Anna-Sophie Berger at Prince of Wales

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Artist: Anna-Sophie Berger

Exhibition title: The eternal optimist

Venue: Prince of Wales, Munich, Germany

Date: April 8 – May 7, 2016

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Prince of Wales, Munich

the courtyard surrounding my studio
shut off from the street, the polygonal inside functions as the world for all of us living within the sounds are amplified and thrown back at us
we can hear one-other, we feel essentially un-alone

it comforts me to not have to leave for days
while I am more than glad I don’t have to actually be with the people
I like them as white noise only, open windows but my private modular structure separating all that is body, our exchange reduced to senses, smelling, hearing, hardly seeing
I turn my back on the yard most of the time.

it is indirect knowledge I collect
I distinguish 3 types of doorbells, I get used to them, and a little wind chime hanging on a balcony (could be a digital sound too, sound is more like that of a triangle)
Tina Tuner is the preferred choice of the person I never see but that stays home during work days just like me

around noon a pathetic video game jingle in infinite loops floods literally the entire yard
to my right there are fights in broken German
between two families dreading each other for their respective rites, music, cooking styles. calling each other
racist derogatives that were invented by third parties for either one of them

I sit in the yard catching the last sun rays
trying out a little bit of “outside”, when actually everything in this yard is a fake outside.
today I don’t shield myself, I leave the windows open, I bend out, I watch, I listen
right now everyone is cooking, Indian blends, bacon

I wonder if there’d ever be a need for me to go out and entertain social contact if
the passive landscape of on-looked yard life provided me with enough stimuli

Kanye and Kim I know you’re tired of loving of loving with nobody to love

a violent fight between a woman and a man.
I keep hoping its not her son.
two adults can handle the pain they inflict upon each other in mutual agreement,
perpetual, ritual laziness, endless circles, it seems sad but not cruel.
I hope it is her husband.
she screams like mad. she gets agitated since his reactions are not.
the fight concerns the dishwasher, but what the exact matter is I cannot tell
she says: how is it, that when I feel fine for once you make my life a living hell?
I cannot hear the answer if there is one. eventually she wears herself out.
repeating small parts of her sad accusations, reducing words, reducing them to sighs

all aggression runs out of energy, all action runs out of violence.
there is always an end and there is always a change, no matter how hard one feels, no matter how much one seems to suffer

across the yard a young man smokes periodically in his ground floor yard, never standing, always huddling
down, his back against the wall.
I never see him with anyone else out there. he likes to smoke alone I guess. it makes me feel like I had a smoke,
when I am in the kitchen with him out there smoking.

there are all kinds of insects dying on my work table
I am working late escaping the summer air to a soft night breeze
all windows are open and my light attracts the pilgrims of the night
a small near transparent specimen flies in circles

the first nuptial flight of the ants this summer turns my studio into a battlefield, black dying ants all over the
floor, bodies between work mess, bodies between yarns.
good thing I bought a vacuum cleaner

sad how eruptive they start off on their flight, misled by my fake torch showing them a fake path

its late,
I miss you, or do I?
when writing this poetry prose blend words become shapes, exchangeable currency for meaning unattached
missing could be loving, missing could be enjoying, missing could be I miss myself, missing is probably being
hungry, want to boil an egg

in the courtyard life of the artist, things have a different weight, things have little to no weight
the world is polygonal and I am putting things in perspective
I might find the right perspective, for what the trope had promised,
I shall find myself and accordingly within myself, when I cut myself open, I might find what I seek and miss

the courtyard draws a line around existence. systems help me to be consequent, to execute strictness to keep up promises.

the promises I keep will be rewarded, at the end there is a smiling face awarding me the keeper of the rule the price, the answer, a deeper understanding, a touch

what the aim is was my question when I started here and its universality now disgusts me.
it disgusts me how the same existentialism is the same at all times for death and creation.
it disgusts me that I am ambivalent but cannot embrace complexity instead of dualism.
the aim is the Damocles sword, the knife I just bought is but a cheap symbol for the threat of the aim.

but the courtyard is helpful, it pacifies, it orders. it puts things in perspective.

a cat is crying, she might be missing or singing, hard to tell,
is there anything left that is not trying in vain, when to express a sadness is perpetually pointless, when finding
truth is indefinitely boring?

I enjoyed my swim, I hurt my arm, talking about swimming might be no better than talking about on-plane food.
I am trapped.
even when I am in the courtyard, I cannot really make contact. I cannot really reach out.

I am passive parasite, sucking out the heat during day, sucking out the cool evening breeze,
I steel your soft bell rings to nourish my line.
recklessly invading you, in calling this social, in calling this an exchange I am lying
since I know I am but a blood-feeding insect
flying to the fake light, dying on the wood tiles

*

Anna-Sophie Berger presents works on two floors of the peculiar architecture of the „Kleines Haus im Hof“ that is home to Prince of Wales.

A video work on the first floor that can be reached over an iron ladder consists of short clips recorded over the course of more than two years with an inbuilt mobile phone camera, which are edited one after another from oldest to newest footage.

The sculptural part of the exhibition is installed on the ground floor of the main gallery space. Several textile coat pieces are placed on the floor, some of them wet, others coated in mud.

A small framed print hanging in the vestibule that serves as bar during openings displays a doughnut, half eaten, lying on the ground populated by small black ants. The pencil capture reads the show title – the eternal optimist.

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Anna-Sophie Berger, The Eternal Optimist, 2016

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Anna-Sophie Berger, The Eternal Optimist, 2016

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Anna-Sophie Berger, innocent bodies (TRAILER 2), 2016

Anna-Sophie Berger, innocent bodies (TRAILER 2), 2016

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Anna-Sophie Berger, mud coat 1, 2016

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Anna-Sophie Berger, mud coat 1, 2016

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Anna-Sophie Berger, mud coat 1, 2016

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Anna-Sophie Berger, mud coat 1, 2016 (detail)

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Anna-Sophie Berger, mud coat 1, 2016 (detail)

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Anna-Sophie Berger, mud coat 1, 2016 (detail)

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Anna-Sophie Berger, mud coat 2, 2016

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Anna-Sophie Berger, mud coat 2, 2016

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Anna-Sophie Berger, mud coat 2, 2016

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Anna-Sophie Berger, mud coat 2, 2016 (detail)

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