Soft Sell at Center

Artists: Aline Bouvy, Clémence de la Tour du Pin, Julius Heinemann, Harry Sanderson, Maximilian Schmoetzer, Omsk Social Club

Exhibition title: Soft Sell

Presented by: Room E-10 27

Venue: Center, Berlin, Germany

Date: November 3 – December 2, 2017

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Center, Berlin

Soft Sell is a group exhibition that looks at the role of architecture in determining certain subject positions. Contemporary architecture, as it is employed within commercial and museum settings, places an emphasis on surface, image and display so as to seduce and distract. It has been argued such spaces render us passive consumers and impotent political agents. Center, which was originally designed as a commercial shop with large floor to ceiling windows, is the perfect setting in which to examine this postmodern emphasis on surface and symbols.

Soft Sell, like soft power, is about transforming and managing perception. It is also a pleasing word play, recalling the name of the 80s British New Wave band Soft Cell. The name suggests a padded cell and by extension the panoptic gaze of the state or the institution. Today the surveillance state is firmly aligned with corporate interests making the all-encompassing gaze of technology and commerce inseparable from the controlling gaze of state and institution. Benjamin H. Bratton’s account of the reverse panopticon effect as ‘exhibitionism in bad faith’ whereby ‘you know you are being watched but act as if you aren’t,’ echoes the Freudian account of the exhibitionist as the voyeur in disguise who acts out their own imagined viewing.

Aline Bouvy *1974. Lives and works in Brussels and Luxembourg. She graduated from ERG, Brussels and the Jan Van Eyck Academy, Maastricht. Recent solo shows include The Future Of Not Working, CIAP, Hasselt (2017); Who will wear my teeth as amulets, Motel, New York (2016); Sorry, I slept with your dog, Exo Exo, Paris (2015); and Urine Mate at Galerie Albert Baronian, Brussels (2015). Her work has been presented in numerous group exhibitions such as at Cooper Cole Gallery, Toronto; Le Confort Moderne, Poitiers; Kunstraum, London; ABC Klubhuis, Antwerp; Parallel, Oaxaca; Komplot, Brussels; Dash, Kortrijk; Diesel Project Space, Seraing; Damien and the Love Guru, Brussels.

Clémence de La Tour du Pin *1986. Lives and works in Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin. She studied at The Metropolitan University in London and was recently awarded the De Ateliers grant, Amsterdam (2017). Recent solo exhibitions include Architecture of Tess, 1857, Oslo, Norway (2017). Her work has been presented in group exhibitions Hunger, Kunstverein Dortmund (2017), The 7th Guest, Galerie Tobias Naehring, Leipzig (2016), Co-Workers – Artist as Network, The Musée d’Art Moderne de La Ville de Paris (2015) and What’s Love Got to Do With It, SALTS, Basel (2015).

Julius Heinemann *1984. Lives and works in Berlin and Maastricht. He studied at Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, at the Academy of Fine Arts (HGB) in Leipzig and at the Royal College of Art in London. Currently he is a participant at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. Recent solo shows include Prisma at PROYECTOSMONCLOVA, Mexico City (2016), Radio City (with Martin Groß) at Galerie Jahn, Munich (2016), times of day at Vitrine / Kunsthalle São Paulo (2015). His work has been presented in group exhibitions such as Trabalhe – Faça + / Sistemas muito (anti)produtivos, Galeria Pilar, São Paulo (2016), With Institutions Like These…, The Averard Hotel, London (2016), Overdue Synchronicity, Museo Experimental El Eco, Mexico City (2014), OHNE TITEL – abstrakt konkret konstruktiv, Kunsthalle der Sparkasse, Leipzig (2013), Imaginary Landscape, Kunstverein Gera (2012), among others.

Omsk Social Club. Lives and works in Berlin. Omsk studied at The Glasgow School of Art in 2008 and the European Graduate School Summer Institute. Omsk recently exhibited at Middlesbrough Modern Institute of Art (2017); Gold and Beton Cologne (2017); Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich (2016); Bergen Kunsthalle (2016); Glasgow International (2016); and Kunsthalle Zürich (2016). In 2016 she attended The Eternal Internet Brother/Sisterhood residency in Sri Lanka curated by Angelo Plessas and was awarded the 8th ARTWARD Junior Prize in Munich. Her theoretical essays and creative texts have been commissioned for Kaleidoscope Magazine, Elephant Journal, Sleek, and oncurating.org, amongst others.

Harry Sanderson *1987. Lives and works in London. He graduated from Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design (London) in 2013. He received the Nearnow fellowship, Nottingham (2014) and was artist in residence at Somerset House, London (2016). Recent exhibitions include that a body knows regardless, Interstate Projects, New York (2016); Solid State; Sunlight, Levy|Delval, Brussels, (2016); Exponential Anything, The Photography Museum, Berlin (2015); and Searching for Devices at Basis, Frankfurt (2015).

Maximilian Schmoetzer *1982. Lives and works in Berlin. He studied at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and University of Arts Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include And then masses of detached stones and other accessories common to the genre, Room E-10 27 @ Center, Berlin (2017), A Rare Bird in Estonia, Konstanet & Tallinna Kunstihoone, Tallin, Estonia (2016) and Bird of the Year 2022, Ashley Berlin (2016). His work has been presented in group exhibitions such Stories in your Mind, Villa Merkel Esslingen, (2017); CUM-EX, IG Metall / Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin (2016); and dis order – Patterns and Structures in the Collection Folkwang Museum Essen (2015). His upcoming duo show Alembic Growl with Nina Wiesnagrotzki will be at Komplot, Brussels (2017).

Soft Sell, 2017, exhibition view, Center, Berlin

Soft Sell, 2017, exhibition view, Center, Berlin

Julius Heinemann, edge, 2016-2017, Acrylic, spray paint, crayon, graphite on MDF, 114 x 86 x 2 cm

Soft Sell, 2017, exhibition view, Center, Berlin

Clémence de la Tour du Pin, PWF aconite / PWF venom / PWF phlegm / PWF mother of pearl / PWF ambergris / PWF slaver, 2017, Wall fan case, chain, latex, paint, Dimensions variable

Aline Bouvy, Empathy III, 2015, Thermoformed Plexiglass, bronze eel casts, 198 x 114 x 40 cm

Clémence de la Tour du Pin, PWF slaver, 2017, Wall fan case, chain, latex, paint, 70 x 43 x 13 cm

Soft Sell, 2017, exhibition view, Center, Berlin

Soft Sell, 2017, exhibition view, Center, Berlin

Aline Bouvy, Entropy Reloaded, 2016, Metal, plastic, bleach, 57 x 80.5 x 70.5 cm

Maximilian Schmoetzer, RAM, 2017, Brass, tin, privacy filter, glass, neon light, 76 x 89 x 3 cm

Soft Sell, 2017, exhibition view, Center, Berlin

Aline Bouvy, Entropy Reloaded, 2016, Metal, plastic, bleach, 57 x 80.5 x 70.5 cm

Omsk Social Club feat. Candy Blissett, Data Asphyxiation, 2017, Audio, 16’32”

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