Levity and Gravity

Animation: Levity and Gravity, Martin Ebner & Klaus Weber, 2021

Klaus Weber
Thinking Fountains

On view through September 9, 2022

Hayward Gallery
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd
London SE1 8XX, United Kingdom

How to find meaning in dead time


Exhibition In the framework of Archival Assembly #1

SAVVY Contemporary
Reinickendorfer Straße 17 13347 Berlin

Opening 26.082021 19:00
On Show 27.08.–12.09.2021 Daily 14:00–19:00

Curated by Kayfa ta (Maha Maamoun and Ala Younis)

With Adel Abidin, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Kamal Aljafari, Filipa César with Sana na N’Hada and Zé Interpretador, Bady Dalloul, Martin Ebner, Haytham El-Wardany, Dana Enani and Nadine El Banhawy, Maria Iorio and Raphaël Cuomo, Nihad Kreševljaković and Clarissa Thieme, Anna Kutera, Randa Megahed, Bodo Pagels, Walid Raad, Anri Sala, Sanaz Sohrabi, Fiona Tan, and Dorothee Wenner

Photos © Raisa Galofre

Martin Ebner, Film Without Film, 2013/2021
(after The Evil Faerie by George Landow, FLUX Film No. 25, 1 min., 1966)
painted wood, ca. 300 x 10 x 10 cm

The Evil Faerie, by George Landow aka Owen Land, was made in 1966 as part of George Maciunas‘ Fluxfilm Anthology. Following a comprehensive title sequence, The Evil Faerie only shows one single gesture by an actor whose identity remains unknown. The film is thus of a purely informative nature, only transporting this one not clearly decipherable gesture. What the „evil faerie“ wants to express, we don’t know, this is potentially free for interpretation. We do not even know for sure who made the film (Landow, or rather Maciunas himself?), but at least, this is agreed upon, even if it is a very short one: it still is a movie. It even found its way into an archive.

The work Film Without Film (after The Evil Faerie) acts as a kind of Non-NFT (Non-non-fungible token), stored in loose pieces of painted wood instead of chains of data blocks, refering to a decidedly communitaristic and playful approach on copyright, ownership, memory and proof, as practiced by a generation of maybe humble, maybe disillusioned, maybe artists some years ago.

In the framework of Archival Assembly #1 – the (temporary) end of the five-year project and extended international collaboration “Archive außer sich” – this exhibition by the independent publishing and curatorial platform Kayfa ta (Maha Maamoun and Ala Younis) takes a closer look into experimental languages of cultural production and dissemination, as well as the alternative histories and possibilities embedded in the archive. How to find meaning in dead time reflects on some of the key issues surrounding the archive – its agency, inert and active modes of resistance, as well as its transformative potential in expanding personal and collective histories beyond the dominant conventions of constraint and erasure.

What is dead time? In physics, it is a technical term referring to the time that passes unrecorded by our detection systems due to a technical lag in the recording device. As such, dead time is unrecorded time. In history, dead time may refer to time that has disappeared from the records, due to a deliberate act of deletion, because it has been deemed unworthy or incongruous with the desired canonization of history. It may also refer to time that goes unaccounted for because the records attesting to its existence are no longer materially present, concealed by loss or decay. Moreover, the records of this time may be of a nature that is unreadable by our devices; records in minor languages, voiced by unacknowledged subjects or subjectivities, and contained in subsidiary media. Alternatively, dead time may be time that has wilfully withdrawn from our reach, “playing dead” in wait for a more opportune time to reinsert itself into the purview of the living. In all the above cases, time is not dead in itself, it is only insular to us because of our inability to attend to it.

1. If you sit in your room for hours on end with nothing to do, place an empty cassette tape in the player and press the record button.
Haytham El-Wardany, How to Disappear [1]

This exhibition contains fragments of time that are inert, have escaped the record or are in the process of resurrecting from their transitory host media. These host media include but are not limited to: 16mm films, 3D-printed cassette tapes, CCTV footage, colonial photo archives, human bodies, a jeweller’s closet, matchboxes, VHS tapes, the vaults of the Louvre museums, VHS tapes, a Persian carpet and others. More than a finite collection of material that we visit and employ, this archive of temporalities is also an immaterially expansive being that chose to visit and employ us, animating our bodies and possibly expanding our narratives of self, place and time.

7. Listen one more time. Note that what you are hearing is the sound of long, empty hours, and that the new-found meaning that you have gradually grown accustomed to is that very emptiness you had been experiencing, now abstracted from your feelings, and thoughts, and presence. You will discover that emptiness is not in itself an absence of all meaning, but rather your inability to understand new meaning.
Haytham El-Wardany, How to Disappear [2]

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TOKAS Project Vol. 4

Tokyo Arts and Space Hongo
2-4-16 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033

TAKEDA Tatsuma

Martin EBNER
Stefanie GAUS

2021/8/21 (Sat) – 10/3 (Sun)
Closed 8/23, 9/6, 13, 21, 27

Martin Ebner, Drop Car, 2018
HD video, audio, 10 min
Sound by Theresa Patzschke and Martin Ebner

Drop Car was conceived as a video installation piece, and blends photographic street views of nocturnal Tokyo, encapsuled in an artificial glass drop shape, with images of blanket-covered cars, as they are often visible in the quiet neighbourhoods of Sumida-ku district. The work is about a changing psychological relationship of society towards the car, at a moment in time when cars are becoming „intelligent“ technological extensions of the human body and psyche.
The final scene (titled „One less“) is different, like a „small film within the film“, showing a car picked by giant chopsticks from a crowded highway and lifted up into the sky. This absurd, but minimalist gesture points towards a certain aspect of positive self-restriction, perceivable in Japanese culture, but maybe applicable to everywhere.
The work is certainly inspired by the encounter with Japanese avantgarde art and experimental film from the period between 1960 till 1990. Having walked urban areas in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima and other cities, I also experienced a special joy in recognizing the inventiveness and beauty at the intersections of quickly changing public and private spaces. If „artificial intelligence“ is something mostly invisible, also incorporated in cars, then Japans animistic tradition might give a clue towards a future co-relation of man and machine.

In 2011, TOKAS launched the Exchange Residency Program in which creators are dispatched to Berlin and invited to Tokyo, the two having a Friendship Cities relationship. Participants from Japan are offered the opportunity to stay and work at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien in Berlin. This exhibition presents works by artists based in Berlin, to commemorate both 10 years of exchange between TOKAS and Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien and 160 years of diplomatic relations between Germany and Japan.

Compared to other major cities of the world, Berlin’s social structure makes it easy for artists to live and for creative communities to form, and creators from all over the world have gathered to live and work in the city. Sugito Yoshie, Takeda Tatsuma, and Yoshida Shingo, whose works are featured in this exhibition, have also lived in Berlin for several years and have been producing works with multifaceted perspectives on Europe’s unique history and diversity while adapting to a different linguistic and cultural environment. They participated in TOKAS’s residency program for Japanese artists in Germany, exhibited their works at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, and each of them deepened their knowledge and insight through activities and interactions that leverage the networks they have cultivated thus far. As it happens, this year all three artists have elected to leave Berlin temporarily, for different reasons, and have begun living and working in new places that are also removed from their places of origin.

This exhibition features works with themes related to legends, traditions, and cultures that draw the artists’ interest. Also, video works capturing Japan from distinctive perspectives, by past participants in the Tokyo TOKAS Residency, Martin Ebner, Joachim Fleischer and Stefanie Gaus, who are currently based in Germany, will be screened.

When people relocate, we plan routes to reach our destinations, put down roots, and leave vestiges of ourselves there. Then, we plan routes to our next destinations and take flight once more. The works in this exhibition reveal something like layers of soil formed through slow accumulation over the course of long journeys, and the cultural fruits that grow up from this soil.

*As of March 2021, TOKAS has concluded our activities at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien for the time being, but moving forward, we intend to continue the exchange program between Germany and Japan.

Admission Free
Organizer Tokyo Arts and Space (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)
Support The German Embassy in Tokyo, Goethe-Institut Tokyo

Martin Ebner, with Ariane Müller: Untitled (Tokyo), 2017
HD video, 7 min. 43 sec., audio

Like a freewheeling unemployed cousin of Gibo-chan (the official mascot of Edo-Tokyo Museum), this obviously non-Japanese person in costume resembles a tin can and tries to communicate with residents and passersby by offering them three gestures that could be danced versions of Rock-paper-scissors (in Japanese: Janken, じゃんけん). It wanders Tokyo’s streets in an attempt to make friends, but can’t really distinguish between people and vending machines or cars.

All photos: KATO Ken
Courtesy of Tokyo Arts and Space

eyetree hkw

Photo: Theresa Patzschke

21 archives

21 archives

Haus der Kulturen der Welt


Sat, Jul 17, 2021 10 pm
Open-air in HKW’s Westgarten:

Martin Ebner
Track: Thomas Fehlmann
D 2013, 5’

Salomé Jashi
Schweiz, D, Georgien 2021, 92 ’
Taming the Garden (film still) | © Mira Film / Corso Film / Sakdoc Film

21 archives

This summer, HKW invites audiences to attend evening open-air concerts, readings, performances, and films as part of their 21 sunsets program. Arsenal is involved once again: 21 archives grasps films and film programs themselves as archival spaces. Found footage, that is, the appropriation and editing together of previously discovered material, is a widely used cinematographic approach. In addition, 21 archives examines the possibilities that arises when this approach leaves its standard operating procedure behind: what if the material used is not found, but rather produced (perhaps because certain perspectives are not included in the existing material)? Or what if it’s not images and sounds that are appropriated, but other things (such as bodily experiences or linking strategies)? Archival practice thus becomes a practice of reorganization and the archive becomes a site of radical critique and lived design. The archive becomes cinema, cinema becomes an archive. The program is held together by 21 planetary events. (stss)

With films by Kenneth Anger, Vartan Avakian, James Benning, Sofie Benoot / Lisbeth De Ceulaer / Isabelle Tollenaere, Joshua Bonnetta, Dagie Brundert, Viera Cákanyová, Tom Callemin, Arthur & Corinne Cantrill, Anouk De Clercq / Tom Callemin, Madhusree Dutta, Susan Dyal, Martin Ebner, Morgan Fisher, Juliane Henrich, Emily Jacir, Ken Jacobs, Evan Johnson, Salomé Jashi, Larissa Sansour / Soren Lind, Maha Maamoun, Guy Maddin, Marie Menken, Peter Miller, Avi Mograbi, Matthias Müller, Petna Ndaliko Katondolo, Bärbel Neubauer, Jonathan Perel, Walid Raad / The Atlas Group, Marta Rodríguez, Constanze Ruhm, Sharon Sandusky, Larissa Sansour / Soren Lind, Philip Scheffner, Deborah Stratman, Take to the Sea (Lina Attalah & Mohamed A. Gawad), Jerry Tartaglia, Clarissa Thieme, Nishikawa Tomonari, Celeste Vargas, Javier Fernández Vázquez, Anton Vidokle, Akram Zaatari.

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The Austrian Cultural Forum Tokyo presents:


(c) Austrian Cultural Forum Tokyo, Yulia Skogoreva

The Publication

at Morioka Shoten Ginza, Tokyo
June 8-13, 2021
Address: 1-28-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

100+ artists from Austria present their vision of space, transformation and personal interactions in Japan through the then—now—after, connecting the online and offline of #JapanRevisited202× in print format.

With its unique concept “a single room with a single book” Morioka Shoten will become host to the world of #JapanRevisited202x, where the publication will be showcased alongside the projects of Austrian artists Anita Gratzer, Martin Ebner and Wolfgang Seierl.

Online exhibition:

#JapanRevisited202x is a project by the Austrian Cultural Forum Tokyo.
Motoazabu 1-1-20, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan, 106-004
Part of the initiative Austria Kultur Digital by Austria Kultur International (BMEIA).

After the Butcher

Photo- and video documentation: Ines Lechleitner

Stadt und Knete. Positionen der 1990er Jahre

after the butcher
exhibition space for contemporary art and social issues
Spittastr. 25, 10317 Berlin

A-Clip, Gruppe Gummi K / MicroStudio Surplus (Alice Creischer, Martin Ebner, Christoph Keller, Ariane Müller, Andreas Siekmann, Nicolas Siepen, Josef Strau, Klaus Weber, Amelie von Wulffen), Jaaaa (Alice Creischer, Ariane Müller, Andreas Siekmann, Josef Strau, Amelie von Wulffen) & Protzband Nicolas Siepen, Siegfried Koepf & Martin Ebner & Gunter Reski, Josef Kramhöller, NEID, Annette Wehrmann, Ina Wudtke, Amelie von Wulffen and others.

November 20, 2020-February 28, 2021
The exhibition opens after the lockdown probably January 15, 2021 to February 28, 2021

Compliance with spacial distancing rules and wearing a mask is required when visiting the exhibition.

Open Sat & Sun from 3-7 p.m. and by appointment via:
after-the-butcher or +49 (0)178 32 981 06

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ASP – Artist self-publishers’ Fair -The Sixth
Sunday 27th September, from 2 till 7pm
100+ artists: live 2-way streams of interviews, guest, music, readings, films, launches & performances with artists in their own front rooms and studios from around the world