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Farbtest, Die Rote Fahne II , 2002 Two Channel Video 12 Mins © Felix Gmelin

6 Minerva Street
London E2 9EH
United Kingdom
July 14th, 2009 - July 19th, 2009
Opening: July 14th, 2009 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

+44 (0)20 7729 9888
Wed-Sun 10-6 and by appointment
short-films, performance


Farbtest, Die Rote Fahne II, 2002
Two channel video, 12 mins

Sound and Vision, 2006
Two channel video installation, projection and monitor, colour, sound, 2 mins

Felix Gmelin's "Farbtest, Die Rote Fahne II", presents two short films projected side-by-side that are, at a glance, identical. Closer examination reveals that in fact the images are not quite the same, but very similar. In each one, a runner carries a large red flag through the streets of what appears to be a northern European city, transferring the flag to another participant at various intervals. The sense of historical period is also rather vague: the runners wear similar dark clothes; their hairstyles are not particularly revelatory, either. Perhaps the large number of Volkswagens in the video on the left tips the viewer off that this one was originally filmed in Germany. In fact one monitor shows a ready made film from 1968 of a relay of students (including Gmelin's father) carrying a red flag to the Berlin city hall where they hang it from the balcony; the second film, a remake from 2002, shows Gmelin's students passing a red flag through the streets of Stockholm to the city hall, but this time they don't reach the balcony.

Sound and Vision was commissioned for the 4th Berlin Biennial, 'Of Mice and Men' in 2006. The point of departure is a Swedish sex education film from 1970 in which a school class of blind children, urged on by an older female teacher, physically and objectively examines the sexual organs of a pair of healthy youngsters by squeezing them. This is projected in the gallery while in a second film, shot in the early 1980s and displayed on a small monitor, Gmelin is given a lesson on liberating the senses by his father. "In his project for the fourth berlin biennial, Felix Gmelin again returns to the social and political events of the late 1960s; this time in order to investigate the ambivalences and paradoxes of the 'sexual revolution'." (Kim West, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin). 

Felix Gmelin was born in Heidelberg in 1962 and lives and works in Stockholm. Gmelin has participated twice in the Venice Biennale in 2007 and 2003; in the October Salon 2006, Belgrade, and also in the Berlin Biennial 2006. He has had solo shows at institutions including Portikus, Frankfurt, Gasworks, London and Malmö Konstmuseum, Malmö. Work by Felix Gmelin is currently being show in the exhibition "When the Mood Strikes..." at Museum Dhondt-Daenens in Deurle, Belgium.


On education, 2008
Super 8 transferred to DVD, colour, silent, 4:03 mins

Amalia Pica likes to see her work as the result of her will to bring into real life what she has learned in books and oral popular culture. She compares herself, in this sense, to Don Quixote. The art that results from such an impossible project is a sort of imaginative re-accommodation of truth, 'a translation of reality into what has been read or a superposition of both'. As a result, her pieces are contextual interventions on buildings, monuments or objects, which can include performative components. Perception, time, memory and a certain sense of spectacle are chief instruments for her work. Always spiced with irony, Pica's work is a critique of icons that is carried out on the icons themselves. (Gerardo Mosquera)

"On education" was shot while staging a public space intervention in the city of Montevideo, Uruguay. This short film shows the artist painting the horse of an equestrian monument white. 'On education' by J. Rousseau appears sporadically as subtitles. The soundtrack of the film is the added sound known as 'white noise' or 'room tone' (the sound of an empty space). The image of a white horse as a symbol of a magical status comes from fairy tales and a popular South American riddle, also to be found in the US and Mediterranean Europe, which asks about the white color of the general's horses. In the riddle, the military hero changes from country to country, but the white color of the horse stays the same. "On education" addresses the telling of history as epic; a tradition of history being told as a simple story. For this exhibition, Pica will also show a second recent piece.

Amalia Pica was born in Neuquén, Argentina in 1978. She has participated in museum group exhibitions including Hayward Gallery, London (2009), Kunsthalle Basel (2008), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2007) and the Liverpool Biennial (2006). Pica will have a solo exhibition at Galerie Diana Stigter, Amsterdam later this year.