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'Traction Flesh-Hold' by Omsk Social Club at Exgirlfriend, Berlin

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Note from writer: Both OMSK Social Club and I are busy people, burdened by annoying deadlines of all kinds, amidst varying time zones and event listings. Ample was my surprise and irritation when shortly after Frieze London, I got a message informing me that in her organised confusion, she had left me a message via HUO’s Instagram page, telling me to look out for her scripted writing. I found myself reluctantly throwing myself into some digital excavation, amongst tattered post-it notes and other coloured debris. I told her I’d try to look for said note, but couldn’t fully promise to do so. “Gossip is the new mindfulness,” is the only one I found, which I deemed to be aligned with the artist’s previous conceptual framework. - KC

*** Wouldn’t it feel delightful to experience this show from a point of view that isn’t really yours? You could be the young woman standing in the corner with a bottle of beer. Or? Since you are reading this I expect you to agree, or at least see the curiosity of the act. When reading the characters you may think I'm prejudiced, but we all have tendencies, tastes, and characteristics that we aren’t proud of yet accept as part of ourselves.

• You are a 19-year-old Australian woman named Andrea. You’ve come to Berlin because of a certain dislike for heat, insects, and cheerfulness, all of which there’s arguably too much of in Australia. A week ago, you witnessed your cool flatmate debate which gallery opening she should meet her friends at. You have therefore concluded that in the world of Berlin trendiness, which you would very much like to be part of. Attending gallery openings constitutes an inevitable activity, and so here you are. You enjoy the colors of the neon lights in the room, as they remind you of home. You miss home, although you hate to admit it.

• You are a 55-year-old heterosexual man named Andreas. While you know the theories about Lemuria and breatharianism can’t possibly be true, a doubt persists in your mind. Somehow, your apartment never really gets warm, but you’re a tough guy, so you’ll manage. You are fascinated by the almost celestial auras you perceive in the gallery space. However, you’ve concluded that the artist and you aren’t on the same vibe. In her use of the gateway motive, you detect a faint hint of dark irony that feels disrespectful.

• You are a 32-year-old German curator named Andrea, currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Freie Universität Berlin. You understand the wink at Baldessari (Luciano, not John) in this show, but refuse to acknowledge it, because you dislike Baldessari (both of them). You’re irritated because you just had one of those vacuous phone calls with your mom. She still hopes you’ll one day come back to Heilbronn, Celle or Düren, one of which must be the city you grew up in. Your current boyfriend is the third one who suggested to experiment with tantric sex, and you wonder what exactly about yourself inspires men to make use of South Asian erotic practices in the bedroom.

• You are a 23-year-old gay guy named Andreas. You came here because of your boyfriend, whom you loathe. He desperately wants to be perceived as an edgy collector and not as the boring insurance executive he actually is. You’d have rather stayed at home chatting on Grindr. Alas, he threatened to kick you out of his Charlottenburg penthouse should you not accompany him, so you gave in. In the gallery, you start to think this would probably also work as a backdrop for a Drake video. You then ponder why you aren’t yet famous yourself, given your harmonious features and velvety Baritone tessitura.

• You are the ageless, gender-nonconforming scion of a South American brewery empire. Your name varies depending on your mood, location, and level of intoxication - but in general, you favor the single letter “A”. You live in Berlin for the obvious reasons. Also, because you might have hit an old woman with your car high on Angel’s Dust while driving back to Vegas from Burning Man. The title of this exhibition makes you anxious, as the word “traction” reminds you of physics, and the word “flesh” of human interaction, two things you know painfully little about. Nevertheless, this exhibition has triggered something in you. You’re guessing it’s mainly the shadows you see here and there since shadows are something you often identify with.

— Karim Crippa

14.10.17 — 4.11.17

Sound in Collaboration with Vonverhille


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