Michael Janssen

Borderline Pleasure

10 Jul - 29 Aug 2009

Installation view - "Borderline Pleasure" 2009 - Galerie Michael Janssen, Berlin

A group show curated by Lukas and Sebastian Baden in coorporation with FGS-Karlsruhe

Berlin, July 10 - August 29, 2009

Galerie Michael Janssen is pleased to announce the group show "Borderline Pleasure" curated by Lukas and Sebastian Baden.

Dineo Seshee Bopape | Olaf Breuning | Corey D’augustine | David Hardy Dit Le Suisse Marrocain | Christian Ertel | Stelios Faitakis | Wolfgang Ganter | Andrew Gilbert | Samara Golden | Axel Heil | John Isaacs | Christof Kohlhöfer | Schirin Kretschmann | Dirk Meinzer | Dawn Mellor | Jürgen Palmtag | Wolf Pehlke | Stephane Pencreac’h | Gilad Ratmann | Tim Roda

We have chosen the title "Borderline Pleasure", which has as its central theme the limits of what pleases the gaze. On view will be works whose imagery either depict the naughty, cruel, disordered or dirty or stages these negative ends of the pleasure spectrum in a technical way.

Either way, the resulting works embrace an aesthetization that easily tends to cynism – sort of anticipating the hangover after the eye-candy-overdose. Borrowing from the connotations on both sides of the term, „Borderline Pleasure“diagnoses society as generally suffering from both social distortion and mental instability, but very masochistically taking pleasure in reflecting itself in that stage. In the Freudian explanation, the compulsion to repeat imagery that conjures up traumatic events or at least borders at the very unpleasant, is the signature of the death drive that goes beyond the pleasure principle. Howerer, this exhibition does not aim to illustrate trite academic iterations or dismiss society merely as a clinical case. The works on display rather raise the issue of aesthetic relief by putting the spectator in an undecided situation between self-enjoyment or agony of perception and comprehension.

The show will be devided in three chapters: Part one will be more on the playful, humorous side, with punch lines that might leave the viewer self-conscious of his own amusement. Part two will dig into the abyss of mental enjoyment and feature works that embrace the morbid, uncanny and blatantly violent, stopping short of graphic embarrassment through their expressive, blurry and ironic happily-colorful style. Part three will serve as sober intermezzo with luring optical effects and the ambiguous pleasure of presumably pure formalistic interventions. Chapter four will comprise two video installations that deal with the contradictory self-image of man, lyrically assuming the „borderline“-paradigm and turning it onto the pleasure of visual narrative.

The artists in the show have backgrounds as heterogeneous as the media that they work in. They are united though their message, attitude and style, which this exhibition aims to bring to the fore. Most of the participating artists have more or less fast ties to FGS gallery in Karlsruhe where their work was featured in solo or group exhibitions. A few
artists have been invited to participate that have not yet shown in either gallery, FGS in Karlsruhe and Janssen in

We hope that you can follow our borderline of pleasure. Please enjoy responsibly.

Lukas and Sebastian Baden

Tags: Olaf Breuning, Stelios Faitakis, Andrew Gilbert, Samara Golden, K8 Hardy, John Isaacs, Schirin Kretschmann, Dirk Meinzer, Dawn Mellor, Tim Roda