John von Bergen – RELICS
Zentralwerk, Dresden
June 15th – July 15, 2018 EXTENDED until Sept 15, 2018 (by appointment only)

 

Press Release:

 

“‘An Imperfect Understanding Of A Memory of A Thing That I Have Never Known’ was some very rough, early version of a potential title for one of the projects in this exhibition. At the time it felt like some kind of raw, unfiltered poem, maybe not even to be shared with the outside world. But in the end that title didn’t need to develop, because my pursuit took a rather different course than expected – I actually did get to personally know, and hold, and own, some of the objects that were made in or around the property of Zentralwerk throughout the last hundred years. I got to know their monetary value, their weight, their smells, their wear and tear, and their identifiable markings that stored many years of dust.”

– John von Bergen

 

RELICS is the first solo exhibition in Dresden by the Berlin-based artist John von Bergen. His new projects are based on recent architectural impressions made at Zentralwerk, as well as the research and obtainment of twentieth-century “product” developed by the former business entities of this property. The starting points for von Bergen’s interventions include a century-old typewriter, a bomb fuse built by Nazis, GDR comic books, an innocuous crack in the floor, and a dilapidating section of a brick wall. But this exhibition differs from those displays one may come to expect from an archive or a museum, as this is not a survey of objects for historical or educational purpose, nor any celebration of paraphernalia. There is, on the one hand, an interest to explore the potentially ambiguous relationship one may have with artifacts – relationships that may provoke sentiment, curiosity, fetish, or disdain. On the other hand, this unique space, and its uncanny history, becomes the catalyst for absurd intervention. RELICS presents the same language of phenomena that connects closely to von Bergen’s oeuvre, offering the potential for triggering the unimaginable. As “many years of dust” have become unsettled, this unsettling has created a group of site-specific projects that echo their historical transience while energizing the space with yet another, new chapter of production.

 

Artworks:

 

!.!.
Clemens Müller Typewriter, Handmade paper,
Ink, MDF, Polymer-gypsum, Paint
86 x 39 x 42 cm
2018

 

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dpvdpv
Plaster, Polymer, Paint, Graphite, Wooden shelf
50 x 40 x 242 cm
2018

 

dpv

 

dpv

 

dpv

 

dpv

 

 

 

 

 

mm
Concrete comic book bunker, 12 Mosaik comics,
MDF pedestal, Framed eBay message
129 x 90 x 53 cm (installed)

 

m

samp.web
Translation: “Thank you very much for the bank transfer, which is hereby confirmed. Unfortunately I live in the evacuation area of the Dresden bomb and can only send the materials when I can get back into my house, so please understand. Thanks, and friendly greetings …. ”

 

 

 

 

 

WheelReinventing The Wheel
(These Teeth Are Made For Biting)

Concrete, Copper, Epoxy, Lead, Rust paint, Graphite
31 x 114 x 33 cm
2018

 

Wheel

 

Wheel

 

 

 

 

 

fossilfossil
Concrete, Sand, Ink
13 x 225 x 110 cm
2018

 

fossil

 

fossil

 

 

 

 

 

RELICS

Click here for the PDF “RELICS [the making of]”