January 12, 2018 - Bergen Kunsthall - Joachim Koester: Bringing Something Back
January 12, 2018

Bergen Kunsthall

Joachim Koester, Maybe this act, this work, this thing, 2016. Film still.

Joachim Koester
Bringing Something Back
January 26–March 18, 2018

Platform: Jelena Martinovic and Joachim Koester: January 27, 2pm, talk
Platform: Tim Lawrence and Martin Beck: February 3, 2pm, talk
13 Hour Screening: February 24, 11–1am, Martin Beck, Last Night
things that SHINE and THINGS that are DARK: March 9, 7:30pm–1am, Borealis live event

Bergen Kunsthall
Rasmus Meyers allé 5
5015 Bergen
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm,
Thursday 11am–8pm

T +47 940 15 050


For the exhibition Bringing Something Back at Bergen Kunsthall, Joachim Koester has connected all the galleries in an immersive installation comprising 16mm film projection, digital video, photography and audio works. Set in a staged exhibition “topography,” the works are presented within architectural constructions that combine several partly transparent dividing walls, horizontal platforms, vitrines and hovering projection screens. The exhibition charts a physical journey between individual works and their distinctive narratives, each one offering a gateway into unfamiliar territories, situated by culture and history.

In the film Maybe this act, this work, this thing (2016), two Vaudeville actors are working on a new act, set within in a dimly lit theatre. Spurred by the development of the cinematic apparatus, they attempt to transform themselves into a film machine by “becoming” cogs, wheels, moving belts, and quivering electricity. Like several of Koester’s recent works, the film is anchored in the idea that traces of history and events can be found within our nervous and muscular systems as forgotten memories which can be awakened through movement and gesture. Following this train of thought, Maybe this act, this work, this thing is a kinaesthetic echo of the birth of the film medium and the cultural shifts it induced.

Throughout the exhibition visitors are invited to lie down and listen to a series of hypnagogic soundworks made in collaboration with the artist Stefan A. Pedersen. In these works a non-retinal psychogeography is invoked through the use of incantatory words and sounds that summon up physical sites entirely within the imagination. Another collaborative project takes the form of a series of ”exhibitions within the exhibition,” assembled by curator and writer Yann Chateigné Tytelman, and presented in custom-built vitrines. Like contained ecosystems or aquariums, each of these boxes contains books, objects and natural elements; drifting, speculating and expanding on ideas drawn from Koester’s works. 

As an introduction to the exhibition, a new group of photographs continues Koester’s ongoing documentation of the praying mantis. An insect that is said to be able to connect with the spirit of the person who watches it, the mantis connects many of the thematic threads within the exhibition. With its "performative" mimetic faculties, its ability to blend in with the environment and its "alien" physical features and movements, the mantis echoes the motion of both the machines and the human figures that other­wise occupy the exhibition.

In collaboration with the Borealis festival for experimental music, an evening of live performances will take place in connection with the exhibition, featuring contributions by Jenny Berger Myhre, Raven Chacon, G. E. K., Sandra Mujinga / NaEE RoBErts and others.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a new publication launched in autumn 2018, co-published with Camden Arts Centre.

Joachim Koester (b. 1962, Copenhagen, Denmark) lives and works in New York and Copenhagen.

Maybe this act, this work, this thing (2016) was commissioned as a collaboration of Bergen Kunsthall, Camden Arts Centre and STUK | House for Dance, Image and Sound. Supported by Auguste Orts; Beckett-Fonden; Carlos and Francesca Pinto; Knud Højgaards Fond; On & For Production and Danish Arts Foundation.

The exhibition has been organized in association with Camden Arts Centre and supported by Danish Arts Foundation.


Martin Beck
Last Night

January 26–March 18, 2018 

Martin Beck’s works often take their point of departure in historical investigations of pop culture, communal movements, architecture and design. Since the 1990s Beck has worked with various kinds of memory, abstraction and a contextualizing study of archive material, exhibition history and institutional practice. In Last Night the historical material consists of a list of 118 songs, organized in the order they were played at the New York dance party The Loft on June 2, 1984. The 13-and-half-hour-long film version of Last Night (2016) consists of a series of lock shots of a record player where each song is played in its entirety. A hypnotic focus on the slowly moving pickup across the rotating vinyl record emphasizes the physical reproduction of the music. In the exhibition, a specially adapted hi-fi system is used, assembled to correspond to the high standard of sound quality one could experience at The Loft. 

A new publication with an essay by Tim Griffin will be accessible online and in our shop. 

Martin Beck (b. 1963, Bludenz, Austria) lives and works in New York.

Last Night has been shown earlier at The Kitchen, New York (2017) and as part of the exhibition “rumors and murmurs” at Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna (2017).

Bergen Kunsthall
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Bringing Something Back
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