Bernadette Corporation

Galerie Neu, Berlin

September 10, 2010

A Haven for the Soul
4 September – 2 October 2010

Philippstr. 13
10115 Berlin

The points of contact along the circulation of flows where there’s a cleansing, restoring; a polluting, catastrophic mishap; a build-up of exercising subjectivity; a leaking between private and public… A Haven for the Soul engages spaces where the metropolitan individual cares for and maintains the self while also sometimes going into crisis. The gallery, the network and the bathroom are spaces where the subject works on its own image, where the metaphysical delight and horror of absence speaks back to us from the functional surfaces of the mirror and the screen. Here, the truth-value of the self-images we produce and consume is secondary to the efficiency of their production and mobilization.

Marshal McLuhan’s global village idiot, a/k/a Bloom – on a chat, facebooking in the afternoon, writing back emails, sexting with two fingers – has been here since tribal times, has been educated by humanists, has been employed, has been sent to war and the mall. He accumulates at the bottom of web pages, he deletes his spam and clicks his links, and he is also the social animal of olde – sitting in bars, clinking glasses, bumming cigarettes, gossiping about this or that show, about someone’s article or review, about a documenta, about the market, about history and literature and philosophy, about how things are in Berlin, how things are in New York. In-between combat operations, he is holed up in the barracks at his base camp, overdosing on pop culture online and playing with his army-gym body in front of a mirror/camera.

A strange, anonymous discourse – fragmentary, interested and unassignable – elaborates itself around the crisis of the image today. This “speak” is both free and programmatic, personal and generic. It is the poetry that is left after the literary and the visual have lost their distinction in an unbridled exchange of information.

“We don’t care if it’s real as long as it’s legit”

A Haven for the Soul presents a series of chrome, platinum and stainless steel bathroom plumbing fixtures that have been inscribed with statements found on the Internet. Responding to a specific event in media space – the leaking of nude cell phone photos of the pop star Rihanna – this commentary interrogates the reality of the imagery and reacts to the stripping bare of a celebrity in cyberspace. By turns critical, authoritative, skeptical and crude, the inscriptions record our common separation from the celebrity body and the violent fantasy of its consumption.

The Earth’s Tarry Dreams of Insurrection Against the Sun displays deep sea video footage of the 2010 BP oil spill on two leaning, flat screen monitors. Here, the Deepwater Horizon disaster with its piped-in image is both a major plumbing disaster and a spectacular metaphor for the violence of circulation and consumption, the entropic price this civilization pays for its existence.

Media Hot and Cold is a set of books made with the publish on demand service, Blurb. The titles are Moby-Dick, The Coming Insurrection, Cupcakes, The Koran, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Howl, The Easy Way to Stop Smoking, I Love Dick, Open and The Crack-Up. Written with amassed customer reviews from net commerce sites as well as various blogs and social networking sites, these books suggest the emergence of a sort of post- or para- literary practice within the global village – the unbridled communicative activity, and a space for exercising subjectivity, that happens in the pragmatic environment of consumer-to-consumer sharing.

Bernadette Corporation and Galerie Neu would like to thank Dornbracht for their generous support for this exhibition.

The exhibition A Haven for the Soul by New York based artist collective Bernadette Corporation will be on view from September 4th to October 2nd, 2010. Please contact the gallery under mail [​at​] or +49 (0)30 285 75 50 for further information.