September 10, 2019 - Schinkel Pavillon - Christopher Kulendran Thomas in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann: Ground Zero / Jill Mulleady, Victor Man, Issy Wood: Claude Mirrors
September 10, 2019

Schinkel Pavillon

Christopher Kulendran Thomas, Being Human, 2019 (detail).

Christopher Kulendran Thomas in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann: Ground Zero

Jill Mulleady, Victor Man, Issy Wood: Claude Mirrors

September 11–December 15, 2019

Opening: September 11, 6–9pm

Schinkel Pavillon
Oberwallstr. 1
10117 Berlin
Germany

www.schinkelpavillon.de
Instagram / Facebook

Christopher Kulendran Thomas in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann: Ground Zero

Jill Mulleady, Victor Man, Issy Wood: Claude Mirrors

September 11–December 15, 2019

Opening: September 11, 6–9pm

Schinkel Pavillon
Oberwallstr. 1
10117 Berlin
Germany

www.schinkelpavillon.de
Instagram / Facebook

Schinkel Pavillon is pleased to present Ground Zero, Christopher Kulendran Thomas' first institutional solo exhibition in Berlin, developed in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann, alongside the group show Claude Mirrors, with works by Victor Man, Jill Mulleady and Issy Wood.


Ground Zero
Christopher Kulendran Thomas in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann

Christopher Kulendran Thomas’ family is from a place that no longer exists. 10 years ago, in the summer of 2009, the Tamil homeland of "Eelam" was wiped out by the Sri Lankan army. Born through a neo-Marxist revolution, it had been self-governed as an autonomous state for almost 30 years. However, following attacks on the United States on September 11th 2001, revolutionary movements around the world were re-labelled as terrorists, enabling their eradication. As the international community turned a blind eye, Eelam was annihilated. Curiously, in the months following that violence (and with the economic liberalisation that followed), the first white cube commercial galleries opened in Sri Lanka, projecting democratic values internationally and representing a generation of artists influenced by the Western canon encountered online.

Projected onto a large transparent screen bisecting the Schinkel Pavillon, the film Being Human (2019) forms a three-dimensional hypertext for a collection of original paintings and sculptures by some of Sri Lanka’s foremost contemporary artists, purchased from one of the capital Colombo’s most influential commercial galleries and presented by Thomas and Kuhlmann as a show-within-a-show. Shot in Sri Lanka, their film traverses documentary and fiction. It features Thomas’ uncle (a family hero who founded the Centre for Human Rights in Tamil Eelam), a well-known painter, a famous pop star and a young Tamil artist—some of them algorithmically synthesized characters—who take the viewer on an elliptical journey around the island, from the fallout of the Sri Lankan Civil War to the biennale founded in its aftermath. Exploring the interrelationship between contemporary art and human rights in an era of technological acceleration, Ground Zero reflects upon issues of individual authenticity, collective sovereignty and what it means to be "human" when machines are able to simulate human understanding ever more convincingly.
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Claude Mirrors:
Victor Man, Jill Mulleady, Issy Wood

Suspended in a haze or isolated in darkness, headless bodies, faceless heads, gestures, objects, fetishes and stories are treasured and discarded—slowly fading into obscurity. Claude Mirrors brings together paintings by Victor Man, Jill Mulleady and Issy Wood. It is a story of decapitated truths of identity, dark and cryptic worlds and hallucinatory vignettes that Man, Mulleady and Wood create. Even though their paintings toy with the history of figuration and imply narratives, the urgency of their works lies within the coats of abstraction and seductive ambience they apply on top. 

Severed heads and androgynous figures in Man’s nocturnal paintings are full of morphing identities. His characters are caught in the zones between death and resurrection, male and female, animal and human. Mulleady’s works, also bathed in a nightmarish aesthetic, are a balancing act between surreal and brutal. The world seems dilated—even the ghoulish, electric greens and reds seem as murky as the gestures contorted. Wood’s gigantic faces of Mother, aliens and idols are apathetic, their eyes void. The luxuries and objects of desire she paints are surreal and seductive, but their lives short and tragic; nails are long but they can hardly hold. Identities seem to form in the silent, shadowy corners where the representations of things and physical reality meet. As if we were looking into a Claude glass—the world and us within it can be condensed into one small and dark image. We find ourselves in a murky reality that is perceived through levels of abstraction.
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For further information and press inquiries, please contact Johannes Ehmann at press [​at​] schinkelpavillon.de.

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