January 27, 2004 - PLAY platform for Film & Video - Jonah Freeman
January 27, 2004

Jonah Freeman

Jonah Freeman
The Franklin Abraham

31 January – 21 February 2004

play_gallery for still and motion pictures
hannoversche strasse 1
d-10115 berlin
T+49-30-2345 5753 F +49-30-2345 5754


Opening hours: Mo-Sat, 12 – 7pm
Vernissage: Saturday, 31st of Jan. 2004, 7pm
opening hours: mo-sat 12-7pm

In collaboration with Andrew Kreps Gallery NYC Partner event of Transmediale 04

Jonah Freeman’s work examines a variety of ideas and emotions surrounding the contemporary urban landscape. His recent projects have focused on the urban interior as theatrical space and the movement through those environments as a montage of phantasmagorical fantasy worlds.

Freeman’s work oscillates between film, photography, drawing, text and installation. In his new project, The Franklin Abraham, Freeman takes a city enclosed in a single structure as a platform for several interconnected bodies of work.

The Franklin Abraham is the result of an ambitious real estate project that has lasted over two hundred years. The structure began under the auspices of industrialist Maxwell Blum during the Pale Blue Epoch of metropolitan development. It started as a residential tower designed in the once fashionable rococo-moderne style only to grow into the hybrid monstrosity that exists today. The building expanded into a radical architectural development that encompasses residential, retail, manufacturing, commercial industry, government and entertainment in a single structure. It currently houses 2 million inhabitants, is a mile and half wide, two miles long and, in places, over 150 stories tall. Involving several hundred thousand workers and thousands of architects, the construction has spanned several generations, with the result that the total design and program of the structure has become incoherent and incongruent.

The primary work in the exhibition is a film produced by “Fine Arts Unternehmen Film+Video”. It is a partial glimpse into the present state of the society within The Franklin Abraham. The cinematic structure is modelled after the sprawling nature of the building. The film offers fragments of narrative that it explores briefly and then leaves behind: a despondent teenage girl and her older newspaper-stealing boyfriend; a timid office worker on a date with a sinister-looking romeo; a bored, subterranean youth gang; the tribulations of the family that runs the mega-corporation that owns the building and more. The camera gives a voyeuristic and indifferent perspective as it moves through the corridors and passageways of the structure painting a broad picture of a late-capitalist community.

Jonah Freeman Lives and works in New York City. He has had solo shows at Edward Mitterand in Geneva, Switzerland (2002), in the project room at Artists Space in New York (2001) and several shows at Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York (since 1997). Among several group exhibitions he has recently been included in shows at Danese Gallery, Matthew Marks Gallery and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York City.

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