press release

Drei Städte, drei Kuratoren, drei Spektakel – „The Three Cities“ ist eine Ausstellung in drei Teilen, die in den verschiedenen europäischen Heimatstädten der drei Kuratoren (GYONATA BONVICINI – London, ANNA-CATHARINA GEBBERS – Berlin, PAOLO ZANI – Mailand) während drei verschiedener Kunstspektakel stattfinden werden:

In Berlin zur Eröffnung der 4. berlin biennale, in Mailand zum Start-Wochenende der Galerien - Start Milano und in London zum Frieze Art Fair - Wochenende.

In Anlehnung an Zola’s Romantriologie „Die Drei Städte“ überträgt das Ausstellungskonzept den gegenwärtig in der Kunstwelt stattfindenden Hype, die Jagd nach den Höhepunkten, sowie die Flüchtigkeit und rasche Abfolge der Ausstellungsereignisse. Die Ausstellungsteile konzentrieren das Geschehen am spezifischen Ort zeitlich auf einen kurzen Moment, während sich die Präsentation in räumlicher Hinsicht auf drei verschiedene europäische Metropolen ausdehnt. Die jeweils gewählten Ausstellungsräumlichkeiten unterstreichen dabei den spezifischen Charakter der drei Austragungsorte.

Grenzen scheinen in den Zeiten der Globalisierung sowohl in politischer Hinsicht, als auch in Bezug auf Reisefreiheit oder Ökonomie bedeutungsloser zu werden, während sie de facto hinsichtlich Wohlstand, Gesundheit oder auch Bodenschätzen immer noch bestehen. Und Grenzen zwischen Realität und Fiktion werden nicht nur im Bereich der Kunst, sondern auch in Bezug auf Politik diskutiert. Das Ziehen von Grenzen oder das Einreißen derselben, sowie die Grenzüberschreitung bildeten die thematische Vorgabe für die Auswahl der Künstler: Entsprechend der jeweiligen Ortsspezifik, haben die drei Kuratoren pro Stadt sechs Künstler eingeladen.

DIE DREI STÄDTE: BERLIN - DIE WOHNUNG Die intime Umgebung einer Wohnung als Ausstellungsort verkörpert die Verflechtung der privaten und öffentlichen Dimension in besonderer Weise. Zugleich definiert die Lage der ausgewählten Wohnung eine eigenwillige Perspektive: Die Bibliothekswohnung der Kuratorin Anna-Catharina Gebbers liegt direkt neben dem Friedrichstadtpalast, nahe dem Berliner Ensemble, dem Metropol Theater, dem Deutschen Theater und dem Tränenpalast, aber auch zwischen Reichstag, Bundestag, Bundeskanzleramt auf der einen Seite und den Mitte-Galerien, sowie der Museumsinsel andererseits im Grenzgebiet von Ost-Berlin zu West-Berlin – an einem Ort also, der wie prädestiniert dafür ist, einen Kommentar zur Theatralität oder auch schmerzhaften Realität von Kunst und Politik abzugeben! Die von Anna-Catharina Gebbers in der Wohnung regelmäßig organisierten Ausstellungen finden jeweils nur für vier Stunden statt und haben damit eher den Charakter von Performances von Ausstellungen, als dass sie reguläre Ausstellungen sind, - sie erscheinen als übersteigerte Form der Tour de Force der Kunstwelt mit ihrer Flüchtigkeit, der Angst, etwas zu verpassen und der Berliner Tradition der Salons und Wohnungsausstellungen.


Ort: ANNA-CATHARINA GEBBERS, BIBLIOTHEKSWOHNUNG, Ziegelstr. 2, Wohnung 06.03, 10117 Berlin-Mitte

Zeit: 23.03.-25.03.06, 11-15:00 (Eröffnung der 4th Berlin Biennial of Contemporary Art, “Von Mäusen und Menschen”)



Borrowing the title from an Emile Zola series of novels, the project involves three curators (GYONATA BONVICINI - London, ANNA-CATHARINA GEBBERS - Berlin, PAOLO ZANI - Milan). Three Exhibitions will take place in three different countries, linking the project to events that make people from all over the world come to see and join the spectacle – a metaphor for the hype currently going on in the art world. Borders in the age of Globalisation seem to become less of a problem politically and in terms of travel or economy – but obviously still are in terms of wealth, health, treasures of the soil. And borders between reality and fiction aren't only discussed in art, but also regarding public/political propaganda.

The fact that the three curators are respectively based in one of the three cities, will create a fluid balance between a deeper knowledge of the local territory and the openness to different realities such as the ones brought by the two other curators in each venue.


The intimate environment of the apartment epitomizes the continuous intertwining between private and public dimension. Furthermore the peculiar location of the venue marks several borders of different origin and predestines it for a privileged position of observation.

The library apartment of the curator Anna-Catharina Gebbers is facing Friedrichstadtpalast, which used to be the largest stage for GDR-spectacles/events, dance revues etc. and, before it was rebuilt here, was formerly directed by the German theatre legend Max Reinhard. The apartment is also situated near theatres like Berliner Ensemble, Metropol Theater, Deutsches Theater , Cabaret Distel and right across Tränenpalast, a building that had lived a long history that always involved borders. Built in the same time as the Berlin Wall, until 1989 Tränenpalast used to be the customs clearance room at the station Friedrichstraße. Here the East-Berliners had said their good-byes to their visitors from the West, it was a checkpoint between two worlds.

But Friedrichstraße also used to be the famous promenade of the Roaring Twenties, the entertainment spot of the metropolis. An opening night in the Apollo theatre was one of the most important society events. The Wintergarten – the quintessence of varieté – witnessed the birth of cinema with the world première of Max Skladanowskis “Theatre of Living Photographs”. Whether you loved the luxury or rather the folkloristic way – the Friedrichstraße would have been the place to entertain you, and the station Friedrichstraße (built in 1882) was a border crossing between the reality of daily life and a glamorous time out.

The apartment in Ziegelstrasse is also located between Reichstag, Bundestag, Bundeskanzleramt, Brandenburger Tor on the one hand side, and the area of the galleries in Berlin Mitte and the institutions at Museumsinsel on the other side. This location defines the venue’s condition as a privileged point of observation. It yearns/demands for comments on the theatrality or sometimes painful reality of art and politics.

The exhibitions regularly organized by Anna-Catharina Gebbers here, always take place for only four hours. Due to this fact those events are more performances of exhibitions than normal exhibitions. They expose the extravagant, mannered quality of the current artworld, with its fleetingness, the crossing of art and capital, the clash of utopia and reality, the fear to miss something, and involve also the Berlin tradition of Salons and apartment exhibitions.

Some of the different and more or less successful ways of feeling or making yourself comfortable at home will be shown in the apartment. Making up or tearing down borders between realities represented a fundamental issue for the selection of artists for this chapter of the tripartite exhibition project.


ALEX CECCHETTI born 1976, Terni, Italy. Lives in Milan. Paintings, Videos

The film „Farinacci“, 2005, shown in the exhibition in Berlin is portraying a man from Umbria. Following the oral history told by Farinacci, the past reality of his hometown with all its mystical, and sometimes ugly facts is revived.

In his video works and drawings, Cecchetti pairs harsh violence with a visionary and poetic aesthetic. His works play successfully on the effect of ambiguity. The short feature films show losers as protagonists, characters coming from the ‘province’ who made their revolution, combating against the central power: St. Francis (a trilogy is dedicated to him), Don Quixote, Christ, become for Cecchetti the vehicle through which it becomes possible to read and re-interpret reality, by using continuous metaphors and shifts of meaning. His landscape paintings and drawings give a gloomy and shadowy vision of nature, emphasizing the loneliness of the spectator before a falsely static atmosphere, where in reality we get the sensation that something is always just about to happen.

LUCILE DESAMORY born 1977, Brussels. Currently living in Berlin. Films, Collages, Music Performances.

The films “3. Clone Zone”, 2000, and “à l’ombre de l’hyperboloïde”, 2004, present an ambiguous, surrealistic world in the twilight zone at home between dream, fiction, reality, utopia, humour and serious fear.

Desamory creates an audiovisual world mixing paper collages, stop motion and musical films. Working with found material such as stock sport photography and encyclopaedic illustration Desamory produces rich and dreamlike pictures which in total create a document to sensitised human corporeality. Her silhouette works on paper formally bring together the attitude of stop motion and visual art. Often three dimensional they play with the aesthetics of picture-books, sculptures, galanty shows and the pre-stages of filmmaking.

Formerly running a night club in Brussels, Desamory has shown her films and performed live across Europe. “Jigsaw (jeu de société)” currently shown at Galerie Meerrettich, Berlin, presents a collaboration by Lucile Desamory, Lucy McKenzie and Birgit Megerle.

PAUL KOS born 1942, Rock Springs, Wyoming. Lives in San Francisco. Installations, Videos, Perfomance Art.

Featured in the show in Berlin is the video work “Ice/Fire”, 2004. The film shows Kos using an ice lens to switch a fire – one of the oldest symbols of shelter and home for the human being.

Kos is known for his special entry of the poetry of material. One of the artist's best-known works is an installation from 1970, where Paul Kos placed about a dozen standing microphones around two blocks of ice. He called the work “The Sound of Ice Melting”. The photograph documenting the event is a fine absurdist image: It calls to mind the old photographs of politicos speaking into a bristling array of microphones, only here the microphones resemble birdlike creatures craning to hear what the blockhead will say.

Paul Kos has been a highly influential artist in the Bay Area for well over three decades. In the late 1960s and early 1970s he was one of the major figures on the early conceptual art scene, notable especially for his early experimental video works and seemingly simple but technically innovative sculptural installations, which generally featured evocative audio or video components. He was one of the first to incorporate video into interactive installations.

GEDI SIBONY born 1973, New York City. Lives in New York.

“The World is Neither Not Nor”, 2005, occupies a whole room in the apartment by using a door leaf, a piece of carpet and spray paint to deconstruct an apartment and to divide space.

Sibony’s so called “guerilla formalism” works with materials he finds in places like supply closets, mail rooms, cubicles, which he turns into rough-hewn, weirdly elegant sculptures. In his works arte povera, Richard Tuttle, and formalistic methods assonant. “I want to convey a kind of discovery by moving through things the way allegory incorporates various energies in a harmonious environment. This might be understood as an alignment of symbolic thinking and material tactility.” (ArtForum, Sept. 2004). Sibony seems concerned with tracing the process by which ‘pure’ form transmutes itself into symbol. But rather than conceive of this process as the basis for referential gamesmanship or as a dreaded entropic slippage, he posits it as the opening up of new realms of possibility. His works keep with them always a sense of fragility and precarity.

An installation by Gedi Sibony is currently shown at the Whitney Biennial, New York.

ANDREAS SLOMINSKI born 1959, Meppen, Germany. Lives in Berlin and Hamburg, Germany. Installations, Sculptures, Performances, Photographs, Paintings, Drawings.

Dedicated to the special location of the apartment and on the specific occasion of the exhibition, Andreas Slominski has invented a performance – gone by, as always, when the spectators arrive.

Slominski is known for works which announce him as a trickster and points up the ludic element which runs through his projects. A common thread is the role of narrative and in many instances the object exhibited is the culmination of an elaborate sequence of events. Slominski often covers his tracks, chapters of the narrative vanish, leaving only some very perplexing signs. Slominski considers the relationship between figures and quantities, between the present and the past, between the facts and the made up, between the small every day live and the unconceivable from a variety of perspectives – as abstractions, as mathematical elements and as the components of communities and society as a whole.

Andreas Slominski’s new, again perplexing, polystyrene works will be shown in a solo exhibition at Metro Pictures, New York, in May.

TONY SWAIN born 1967, Lisborn. Lives in Glasgow. Drawings, Collages, Music.

The exhibition present a series of new paintings on newspaper and collages, which seem to transfer urban surroundings and housings to a strange, fantastical and private world.

Swains works on paper derive their material source from newsprint and magazines. His paintings have a strange air of familiarity. Seemingly random patterns are produced from a starting point as oblique as a shadow or colour on the newsprint. The final result being at times a surreal, fantastical landscape or a depiction of an intimate, but unrecognizable object. When you study the works, it seems as though Swain is involving you in his private surreal world, with influences from music and from the built environment. The original print and Swain’s finely painted transcription become indistinguishable. It is through this process that Swain manages to invert the print material with unusual and unassociated surreal attributes. The resulting collage has a part fantasy painting and part realist ‘photoprint’ quality.

The musician and artist Tony Swain transforms in his paintings the specific character of music, which is depending on or only existing in time, and the momentariness of the up-to-dateness of the daily news.


ALEX CECCHETTI, LUCILE DESAMORY, PAUL KOS, GEDI SIBONY, ANDREAS SLOMINSKI, TONY SWAIN invited by Gyonata Bonvicini, Anna-Catharina Gebbers and Paolo Zani 23 – 25 March 2006: A-C Gebbers | Bibliothekswohnung, Ziegelstr. 2, 10117 Berlin


STEVEN CLAYDON, CLAIRE FONTAINE, RUTH MAY, GIAN DOMENICO SOZZI, JOSH SMITH, DIRK STEWEN invited by Gyonata Bonvicini, Anna-Catharina Gebbers and Paolo Zani 22 – 24 September 2006: The Factory Hall, Former Fabbrica Presbitero, Via Farini 57, Milan


GUY BEN-NER, ULLA VON BRANDENBURG, LALI CHETWYND, FARID RAHIMI, CHRISTOPH SCHLINGENSIEF, SUE TOMPKINS invited by Gyonata Bonvicini, Anna-Catharina Gebbers and Paolo Zani 10 October 2006: The Warehouse, 88 Teesdale Street, London E2 6PU (Bethnal Green)


Kuratoren: Gyonata Bonvicini, Anna-Catharina Gebbers, Paolo Zani

Teilnehmende Künstler - Berlin: Alex Cecchetti, Lucile Desamory, Paul Kos, Gedi Sibony, Andreas Slominski, Tony Swain

23.03.06 - 25.03.06 Anna-Catharina Gebbers, Berlin
22.09.06 - 24.09.06 The Factory, Mailand
10.10.06 The Warehouse / Bethnal Green, London