October 1, 2016 - Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig - Mario Pfeifer: Explosion
October 1, 2016

Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig

(1) Mario Pfeifer, Corpo Fechado (still), 2016. (2) Mario Pfeifer, About Education and Fear, Protest and Equity... (still), 2016–ongoing. (3) Mario Pfeifer, #blacktivist (still), 2015. (4) View of Mario Pfeifer: Approximation in the digital age to a humanity condemned to disappear, KOW, Berlin, 2014. (5) Mario Pfeifer, A Formal Film in Nine Episodes, Prologue and Epilogue (still), 2010. (6) View of Mario Pfeifer's Corpo Fechado at GfZK, Leipzig, 2016.

Mario Pfeifer
October 1, 2016–January 8, 2017

Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig
Karl-Tauchnitz-Straße 9-11
04107 Leipzig
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 2–7pm,
Saturday–Sunday 12–6pm

T +49 341 140810


In his first comprehensive solo exhibition, the artist Mario Pfeifer shows six film and video installations from 2009 to 2016. Borrowed from the novel of the same name by the ethnologist and writer Hubert Fichte, the title of the exhibition points towards the liberating impact of encounters with different living environments, cultures and ways of life.

Mario Pfeifer works with the empirical methods of cultural anthropology. He travels to various regions and works there for long periods of time, engaging with diverse communities. Forms of expression from participatory observation and essayistic documentation can be recognized in his films and video installations, and he allows the aesthetics of music videos and science videos to flow into the film narrative again and again.

The exhibition in Leipzig is concerned not only with the life of communities in their local contexts, but also with their global integration in terms of the central themes of the selected pieces—labour, religion, (sub-)culture, economy, capital, racism, exploitation, migration and media.

Corpo Fechado, a recently produced 4K Video installation in São Paulo, Brazil focusing on societal conditions in relation to spiritual and religious practices in the megapolis, will premiere in the exhibition Explosion.

A newly commissioned project entitled On Education and Fear, Disenchantment and Protest, Equity and Cleavage in Saxony/Germany, is set within the East German political context. In collaboration with diverse social groups and experts, Pfeifer examines the role played by political education in the increasing radicalisation of the public sphere. Is sufficient information on the possibilities of democratic participation available in the media? What resources have been available since 1989 to support the population in understanding the basic social, economic and political changes and in coping with them on a micro-political level?

Until now, Pfeifer’s film and video installations have generally been shown on an individual basis, the Leipzig presentation will however feature a walk-in film landscape. Image and sound will be connected wirelessly, the sound track for each installation is being activated according to the movements of the visitors in the space. On the one hand, this will allow the works to be experienced from the perspective of a narrator, on the other, visitors will be integrated within a filmic narrative, with the possibility of influencing the reading direction.

Kirsa Geiser, Berlin-based art critic and curator of the exhibition says: “A work of art is not a political instrument, it simply cannot replace any form of politics. In the best case, however, it can be a sectional visual representation of social conditions on all levels. And in the case of this show, it is a kaleidoscope that holds up a mirror to all layers of society.”

Mario Pfeifer (*1981, Dresden, Germany) studied visual arts at the California Institute of the Arts; University of the Arts, Berlin; Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig; and graduated from Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main. His installations were recently exhibited at Fotomuseum Winterthur (2015); Ludlow 38, New York (2015); Circa Projects, Newcastle (2015); KOW, Berlin (2014); Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago de Chile (2014) and Khoj, New Delhi (2013); MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main (2012) amongst others. His videos and films were shown in International Film Festivals in Bangkok, Berlin, Bilbao, New York, Paris, Seoul and Toronto. Monographs were published by Spector Books and Sternberg Press.

The artist is represented by KOW, Berlin.


Curator: Kirsa Geiser
Press contact: Beatrice Di Buduo (Head of Press/Public Relations):
presse [​at​] gfzk.de / T (+ 49 341) 14081 25
Press material: www.gfzk.de (texts and images for download under PRESS)


Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig
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