hariviera gallery



Marina Belobrovaja, Beni Bischof, Sasha Huber, Miro Schawalder, Fatma Shanan Dery, Tamir Zadok, Ariel Reichman, Belu Simion Fainaru, Roy Brand, Ori Scialom, Keren Yeala Golan


„No man is an Island, entire of it self“. The sentential statement goes back to the british  writer John Donne (1572- 1631). Since then the quote was frequently used as a title and became a known plea for solidarity in popular culture.

Contemporary philosophy defines the subject as always socially and culturally constituted. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari show that power is not exercised on the individual, but on diversities who populate, colonize and dwell on territories. In “A Thousand Plateaus”, the philosophers write that the territory is „an act, a practice, which affects environments and rhythms that are territorialized”. It is not only the space we live in (a house, hospital, church, university or museum), but it is a converging point of semiotic, linguistic, discursive and non-discursive components - a hard-fought space. Territories enable our existence in the first place: at the same time they represent the cage of our submission, but also the point where potential shifts can happen.

With this premises, the exhibition “No man is an Island” would like to bring together contemporary artists from Israel and Switzerland who are reflecting through their artistic practices on the present time and the history of structures and territories. The artworks take a position, occupy a point of view and approach spatial phenomena on analytical, poetical or subversive ways. 

The exhibition wanders through various territories and exposes their function as carriers of cultural memory. Cultural memory plays a fundamental role in the formation of national or collective identities and it has its  punctual fixed points. The Germain Egyptologist, religious scholar and cultural scientist Jan Assmann defines such punctual fixations as points which represent fateful events of the past whose memories are kept alive through cultural forms (texts, rituals, monuments) and institutionalized communication (recitation, inspection, observation). Thus cultural memory is also topographically organized. In every present time it is appropriated, interpreted, preserved and altered - it is the present-day which updates memories and puts them into perspective.

The works in the exhibition “No man is an Island” show how certain territorial discourses in Switzerland as well as in Israel are connecting with subjective bodily experiences. They start from main intersections where society and territory exist in relations of tension and open up new perspectives within the sociology of space. During this process, the critical angle is defined as an imagined outside perspective which is aware of its own impossibility. 

Neither art is an island. Instead, we propose to consider art as a space of tension in which works and practices position themselves. Within this field, it becomes possible to examine always anew how concepts of artistic autonomy and plurality of practices act in relation to critical thought and political agency.



Artist talk by Ariel Reichman

Saturday 25th July at 8pm at Ha'Rivera Gallery.





Every morning, one of my parents would ring the bell installed above their bed. The sound produced would exit in the kitchen. A couple of minutes later, Maria would enter the room serving tea for the master and coffee for the mad. She would repeat this phrase every morning. As a young child in apartheid South Africa, I would lie in my parents bed and witness this daily ritual. Maria was a second mother to me.


23 years later, Ariel went back to his native Johannesburg to find his beloved nanny and retrace Maria’s story. He hanged all around the city more than 250 drawings of her. Walls, bus stations, parks, buildings - Ariel used any empty corner that he could find in the urban space to celebrate his gratitude towards Maria.


From this very urge of going back to his origins, to the people who have influenced him during the most important years of his life, Ariel explores the paradox that concern “all Marias” during an historical period in which black people had no rights, no life choice and yet chose to love and educate “white children” as their own.

RENTYHORN – The intervention by Sasha Huber

Sasha Huber

 *1975 in Uster (CH). Lives and works in Helsinki.



RENTYHORN – The intervention, 2008

Video 4:30 min, Photos 48 x 38 cm,

Letter of request, answer letters and Swiss map


The primary incentive for Sasha Hubers artistic work has been the exploration of her Haitian-Swiss roots and identity via colonial history. This approach has broadened considerably to include a range of histories and postcolonial realities.


In 2007 when Huber joined the Transatlantic Committee “Demounting Lous Agassiz,” initiated by the Swiss historian and political activist Hans Fässler, her work took a new direction. The Swiss-born naturalist and glaciologist Louis Agassiz (1807- 1873) was an influential racist and a supporter of segregation in the Southern states of the USA. Agassiz’s full story had mostly gone untold until then. The aim was to shed light on Agassiz’s dark history by renaming the Swiss Agassizhorn mountain “Rentyhorn,” in tribute to Renty – an enslaved person from the Congo, who was one of many photographed for Agassiz’s research – and other victims of racism.


In 2008, Sasha Huber began planning her first intervention. She took a metal plaque bearing the new name to the top of the Agassizhorn and launched an international online petition (www.rentyhorn.ch). It was then that she began working with interventions, documenting them on video and in photographs and drawings, and in books related to her projects, produced in collaboration with writers and researchers. In 2010 and 2013, she extended the body of work Demounting Louis Agassiz on artist residencies in Brazil, Switzerland and Scotland.


Ariel Reichman

*1979 in South Africa. Lives and works in Berlin.





“That it shall be known, to all of Israel, to all of the world and to all the nations of the world. That they shall know that we have arrived at home! And when we have arrived home, they shall know, that no force in the world will move us from here.” – Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook (named after Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin), 1975.


During his stay at the “PROGRAM”, an artist residence in Berlin, Ariel Reichman created a series of art works, performances, and installations. By repurposing the gallery into a laboratory for living—a settlement – his project explored the intentions and desires to inscribe boundary, territory and ownership on place. The video performance “Crawling in an exaggerated manner around a perimeter of a square” was part of this interventions named “legal settlement.” Reichman writes: (...) My settlement is a legitimate one. But what I will bring with me to PROGRAM is a nuanced ideology—which will slowly develop into an intimate identity and personality within the space of the gallery. It is not the physical shape of a house or an “abandoned” hill, but rather acts of ritual and idealistic national thought that are inherent to the settlement. The reckless earnestness of the “youth of the hills,” the noar hagvaot who primitively occupy hilltops of the West Bank, surviving on cultural dogma and conviction, serve as a point of departure for this self-critical exhibition. “Crawling in an exaggerated manner around a perimeter of a square” is also an art historical quotation or re-enactment of the video by American artist Bruce Nauman. In the video from 1967, Nauman walks around the perimeter of a large square marked off with masking tape. He shifts his hips exaggeratedly as he places one foot in front of the other, moving carefully around the square.

GEWÄSSERBLAU (Waters Blue) by Miro Schawalder


Miro Schawalder

*1983. Lives and works in Vienna (A).


GEWÄSSERBLAU (Waters Blue) 2015

HD, Color, Stereo, 33 min


Gewässerblau (Waters Blue) is a film completed in 2015 telling fragments of spatial histories from the perspective of the balistraria of Fortress Heldsberg (Switzerland/Austrian border). Its field of fire marks out the filmic terrain, which analyses cartography as an instrument of objectivation and control. Blown up in the rock between 1939 and 1941 the forts blinked gaze spies upon an area of the River Rhine, whose landscape at that time had been transformed for industrial and agricultural purposes by forced labourers from a neighbouring forced labour camp.

THE URBURB by Roy Brand, Ori Scialom and Keren Yeala Golan


Roy Brand, Ori Scialom and Keren Yeala Golan


Patterns of Contemporary Living, 2015

Urburb, neither City nor Suburb: a Look at the Israeli Constructed Environment. 


The current Israeli man-made landscape has blurred the familiar dichotomy of “city” and “suburb” and produced a new hybrid: the Urburb is neither city nor suburb but rather a patchwork of island; a fragmentary combination of the nucleus city, dilapidated modernism, and capitalist residential projects that stretch over swaths of privatized land, stitched together by infrastructure. These formations create an organic composition that transplants the agrarian fantasy within the modernist dream of the Radiant City. In its various layers, the Israeli built environment is the by-product of an ostensibly modernist process, whose values have been transformed: The State’s responsibility over individuals and private dwellings have been traded in to fulfil real estate demands and capitalist expansion. Text by: Ori Scialom from the Book: THE URBURB


Beni Bischof

*1976 in St. Gallen (CH). Lives and works in St. Gallen. 




Inkjet prints


Artist statement: “The longer I work on my artistic works, the more I sense a common thread, which shows myself. This involves the manipulation of things, like absurd changes to the castles, for example. The castles are scans from a Brockenhaus book, I have just cleaned up the image, or simply made it more concise. I have removed disturbing elements in the background, created a more homogeneous background from the forest and brought out the essential from the shape of the castle. I have left out the windows and doors and removed the towers.”


Beni Bischofs art works are funny, yet profound thought gimmicks. As a pioneer of Swiss zine culture, he has been publishing works since 2005. He loves simple interventions that have big impacts. The flood of images of the mass media and advertising serve as raw material for his artistic practice. Irritation, decontextualization, satire – like the Dadaists Beni Bischof brings cultural signifiers to oscillate.


GAZA CANAL by Tamir Zadok

Tamir Zadok

* 1979 in Holon. Lives and works in Tel Aviv




Video, 9:00 Min and visitor center souvenir installation: 

mugs, polo shirts, beach towles and T-shirts 


In his Video installation Tamir Zadok invites the beholders to a journey through the construction of the Gaza Canal. A journey and a PR film promoted by the Yitzhak Rabin Visitor Center in Gaza Canal that features helicopter footage, animated graphics, satellite shots, expert interviews and background music. The Off Voice of the announcer leads to a virtual tour through the historical documentation of the project - the digging works of 15.000 workers, both Jewish and Arab, that dug the 61-km large Canal over the course of eight years. A young tourist happily reports on her experiences of travelling this new shaped part of the Middle East. It is a critical and powerful fantasy about the dissociation of the Gaza Strip and its transformation into a “green island”. It is also bitter parody on militarism, elusive political talk and propaganda. In its actual realization, Zadok transgresses the Israeli idea to throw all the Arabs into the sea, while embracing the official national-state language. Through this tactic Gaza Canal discloses how language and history writing can become tools to deny war crimes and legitimate repression. Exit the tour through the Gaza Canal souvenir shop.

DNA-Project by Marina Belobrovaja

Marina Belobrovaja 

*1976 in Kiew (UdSSR). Lives and works in Zürich. 



DNA-PROJECT, 2010 – 2012



It all started with a bizarre Google add: Are you a Jew? Do you have Jewish roots? Are you a Levi or a Cohen? With a DNA-Test by iGENEA your DNA profile on these features can be examined. After I have convinced myself that the website of the Zurich based company iGENEA was not a fake, I began to investigate: What will and can such a test say? On what biological characteristics can such membership be found? In a newspaper interview with the owner of iGENEA, Joelle Apter reported that the offered DNA tests are very popular in the Jewish community. (...) As part of my project, I have had many discussions. Geographically I have focused on the countries in which I have lived: the former Soviet Union, Israel, Germany and Switzerland. The project operates on the principle of a chain. With the previously videotaped statements, I went to the next person and showed her the recording, recorded their reactions to it and went to the next person and so on and so on. These rules forced the participants to, even in this so emotionally debated topic, listen before they could talk themselves. Text by: Marina Belobrovaja

Fatma Shanan Dery

Fatma Shanan Dery

 *1986 in Julis Village. Lives and Work in Julis


Hanging Carpet, 2011; oil on canvas 80 X 100, Balcony 2, 2011; oil on canvas 90 X120, Carpets, 2004; oil on canvas 75,5 X 90, Maya, 2014; oil on canvas 100 X 100


Fatma Shanan Dery’s figurative oil paintings are drawn from observation – picturesque scenes of villages and landscapes featuring traditional colourful carpets and portraits. For the traditional Bedouin tribes of Arabia, Persia and Anatolia the carpet was at the center of their life being used as a tent sheltering them from the sand storms, a floor covering providing great comfort for the household. With Islam, another significant value was added to the carpet, as furniture of Paradise mentioned numerous times in the Qurían. The European fascination with Muslim textile products goes back to the Middle Ages when contacts with the Muslim world, made during the Crusades and trade, resulted in the import of oriental art items including textiles. Fatma Shanan Dery incorporates visual motifs from her surroundings into her paintings as a reflection of her own identity, which is constituted by, in the artist’s words: “a patriarchal Arab and Druze society which suppresses individuality. (…) I’m carrying around this carpet and I will continue to carry it because I am part of this community (…).

Ping Pong by Belu-Simion Fainaru

Belu-Simion Fainaru 

*1959 in Romania. Lives and works in Haifa.






Maps never have been about objective representation of space. They are about the expression and fulfilment of power. From the age of Ptolemy, all those lofty claims to comprehensiveness have usually succumbed to the promotion of political agendas. As the cartography scholar Jerry Brotton rightly remarks: “A map always manages the reality it tries to show.” For in Israel/Palestine, just as in Kashmir and Sudan, postcolonial nations are still wrestling with imperialism’s mixed legacy and its arbitrary lines in the sand. And the maps keep changing.



Born in Paris. Lives and works in Jerusalem


Between Wars - A talk about documenting the daily human and physical default landscape of the civil society in the Gaza Strip between consecutive Israeli military offensives on the enclave, when there are no signs of significant reconstruction taking place and during the times when all the cameras are pointed elsewhere. Violeta Moura is a Portuguese freelance photojournalist and journalist. Moura’s work is comprised of photojournalistic and written reports on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as Portugal amidst the Eurozone economic crisis.


In collaboration with the GYM Group - it’s an independent school for inquiry and action and gathering in the public space. It’s an interdisciplinary group combined of artists, architects, designers and more who are curious of learning new Languages and methods of actions beyond their realm. This year the group is  hosted in the Center for Mediterranean Culture and Urbanism Bat Yam.


Passing by Bat-Yam

by Exal Sagui Bizawa


Photo:Transit camp and new immigrant apartment block in Bat-Yam, 1949


In the photograph taken in 1938 on the beach in Alexandria, my grandfather appears, wearing a short one-piece swimming suit, standing on a rock surface near the shore. Behind him, on a long and narrow dock stretching into the water is a row of faceless figures. Blurred. He stands at the center of the picture, his hands on his hips, his body slightly angled toward the camera, as if gazing into some future. Unknown. He is 33 years old then, neck deep in his work and affairs. His future is a mystery to him, but not to me, his grandson now contemplating the image. Very soon, in less than a year he will marry my grandmother, who will forever be the love of his life, even years after her death. Soon after, his eldest daughter, my mother, will arrive and following her, another daughter and then a son. After that my grandfather will become captivated by the Zionist idea. He will immigrate to Israel with his family, lose all the possessions left behind in Egypt, lose all the properties he purchased in Israel, spend all his capital kept in a Swiss bank. In Israel another daughter will be born, he will open a grocery in Bat-Yam and in the evening he will work as a guard at the town hall. His wife will die on him aged 53, upon which he will marry a woman he will never love, and will spend his twighlight years guarding a parking lot. If only I could have told him all of that back then, when the picture on the beach in Alexandria was taken. Abstract from “Passing by Bat-Yam”



Head Program in Urban Design | BEZALEL Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem


The workshop “URBAN TERRITORIES” is collaboration with the Program Urban Design, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem and with the Center for Mediterranean Urbanism and Culture in Bat Yam, led by Ms. Avirama Golan.


The Bezalel Masters students gave a presentation of their research project on the Social / Physical Geography of Rothschild Street in Bat Yam. at the Center for Mediterranean Urbanism and Culture. The second part of the workshop was involving an exhibition tour and a lecture by artists Miro Schawalder and followed by a group discussion on memory, territory and public space in the Israeli city. The presentation was open to the general public and host invited guests including the artists of the exhibition No Man is an Island.


„Magic mirror in my hand, who is the fairest in the land?“, asks the Queen in the classic fairy tale Snow White. Gazing into the beguiling mirror, she awaits her answer with excitement. In cultural history the mirror represents vanity, lust and narcissism, but also recognition, awareness and truth.


Today we watch ourselves not only in mirrors, but capture those images with digital cameras and smartphones. Self-observation and self-criticism have become preoccupations reserved largely, if not entirely, for the world of social media. We shape and re-shape our self by altering our virtual image in the eyes of others. We‘ve become our own virtual avatar in a digital universe.


The exhibition ME, ME, MIRROR revolves around the question of the self (re) presentation and the works of 15 selected artists expand and exceed the issue. The Self is becoming something malleable, it can alter from image to image, it looses it‘s static state and is absorbed in an endless process of transformation and becoming. The artists aim to connect cultural, religious, political and ideological contexts in new digitally produced images and thus creating a sort of new utopian human re-presentation.


Today, if you were to enter the word ‘selfie’ into the hashtag bar on your Instagram account you may or may not find yourself as astonished as I, to discover that there are nearly 174 million photographs, posted on this particular social media app, with the hashtag selfie. And if, like myself, spurred by this staggering truth, you then decided to type in the word ‘me’ instead, you might very well find yourself dumbstruck. For there are currently two hundred and eighty-six million, six hundred and three thousand, four hundred and twenty posts of different, but oddly alike, ‘me’s’. From now on, it’s me, me, me, my selfie and I.

Pretty much everyone with access to some form of media outlet, will surely, by this point, have encountered the word ‘selfie’, be it online or offline. Not only have most of us become well acquainted with the term, but the face itself, which it presents, often seems all too familiar. When and how did you and I become the same?

Before we look further into this question, let us take a moment, for clarity’s sake, to establish what the definition of this modern phenomenon is. According to the bible of information, Wikipedia, a selfie is ‘a self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone. Selfies are often shared on social networking services such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr and Twitter. They are usually flattering and made to appear casual. Most selfies are taken with a camera held at arm‘s length or pointed at a mirror, rather than by using a self-timer.’

Apt as this description may be, it also needs to be said that the very best way of securing a high rate of selfie likes, is by tilting your chin down somewhat, pouting moderately, meanwhile allowing one eye to look up playfully into the camera. Not to mention the crucial post- production work – a most delicate process that involves a variety of photo filters and fine adjustments to the selfie’s general fun factor and spontaneity levels.

All joking aside, the popularity of the smartphone self-portrait seems to have reached an unprecedented height across the globe. Hailed by some as a creative form of self-expression, an empowering platform for changing identities, or simply a natural evolution of our need to depict ourselves pictorially, others are more critical towards the trend, suggesting that it might be a sinister sign of our growing narcissism and self-obsession in capitalist consumer society. Whichever way we choose to look at the phenomenon, the reality of it confronts us with a question: what does is mean to be human in an age of electronic self-exposure?

In his remarkable book, The Private Life: Why We Remain in the Dark, the British psychoanalyst and literary theorist, Josh Cohen, explores some of the possible reasons as to why we find ourselves in constant need of displaying our own private lives and that of others in contemporary culture. Drawing on a number of philosophical, literary and psychoanalytic sources, Cohen refers to a particularly pertinent passage in Dostoevsky’s 1864 novella Notes from Underground. It reads as follows: „We find it a burden being human beings – human beings with our own real flesh and blood, we are ashamed of it, consider it a disgrace and are forever striving to become some kind of generalised human beings.“1

In light of this, it seems to me that a couple of very important but often neglected implications of our selfie-dominated culture could be discerned. Might the surge in anonymous self-portraits be the cultural manifestation of a deeper urge to rid the self of that which resists 1 Josh Cohen, The Private Life: Why We Remain in the Dark, (London: Granta, 2014), p. 198 standardization, and forever escapes visibility, and by virtue of this irreducibility is precisely what renders us unique.

The will to know is no doubt one of the essential driving forces of humanity. Our capacities for conceptualisation and clarification – in other words, to reveal the mysterious of the natural and social world – are integral to very structures of modern civilisation and technological progress. But what happens, I wonder, if the demands for transparency and universal applicability become the leading goals in society at large? Isn’t there a genuine risk that you – the person in front of me, on the bus, at work, on Facebook, lying next to me in bed – turns into an objective generality to which I have no real sense of ethical obligation or responsibility.

Switch off and keep swiping. There are plenty more matches in the sea. Needless to say, a carefully curated snapshot of the self can offer great satisfaction inasmuch as it grants us a comforting sense of self-certainty and control. We are the artist, critic and audience of our own being, as it were, and once we’ve mastered the tricks of the trade, the fleeting pleasures of instant gratification and self-affirmation are but a click, post, share, away.

I turn on the camera on the tube – take one, two, three – close but not close enough. Hair up or down? I smudge on some more lipstick to make sure they look deep red. You’re such a babe, Jess. Hah, if only I felt like one. Take four, five, I guess it’ll do. #selfie-on-the-go? Wait, two, three, four, five, six...approved. A sigh of relief. I feel the corner of my lip curl up. I’m OK.

‘The individualism of technological civilization relies precisely on a misunderstanding of the unique self’, writes the French philosopher Jacques Derrida. In his short but seminal text called The Gift of Death, Derrida gives a brilliant account of the paradox that appears to lie at the heart of our neo-liberal individualism today. ‘It is the individualism of a masque or persona, a character and not of a person [...] modern individualism concerns itself with the role that is played rather than with this unique person whose secret remains hidden behind the social mask.’ 2

Interestingly, when referring to the particularity or uniqueness of a person, Derrida invokes the notion of the secret. His thoughts on the logic of secrecy grant us a very different, and arguably better, understanding of what is really at stake in our relentless search for the perfect selfie. For Derrida, the secret of secrecy ‘does not consist in hiding ‘something’, in not revealing the truth, but rather in respecting the absolute singularity [of the other] the infinite separation of what binds me or exposes me to the unique’. Responsibility, Derrida claims, insists on what is apart, and kept secret’3. (Note also that the word ‘secret’ in English stems from the Latin sēcrētum, which means separated, set apart, or withdrawn).

While it is commonly believed that in keeping a secret I am actively withholding what I already know, Derrida seems to be saying of secrecy something which is far more complex. To keep a secret means to respond to what is kept apart and ‘exposes me to the unique’, he writes. In other words, the logic of secrecy is integral to our ethical responsibility in so far as it signals a mode of relation in which we allow the other to be what it is, namely withdrawn, hidden, secret, unknown.

To end, I’d like to suggest that we try thinking, briefly, Derrida’s thoughts on the bond between secrecy and responsibility in conjunction with the culture of the selfie vs. the self-portrait as a work of art. The selfie reveals. It feeds our desire to know and see the world in its nakedness, yet it never quite offers us the real secrets and satisfaction that we desperately crave.

I scroll down, keep scrolling; deeper and deeper into the abyss of envy and annoyed impatience. Selfie at the gym, selfie at the top of the Eiffel tower, selfie having an ice-cream, selfie going for a walk, selfie in Ibiza, selfie having a nap. I reach the bottom of the screen, pause, and resume the survey one last time. When done, I’m left with a strange feeling of discontent and wanting more.

In the space of the work of art, writes Maurice Blanchot, things are transformed into what cannot be grasped. While the utilitarian logic of our everyday communication wants primarily to rid words and images of their ambiguity, the work of art seems on the contrary to follow the curious logic of secrecy that Derrida describes. Within the art work, distance is kept and things are hidden from view. Interpretation is left open and the person or object whose infinite being we can never fully know is gently disclosed precisely by not being entirely exposed.

Is there a difference between the everyday selfie and the work of art? I think there is.

1 Josh Cohen, The Private Life: Why We Remain in the Dark, (London: Granta Books, 2013)
2 Jacques Derrida, The Gift of Death, 1995. Trans. David Wills, (London: University of Chicago Press, 2008), p. 37
3 Derrida, p. 28


Eugenia Lapteva is a London based writer. Born and raised in Stockholm she completed her BA in European Literature at University of Sussex and MA in Comparative Literature and Modern Literary Theory at Goldsmiths. She has written for notable publications such as Tank, The White Review, Sang Bleu, ELLE and Husk magazine. Her main research interests revolve around questions of art and technology in modern culture and their impact on the nature of our social and loving relationships today. She is currently pursuing her PhD at University of Sussex.


Justin, 2012

Autographed poster + 35mm slide projection



In his artistic projects, installations and performances, Song-Ming Ang explores the personal relationships we have with music. Often refashioning musical objects and paraphernalia, Ang’s work is based on restriction as much as improvisation. The work Justin (2012) consists of a framed, autographed Justin Bieber poster – but it appears unclear who signed it. Next to the poster are numerous sheets of A4-paper densely filled with Justin Bieber signatures, revealing Ang’s effort in mastering the pop idol’s autograph. (Christina Neumaier)


The artistic work of Singaporean musician and literary scholar Song-Ming Ang spans a wide range of musical genres, including classical, experimental, indie and mainstream. In his works, the artist offers an alternative view of the conditions of production and consumption of music. Through the lens of pop-cultural phenomena and social contexts, Ang explores structures of memory and communication. In 2009, Ang completed his MA in Aural & Visual Culture at Goldsmiths College, London. Since then he has participated in internationally renowned exhibitions and residencies. He currently lives and works between Berlin and Singapore.



“It was the start of the all-consuming self which has come to dominate our world today.


The Century of the Self (2002) is a British documentary by Adam Curtis. It focuses on how the work of Sigmund Freud and Edward Bernays influenced the way corporations and governments have analysed and controlled people. The Century of the Self tells the untold and controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society. How is the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interest?


Becoming Lili, 2013
Video, 14 min



‘During a hot and dusty summer, in a sweaty night in the bright-lighted mirrored toilet of sin city in Sofia, Lili was born. She came to life as the awareness of comparison between lookalikes and decided soon to manifest her beliefs in several random actions.’ Helena Dietrich

In Becoming Lili, an ongoing performance and video project by Helena Dietrich, the audience is plunged into a wardrobe in a Brussels hotel, encountering what appears to be a form of ritual or fancy dress party. With this work, the artist lays out the significance of the symbolism that is embedded in our style of clothing (and by extension our identity). She confronts us with the rationale of our choices, questioning if they could be rooted in a collective sub-conscious and in what way cultural parameters govern our imagination. The audience turns into a personage, miming their own lifestyles, swimming or drowning in a pool of references and memories where the border between the self and copy is blurred.

The German designer and performance artist Helena Dietrich currently lives and works in Brussels. After completing her MA in European Media (on self-representation in post-Fordism) at the University of Portsmouth, she went on to study a postgraduate programme for performance arts and scenography at a.pass in Brussels.



Love, 2014 




The book Love is an outcome of Idan Hayosh’s activities on the Internet. For many years Hayosh has been archiving photos that were published by strangers on the net. He classifies them by theme and actions and posts them subsequently as a collection on his Facebook page. The series ‘Love’ is showing animal lovers, who have a tattoo of their pet on their body. A commonplace saying is that there can be detected similarities between a pet and its owner. This work invites us to reflect about a circle, that includes self-love, strange love, a mirror, a selfie and a lot of fur.


The work was especially created in collaboration with the Swiss graphic designer Corina Künzli for the exhibition ME, ME, MIRROR.

Idan Hayosh (*1979 in Tel Aviv, Israel) lives and works in Tel Aviv. He is known for his installation works, which are inspired by found footage military formation and layouts. In these works he deals with aggressive and intimidating images that imply danger by their inherent symbolic (and actual) function, or further, through their elaborate arrangement.


Periphery of Bucharest, 2008

Performance on an unused billboard



In 2008 the artist Helmut Heiss travelled trough Rumania. In the periphery of the capital he discovered an unused billboard, climbed on it and placed him self in the middle of the frame. The picture which was taken of this spontaneous action, is now reproduced on a banner. As symbol-bearing flags, banners are used in demonstrations, political protests as well as in advertisement. The artist himself, as a producer of aesthetic artefacts and relations, is at the focus of attention: as author, individual, projection screen and also object of desire. The societal role of the artist - shaped by ideology and history – is pending just like Heiss, on personal aspirations within the frame of the art-world. The production and the promotion of the self, of individuality is a crucial skill, better to be proficient with, if wanting to be acknowledged within the art-system. The site which the beholder discovers in the background, with the dug over ground and its seemingly abandoned building lot, evocates dystopian phantasies. The scenario Heiss created within this stage setting is humorous, risky and symbolic at the same time.

Helmut Heiss born 1976 in Bolzano, lives and works in Vienna. 2002 Diploma in painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna. 2008 Diploma in performance and sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna with Monica Bonvicini.



Witches, 2012
Digital Prints



‘I believe that in order for a woman to have representation in culture today, we must claim back our historical images. A strong woman is always portrayed as a witch, marginalized and persecuted as a demonic figure. I encourage women to see witches as their predecessors and identify with their centuries-old legacy.’ Talia Link


Witches by the Israeli artist Talia Link presents female icons composed of multiple images culled from the Internet – a pastiche of elements associated with various religions, cultures, nationalities, and political movements: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim symbols, dress items from England, China, and the Mursi tribe, and accessories associated with capitalism, socialism, and Nazism. Link brings these eclectic references together within a new system of meaning, which enables her to reclaim an aspect of female history that is at once specific and imaginary.

Talia Link (*1984, Israel) is currently living and working in New York.



Watching Martin Kohout, 2010-2014

Martin Kohout YouTube Channel



From April 2010 to March 2011 Martin Kohout recorded himself via webcam every time he watched a video on Youtube, publishing these clips on a Youtube channel aptly called ‘Watching Martin Kohout’, which now contains some 821 videos. The series of videos – attracting over a hundred thousand viewers on videos such as Watching Tyler the Creator – eloquently captures many of the interesting qualities and contradictions found in online videos. Entitled Watching NEWS, Watching Cocaine Bust Big Dildo, etc., the individual clips were themselves published on YouTube, where they appeared next to the ‘source’ clip (often no longer available). Consumption and production here fully coincide as the viewer – Kohout – inscribes himself in the act of viewing. Each viewing becomes a commentary, each commentary a work in its own right. Radicalizing such productive consumption, Kohout highlights its ‘networked’ nature and the insatiable desire for self-presentation that drives it.

Martin Kohout (*1984 in Prague, Czech Republic) is based in Berlin and Frankfurt am Main (Germany). He is represented by Exile, Berlin.


Of a truth thou art the Son of God (2013) PHOTOGRAPHY BY YIANNIS PAPPAS

‘Of a truth thou art the Son of God’

Matthew 14:33, 2013

Photography, 40 x 70 cm cm



The title of the photography ‘Of a truth thou art the Son of God’ is a quote by Matthew from the New Testament. It tells the story of Jesus who walks on the Lake of Gennesaret. Yannis Pappas is re-enacting the walk of Jesus on the same lake, also called Sea of Galilee or Kinneret. It is situated in north-eastern Israel, between the Golan Heights and the Galilee region, in the Jordan Rift Valley. Pappas assumes the role of Jesus for the photograph, and by re-creating the known myth he shows humorously the potential of an image to make miracles possible.

Yiannis Pappas (*1978 in Patmos, Greece) is a Berlin based artist. Throughout Pappas’ work runs a deep fascination for the relation between space and the human body in natural and urban environments. His visual language is rich and varied, encompassing multiple forms of expression, such as video work, photography, performative, installative and interventionist practices, all of which bear the signs of Pappas’ anthropological and phenomenological approach toward his subjects. Underscored by a critical interest in space, as sites of physical and symbolic enactment, his artistic work and research explores how different places are sustained collectively and individually through history.



Supersymmetric Partner / Cena in casa di Simone, 2012
Ink-jet prints on Di-bond



The ‘Supersymmetric Partner’ photographs series documents the pilgrimage of Luca Pozzi among the nine dinners of the Renaissance artist Paolo Veronese, exhibited at the Musée du Louvre (Paris), the Pinacoteca di Brera (Milan), the Chateaux de Versailles (Paris), the Sanctuary of Monteberico (Vicenza), the Galleria Sabauda (Turin), the Gemäldegalerie (Dresden) and at the Cini Foundation (Venice). The three-dimensionality of the contemporary artist and the two-dimensionality of the pictorial space merge into a third reality through an athletic movement, a real leap, frozen in a suspended non-linear time.


‘The polarity between three-dimensional man and two-dimensional picture is resolved through a physical gesture, an energetic process, that is, a real leap. In this case it is the direct experience of the force of gravity that makes the cohesion between supersymmetrical partners on different scales possible in a specific metastable moment.’ Luca Pozzi


Lucca Pozzi (*1983) lives and works in Milano (Italy). A visual artist, cultural researcher and interdisciplinary mediator, he conducts, within his own domain of reference, a programme aimed at the formulation of a comprehensive vision of experience, capable of extending its possible emerging correspondences to a dimension of knowledge that is devoid of specificity and therefore wider.



Trying to preserve, 2005
Video, 11 min., loop



The self portrait, the selfie, or a reflection of oneself in the mirror are all manifestations of the artist’s presence. There is a certain point of intersection in the creation of such an artwork where the creator and the creative output, the work in itself, fuse to become one and the same. The image depicts the creator, the creator is the image. There is something almost biblical about this closed loop of meaning. In Trying to preserve the German artist Röder engages with the core dynamic at the centre of this intersection of the coming together of the artist and her self portrait. By partially distorting, and concealing her presence in the mist she demystifies and opens the loop of meaning. As Röder fades in and out of focus she never allows herself to become fixed in representation. Her presence is loudly felt but never quite becomes the end in itself. Instead Röder, through concealing herself, reveals the ambiguous process of being.

Ria Patrica Röder has studied media art and fine arts in Karlsruhe, Berlin and Vienna, and predominantly works in the medium of photography and video.


The Phantom of the Mirror, 2014



The Google Cultural Institute’s Google Art Project, the older sibling of the recently unveiled Google Street Art Project, provides museums with the ability to display and archive their collections online, while making them accessible to viewers around the world. An incredible service that is democratizing who gets to look at art and how. Unfortunately, many museum collections house works that cannot be seen through the service due to copyright restrictions on the pieces. Righted Museum is an ongoing project of Mario Santamaria, a new media artist who has worked with the Google Art Project before in a series called Running Through the Museum which depicts what it is like to move through a virtual representation of a museum at the highest possible speed. Another Google Art Project piece by Santamaria in the form of a Tumblr blog, ‘The Camera in the Mirror’ catalogues various times that the Google Street View camera has captured its own reflection in a mirror – a form of unintended self-portrait – while photographing a museum.

The artistic practice of Mario Santamaría (*1985 in Burgos, Spain) studies the phenomenon of the contemporary observer, paying attention to two processes, the representational practices and the machines’ vision or mediation. Using different tactics such as appropiation, remake or assembly, his work involves different fields like the conflict, the memory, the virtuality or the surveillance.


VOL.5:DIVIDUUM (2014) INSTALLATION BY Christian Schwarzwald

Vol.5:DIVIDUUM, 2014
Drawing Installation, 420 pieces, ink on paper



Christian Schwarzwald was born in Salzburg, Austria, in 1971 and currently lives and works in Berlin. In the centre of his artistic work is the drawing and he uses various techniques and image sources. He extended this medium and brings it into new and spatial contexts. Thereby the artist uses aspects of reproduction, the irritation through embedded faults and the illusion of three-dimensionality. The work of Schwarzwald is similar to a sign system. In his mostly capacious drawing installations the artist uses individual drawings like building stones for his own system of speech and thus claims next to the overall view the altercation of the details of each individual drawing.

The Yes Men Fix the World (2009) DOCUMENTARY BY YES MEN

The Yes Men Fix the World (2009) is a documentary by the culture activist duo: Jacques Servin and Igor Vamos. In the movie the artist duo impersonate entities that they dislike, they are calling this practice “identity correction”. The Yes Men operate under the mission statement that lies can expose truth. Through actions of tactical media, the Yes Men primarily aim to raise awareness about what they consider problematic social issues.


Citizen K., 2010



Citizen K. - This name of this 4th Ztohoven event is also a pun. When read in the Czech language, the word ‘obtchanka’ approximates the slang expression for ‘Občanský průkaz’ - the Czech national identity card. With the same haircut, twelve members of Ztohoven took photo portraits and using morphing software they merged two faces into one in which it would be possible to recognize the significant facial features of both. They applied for new IDs, but each of them used the name of his colleague. For twelve months they lived under that fictitious identity, participated in elections, travelled abroad, applied for and received a gun license, or even married. After this period, on an exposition launched 18 June 2010 they revealed their secret identities including documentation of the entire process. Their IDs were confiscated and Roman Týc was arrested.

Ztohoven is a Czech guerrilla artist collective known for its artistically motivated pranks. The group consists of a core of around 20 active artists and rising to around 100 when additional participants are called upon. The group aims to use familiar tools and methods to challenge public perceptions of society.

UNTITLED (1999) PAINTING BY Andreas Zingerle

Untitled, 1999

Oil on canvas, 66 x 50 cm



In Andreas Zingerles paintings, or “portraits” if one would like to consider them as such, there are no faces: no eyes, no noses, no mouths. A thick, dens fog - dark paint covers what humans, through evolution have become experts in reading and interpreting. The opacity covers all. There is no depth, no lyric imagination, which would give our search a reference point. "The other portrait is at the same time the other within, hidden in the portrait, inaccessible to the portrait, and the other, different portrait that can no longer resemble one” French philosopher Jean Luc Nancy states following his publication “Le regard du portrait” (2002). In his examination of classical and modern portraits he considers the gaze as the essential element, through which the subject creates a relationship with an infinity in which he loses himself: in an absolute outside, or the gaze of the observer. In this denied portraits the gaze of the observer is reverberated to it self and seems the only thing to be left.

Andreas Zingele born 1963 in Bressanone (I) studied at the Academy of fine Arts in Munich. Currently he lives an works in Percha (South Tyrol – Italy).




Siren, 2012

Video, 2 min., loop

Born in 1986 in Bolzano, Italy, Oberrauch presently lives and works in Berlin, pursuing her studies at the Humboldt University and The University of the Arts. Her work has been presented in a number of exhibitions including Panorama 4 at Franzensfeste (2012), Ritten Young Artists, Kommende Lengmoos in Klobenstein (2011), Hans hat Glück in Appiano (2011), 48 Neukölln in Berlin (2010 and 2013), One Minute Tree in Giardino di Pianamola Bassano Romano (2010).