Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.)

Karin Sander

05 Mar - 01 May 2011

© Karin Sander, Untitled (polished table tennis ball), 2009 (n.b.k. edition)
March 5 – May 1, 2011

Karin Sander (born in 1957) is one of the best-known artists of her generation. She has received numerous awards and her work is included in numerous collections, e.g. Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, MoMA, and Washington’s Hirschhorn Museum. Since 2007 she has been professor for architecture and art at ETH Zurich. She studied at Stuttgart’s Akademie der Bildenden Künste and today lives in Berlin and Zurich.

For her individual show at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Sander has planned an intervention that takes up an everyday act and translates it to space as sculpture by using a banal and devalued material. Through the ceiling of the exhibition space, which is the floor of the n.b.k. offices above, she has had 30-centimeter-wide holes drilled in the places where usually the wastepaper baskets are located. The holes replace the wastepaper baskets, and visibly link administrative practice with the practice of exhibition. Karin Sander captures the everyday gesture of disposal by instructing the n.b.k. employees to ignore the fact that the wastepaper baskets are missing. In this way material that has become useless falls from the administration offices to the exhibition space, and is transformed by way of the shift of context into a constantly growing temporary sculpture. The falling paper – as a metonymic sign of everyday life – becomes an object of the exhibit. This open concept of sculpture shows Karin Sander’s approach, which can be described here as the "brute" transformation of a found situation.

With this intervention, Karin Sander not only shifts the perception of the institutional body itself, but also the perspective of visitors and n.b.k. employees alike. Karin Sander’s works emerge in the context of the location in question. She takes recourse to things already present in the system and that can turn the system against itself. The relations between inside and outside, between an institution and the city space are made legible and displayed in their ambivalence.

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