practical compilation of survival strategies for a worst-case scenario, but also for general existential crisis. Pask is interested in the ideologies and aesthetics of (hippie-) communal life, and will also present a series of slides documenting a naturist campsite that she arranged in the backyard of a museum in 2001.

For further information please contact Henrikke Nielsen:

THANKS to: Danish Arts Council, FRAME, The Royal Netherland's Embassy, Berlin, AV-ARKKI and Kinotar, Helsinki, Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam, BAK, Utrecht, and Mika Kokkonen

or contact Lise @ Sparwasser HQ
Offensive für zeitgenössische Kunst und Kommunikation
Torstrasse 161, 10115 Berlin
Telefon +49 30 21803001 / +49 179 6705859