December 15, 2008 - e-flux - e-flux reading room, home alone, fluxforum and party…
December 15, 2008

e-flux reading room, home alone, fluxforum and party…

e-flux reading room, home alone, fluxforum and party...
the building presents a reading room, a screening, a lecture and a party in Berlin

the building
Platz der Vereinten Nationen 14A
Berlin 10249 DE
T: 030 28 04 79 73

e-flux reading room is a collection of books on contemporary art exhibitions open to the public at the building in Berlin. The books have been donated by numerous art institutions from all parts of the world and reflect some of the more interesting developments in art of the past decade. e-flux reading room is open for research and study from Thursday through Saturday, 12-6 pm.

Contributing institutions include:
Irish Museum of Modern Art, Deutsche Guggenheim, The Sculpture Center, Archis Foundation, The New Museum, Locus Athens, Lehman College Gallery, Kunstlerhaus Buchsenhausen, CCNOA Brussels, ICI, The Drawing Center, Shefield Contemporary Art Forum, Matt’s Gallery, London, National Sculpture FactoryIreland, Caja de Burgos Art Centre, Centraal Museum, Utrecht, Parker’s Box, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Parasol Unit, Foundation for Contemporary Art; Public Art Lab / Mobile Studios; Villa Manin: Centro de Art Contemporanea; Austrian Cultural Forum; Office of Contemporary Art, Norway; La Maison Rouge; Frankfurter Kunstverein; National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST); Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site; Project Art Center, Essex/ Project Press; NADA; Serpentine Gallery; Via Farini; The Moore Space; Or Gallery, Vancouver; Villa Arson; Galerija Skuc; Artadia; Objectif Projects; Taipei Fine Arts Museum (Taipei Biennial and Taiwan Pavilion); Sala Rekalde; Portikus; I Sotterranei dell’Arte, Monte Carasso; Apex Art; Archis Foundation; Flintridge Foundation; Kunsthaus Graz; Institute National de l´Arte Contemporain; Redcat; tranzit, initiative for contemporary art; PS1; Vera List Center; O.K. Centrum für Gegenwartskunst; FRAME Finnish Fund for Art Exchange; CAB; Kunstlerhaus Stuttgard; Siemens Arts Program; National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest ; Foundation Antoni Ratti; Art Box; De Appel; Queens Museum; GAK; Parkett; Parasol Unit; InSite/Installation Gallery; Dia Center for the Arts; Secession; Art & Industry Biennial Trust; Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana; MUSAC; Weatherspoon Art Museum; Aeroplastics; Salzburger Kunstverein; Museion; Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center; Neuer Berliner Kunstverein; SCI-Arc Gallery, Southern California Institute of Architecture; Art Forum; Public Art Lower Austria; SITE Santa fe; MDD – Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens; Artspeak; Afterall Books; Black Dog Publishing; A prior; Middelheim Museum; KW, Berlin; Art Resources Transfer Inc.; Luckman Fine Arts Complex; Institiute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London; Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art; Americas Society; Stroom den Haag; Museum in Progress; Wyspa Progress Foudation; Museion; Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art; Mobile Academy; Sternberg Press; DaimlerChrysler Contemporary; Umetnostna galerija / Umetnostna Galerija Maribor; MDD – Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens; MUSAC; Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, Ashkal Alwan; Monokultur; Blanton Museum of Art; GAK, Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen; Bidoun; Bonner Kunstverein and other institutions and private individuals.

Should you wish to contribute to this growing collection, please send your publications to:

e-flux reading room
Platz der Vereinten Nationen 14a
Berlin, 10249

Other programs at the building in December:

e-flux video rental

Thursday, December 18th, 7PM

HOME ALONE: Some Proposals on How to Deal With It
Presented by Ellen Blumenstein

It’s winter in Berlin, the darkest time of the year. Time for complaints and for depression. Time for being desolate and at home, alone. But not a time to dwell on this! The videos presented this night at e-flux video rental look at the domestic as a site for behavior that reaches from eccentric to perverted, from playful to disturbing. The six videos are losely connected by one or both parts of the night’s theme – HOME respectively ALONE. Drawing upon the double-edged comprehension of ‘home’ as a possible refuge, a place to withdraw from public / professional life to just be private or to play around, live out one’s personal obsessions, desires and excesses, to the other side of being home alone as being lonely and unrelated to a community and social life.

The two Spanish artists David Bestué and Marc Vives have been collaborating on a series of “actions” for several years now. At different concrete or symbolic sites like public space, home, the body or the universe they create surrealist situations which draw our attention to overlooked connections between ourselves and the surrounding world. Actions at Home is an absurd play with the performative qualities of the domestic, using everyday materials as props, revealing their formerly undiscovered potential for play and chaos.

Brock Enright, on the other hand, is exploring the perverse fantasies hidden behind bourgeois normalcy, elicitating them and bringing them to the surface by using people’s exhibitionist tendencies, respectively their urge for attention: He stages meticulously planned scenarios following the instructions of his ‘customers’, the protagonists of his videos, who pay for the artists’ services.

Red Hanky stages a stereotypical gay prostitution scene of a horny, overweight customer (with money) hitting on two young guys. By relocating the situation from a public into a private surrounding, the client is both protected and mercilessly exposed to the camera at the same time.

Realized in 1972 as one of her first videos, Ulrike Rosenbach’s body actionTying Julia can be considered one of the paradigmatic works introducing domestic (female) subjects into the art context (even a few years before Martha Rosler’s Semiotics of the Kitchen, 1975). Rosenbach, nude to her waist, sits in front of the camera together with her naked daughter Julia, wrapping the two of them together with bandages, making corporeal processes visible by the means of a static camera wich is recording them in close-shots.

The US American West-Coast context, in which Harry Dodge and Stanya Kahn live and work, oftentimes builds the foil for displaying their quasi-documentary videos dealing with themes like hedonism and Hollywood or the search for recognition and meaning. Let the Good Times Roll features the fictional character Lois (performerd by Kahn) stranded in a motel somewhere outside of L.A., reporting an accidental companion her last night’s party-odyssee experiences, desperately trying to amuse herself to actually “feel” something.

Collecting Militaria… departs from a similar urge: somewhere in the Mid West, Martin Dammann interviews a devotee of militaria in a hotel/motel room aside one of the big trading fairs that attract all kinds of collectors, professionals, freaks. Able to speak for a quarter of an hour about a single SS helmet from Nazi times, it becomes clear that for many of the people there, these well preserved fetishes become the common object for a community which – looked at from the outside – appears rather exotic.

One of the major work complexes of Alexander Calder is his extensive puppet Circus with its tiny wire performers, ingeniously articulated to walk tightropes, dance, lift weights and engage in acrobatics in the ring. The Parisian avant-garde would gather in Calder’s studio to see the circus in operation. This film by Carlos Vilardebó exudes the great personal charm of Calder himself, moving and working the tiny players like a ringmaster, while his wife winds up the gramophone in the background.

Marc Vives and Martin Dammann will attend the screening.


1) David Bestué / Marc Vives (* 1980/1978, Spain), Acciones en Casa, 2005 (33 min, here: excerpt of 10 min)
2) Brock Enright (* 1976, USA), Red Hanky, 2008 (10 min)
3) Ulrike Rosenbach (* 1943, Germany),Tying Julia, 1972 (5 min)
4) Harry Dodge/Stanya Kahn (* 1966/1968, USA), Let the Good Times Roll, 2004 (15 min)
5) Martin Dammann (* 1965, Germany), Collecting Militaria Gives You Something to Talk About, 2006 (17 min)
6) Alexander Calder (1898-1976, USA), The Circus, 1961, shot by Carlos Vilardebó (19 min)


e-flux video rental (EVR) is an ongoing work by Anton Vidokle and Julieta Aranda, comprising a free video rental, a public screening room, and a film and video archive that is constantly growing. This collection of over 850 works of film and video art has been assembled in collaboration with more than 400 artists, curators and critics.

EVR is a poetic exploration of alternative processes of circulation and distribution, and it is structured to function like a typical video rental store, except that it operates for free. VHS tapes can be watched in the space, or, once a new member fills out a membership form and contract, they can be checked out and viewed at home.

Originally presented at a storefront in New York, in 2004, EVR has traveled to art venues in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Seoul, Paris, Istanbul, Canary Islands, Austin, Budapest, Boston, Antwerp, Berlin, Miami, Lyon and Lisbon. EVR will travel to Colombia, Argentina and Brazil later this fall. Having outlived the technology that made it possible (VHS video tape players), the project will be permanently archived with the Arab Image Foundation in Beirut and Moderna Galerija in Ljubljana, in 2009.


Saturday, December 20th, 8 pm
Sparwasser at the building

Presentation by Peter van der Meijden

Sparwasser Theorist-In-Residency in November-December 2008

Peter van der Meijden (Amsterdam, 1969) is an art historian, publicist and lecturer with degrees from the universities of Amsterdam (1993) and Essex (1995). During the last five years he has been associated with the University of Copenhagen, first as external lecturer, then as Ph.D. fellow. His Ph.D. deals with interactions within the Fluxus network in Germany and surrounding countries in the period 1962-1966.’ Sparwasser HQ has invited Peter to reflect on possible parrallels between Fluxus and the Sparwasser HQ program. A public exchange will take place on December 20. at 8 PM.


‘Proposed preliminary contents of NYC fluxus in Nov.: (…) Banquet on last day of Nov. giving distinguished guests food prepared with strong enema producing medicines – ending Nov. fluxus with a grand fluxus’. The human intestine is between 7,5 and 8,5 metres long. It takes a sprig of parsley just over an hour to cover that distance, while a piece of pork can take the best part of five hours. George Maciunas’ idea for a Fluxus banquet, proposed in Fluxnewsletter no. 6 (6 April 1963), would have shortened these times considerably. Maciunas wanted his events to be quick and recognizable. He did not want to have to wait for his ‘fluxus’ to happen, but insisted to administer his artistic enema himself, so Flux could happen in his own time.

In many ways, this approach is typical for George Maciunas and his idea of Fluxus. At the other end of the spectrum we find artists such as Alison Knowles, whose Proposition from 1962 simply reads ‘Make a Salad’ and who instigated a long collective performance surrounding the consumption of buttermilk, soup and tuna sandwiches (The Identical Lunch, 1968). For Maciunas, Fluxtime is something that can be manipulated with, while for Knowles, it takes as long as it takes. Her work, like that of many other artists associated with Fluxus, is not a flux and a flush, but a constantly fluctuating exchange between person and object, never complete, always developing.

The presentation, Excreta Fluxorum, takes the dynamic relationship between the flux-and-flush and the fluctuating exchange as its starting point for a (re-)consideration of Fluxus and its reception, with a focus on the ways in which this type of artistic activity/activism may be – and has been – co-opted, and possibilities for resistance to reification and spectacularisation that may still be present and valid today. Taking images of food and the consumption of food as its starting point, it is a rambling pilgrimage along the digestive tract of history – not backwards, seeking legitimation of the present in the past – which would be regurgitatio fluxorum – but forwards, exploring each twist that is met underway and circumnavigating each potential obstacle.


Saturday, December 20th, 10 pm till the last person leaves…

djs: Dieter Roelstraete, Annika Larsson and others.

For further information please contact Magdalena Magiera at

the building
Platz der Vereinten Nationen 14A
Berlin 10249 DE
T: 030 28 04 79 73

the building is open Thursday through Saturday, 12 – 6 pm.

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