Büro für widersprüchliche Beziehungen Bureau for Paradoxical Relations

Redemption Jokes, Part 1

28 February–29 March 2015

Event Series


nGbK, Oranienstraße 25


Project group

Anna Bromley, Michael Fesca, Susanne Husse, Teena Lange, Jana Sotzko

The quick joke, the ready-witted repartee, ironic distance – as omnipresent as they are in the permanent sitcom of our short attention spans, they do have a bad reputation: They prevent us from facing problems and getting serious. But seriousness and emotional turmoil are just the false, incapacitating opposite of a bad joke. This project develops the other, liberating witticism, the irony that makes thought possible in the first place, and laughter that enables action.

The start is made by the Bureau for paradoxical relations. The walkable office landscape by Sol Calero is an open lab for research, exchange and performance inviting people to follow the curatorial and editorial work on the exhibition and publication REDEMPTION JOKES. The project group organises talks, screenings, performances and workshops with artists. Additional dates with the Bureau can be arranged via the website redemption-jokes.net.
The Bureau is continuously open during the regular opening hours, current announcements can be found at redemption-jokes.net.


Jeremiah Day, Amsterdam/Berlin-based artist, whose performances, photographs and installations weave the interrelationship between local and world history, fragmentary glimpses of sites of epic meaning, and those of more anonymous historical forces.
Sol Calero’s workshop “Salsa” is a project revolving around the Latin dance and music style of the same name and a continuation of her research exploring the multi-functionality and complexities of Latino social space and aesthetics.
Christopher Kline will present a workshop as part of his ongoing project “O.K.”, dealing with the history and lore of his hometown of Kinderhook, New York. In searching out new methods of synthesizing and preserving small-town histories, Kline has been developing a theatre piece in which the complexities and absurdities of local sources of pride are married with Americana’s favourite medium– the musical.
Unorthodox choreographies, poetic resistance and eclectic chaos, Oreet Ashery confronts ideological artefacts, social mass products and gender constructions within contemporary realities and her workshop Bad Company.

Samstag 28 Februar 2015, 15h,
Start and “adoption service”

You are cordially invited for drinks to celebrate the inauguration of the walk-in-office landscape together with the artist Sol Calero.
The Bureau for Paradoxical Relations provides a temporary adoption service for plants: bring your plants with you and thus actively influence the atmosphere of the performative curatorial laboratory.
We will take care of their food and give them a cultural cure. We do not exclude any plant, but like them big and green!

Freitag 06 März 2015, 15h,
Appointment with Amit Epstein

Public office appointment with Amit Epstein and his Stockholm Triology

Sonntag 08 März 2015, 11-19h,
Workshop with Oreet Ashery

Bad Company
Workshop with Oreet Ashery

A collaborative space to develop a series of text & image based works.

Bad Company will argue the case for the political value of being bad, or being under the influence of bad people and bad ideas. A short break from regimes of expected high-input functionality and demanding cultural affirmations. Together we will celebrate the allure of the bad and the minor. This may include jabbering, tiny movements and gluing.

The workshop (in English) is free but based on the initial contributions of the participants who are asked to bring a text or an image – their own, or others – of what they consider bad company. It can be what certain institutions or regimes will define as bad company, or what the main stream will, or what they consider to be bad company, or themselves as bad company and how.

Across her practice London based artist Oreet Ashery mines counter-cultures and trash aesthetics in performances, situations, public platforms, photographs, videos, mass-produced and unique artefacts, text and commissioned music. Her expansive and eclectic body of work is made of multilayered projects that reveal ideological, social and gendered paradigms, often through intimate moments of recognition and tend to evolve around minority discourse.

Most recently Ashery focused on freedom rhetoric, collective actions and cultural value. In this context Ashery produced Party for Freedom, an Artangel commission in 2013, and The World is Flooding, aTate Modern Turbine Hall commission, 2014. Ashery has exhibited and performed extensively at international contexts such as ZKM Karlsruhe, Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin, Brooklyn Museum, Overgaden Copenhagen, DEPO Istanbul, Whitstable Biennale, Centre Pompidou, and Freud Museum. Ashery is the 2014-15 Stanley Picker Fine Art Fellow and a Visiting Professor at the Painting Department at the RCA.


Donnerstag 12 März 2015, - 14th March 2015,
Workshop by Branka Pravlovic

Workshop by Branka Pravlovic within nGbK’s art outreach program

Donnerstag 19 März 2015, 12 - 20.17h,
Durational performative installation by Dolanbay

Negating Blank

…is a durational performance situation in form of an installation. The artist Dolanbay will perform for 7:77 hrs in the performance area of the Bureau for Paradoxical Relations. Negating blank is manifested in repetitive forms of self-affirmation and negation. White on white.
Constative ascriptions take forms of acting as humour or irony that may eventuate in the transitional but not transformational. Redemption is an orderly action, retrieval or resumption of doing something in reference to any preliminary conditions, thus it operates and stays within forms of constative.
Transgression is an act of offense, a wrongdoing by its definition. Nonetheless, act is an energia that performs with no limits towards the universality of singular, which is self-reflexive and non-referential, repetitive and non-representational, and transformative; hence it is performative.


Freitag 20 März 2015, + 21st March 2015,
Workshop with Jeremiah Day

March 20, 16-19h
March 21, 10-16h
Workshop with Jeremiah Day
Simone Forti once told Jeremiah: “keep it light.” To make political subjects tender and soft is not only more persuasive, it’s more accurate: these are other people, after all, doing things, imposing and suffering. In this workshop we will consider one approach of staying close, of being earnest without (too much) posturing and self-righteousness: the local. Globalized critical theory can fall apart when confronted with concrete situations. What if we think from inside>out, and then back again?
Concrete examples of such re-groundings will be considered: Allan Kaprow and Amiri Baraka in particular offer two very different routes. After all Berlin is the adopted home of so many exiles, and is known for this at exactly the same time it is the political capitol of a Germany that no longer subordinates its ambitions to the European Project. This particular intersection will be in the background, to be considered and approached with care. Guest appearance by Fred Dewey and talk about Olson, screening of sections of Polis Is This & response by Sebastian Bodirsky.
The workshop will be discussion, punctuated by some ‘field-work’ on Friday, with the Saturday session focussed on imrovising with movement and speech as a method of production.
Allan Kaprow Happening 16-17.00
- Introduction & talk about Amiri Baraka’s sense of place - Eulogies. 17.00-17:45
- Guest appearance by Fred Dewey and talk about Olson, screening of sections of Polis Is This & response by Sebastian Bodirsky - open discussion 18:00 - 19:00

Jeremiah Day, Amsterdam/Berlin based artist, whose performances, photographs and installations weave the inter-relationship between local and world history, fragmentary glimpses of sites of epic meaning, and those of more anonymous historical forces.

Sonntag 22 März 2015, 15-19h,
Salsa - Public Workshop by Sol Calero


Redemption Legs . Witty Non-Compliance in Tactical Frivolity, Lindy Hop and Salsa
Introductory Thoughts by Anna Bromley

Latin Music USA
Exerpts from the documentary by Pamela A. Aquilar/Daniel McCabe, 2009, 240 mins.

Dancing Salsa
Dance Instruction by Bettina Cabrera (La Mambita Tanzschule) and Caracas Mules at the Bar

Sol Calero’s workshop “Salsa” compiles her artistic projects revolving around the Latin dance and music style of the same name and a continuation of her research exploring the multi-functionality and complexities of Latino social space and aesthetics.
Though it is widely thought of as a pan-Latin American phenomenon, ‚Salsa‘ music was first conceived in East Harlem, New York - known to locals as ‚el Barrio‘ - during the 1970s.

Despite its entrepreneurial elements, Salsa and New York‘s Latin music scene in general were true testaments to racial integration, the social power of music, and were also instrumental in helping Spanish-speaking immigrants define their own community and culture. It spoke to the difficulties of poverty, and offered an empowered cultural space for the Latino population to at once be in touch with their roots and to feel comfortably at home in New York. Lyrical content ranged from heartbreak to macho posturing to sharp cultural and political commentary, reflecting the era of Vietnam and violently suppressed left-wing uprisings in Central and South America as well as dangerous street life in New York City.

The exuberant, energetic nature of the music and its contagious nature lead to Salsa eclipsing countless indigenous and regional musical styles across Latin America, becoming a powerhouse that dominated Latin music and dance well into the 80s and 90s. Forty years since the initial rise of Salsa, it has persisted as an international phenomenon with Salsa nights, concerts, and dance schools still popular all over the world. While the music and dance has helped galvanize a genuine interest in Latin American culture, the fascination is often taken to be idealized, exoticized, andaestheticized, painting an image that is generally a far cry from the realities of daily life in Latin America.

In this way ‚Salsa‘, as a North American creation, has had the double effect of Latinos internalizing the Western Gaze back upon themselves and also providing non-latinos an outlet for living out their fantasies loaded with ‚saucy‘ emotions and ‚spicy‘ passions, which are sometimes culturally suppressed.

No previous registration needed. You can just drop in!

Montag 23 März 2015, 19h,

In the nGbK exhibition space
Admission is free

93 min, in English

Special guests:
The members of Peng! Collective who are known for the Slam Shell, Google
Nest and AstroTV hacks, will introduce the film and share some behind the scenes footage of a recent action they did with the Yes Men in Berlin.
Synopsis:Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno are two guys who just can’t take “no” for an answer.
They have an unusual hobby: posing as top executives of corporations they hate. Armed with nothing but thrift-store suits, they lie their way into business conferences and parody their corporate nemeses in ever more extreme ways - basically doing everything that they can to wake up their audiences to the danger of letting greed run our world.

The Yes Men Fix the World is a true story that follows a couple of gonzo political activists as they infiltrate the world of big business and pull off outrageous pranks that highlight the ways that corporate greed is destroying the planet. Along the way the duo discover the culprits behind the cult of greed, and in a wildly uplifting ending, they find a way for everyone to defeat the cult and save civilisation from its own worst excesses.

Official site:

Dienstag 24 März 2015, 17h,
PUBLIC Office Appt with Preciosa de Joya

The Philosopher Farts and Clown
In Engl. No registartion needed.

Preciosa de Joya is currently a fellow at the ICI - Institute for Cultural Inquiry Berlin. As part of the ICI core project on Errans, her research explores Philippine and Indonesian cultures for spaces that have been neglected or deemed unworthy by philosophical inquiry. Our office appt. discussion will be on humor, looking particularly into the case of the clown-servants (punakawans) in Javanese shadow puppet theatre (wayang). For the preliminary reading you can download a draft

Freitag 27 März 2015, 16-19h,
Bureau appointments with Liam O’Callaghan and Lorenzo Sandoval


Artist Talk with Liam O’Callaghan

Liam O’Callaghan’s dramatic sculptural work has an ebullient over-the-top-ness, an anarchic vigour and tightly-held comic tension – but he arguably shows a resistance to the authoritative statement; his work standing against the heroic and the epic in art, delighting in awkwardness and asymmetry. His gloriously goofy constructions may often borrow the language of public monument-making or site sources in minimalism, but they are determinedly humdrum too, grounded in a quotidian rough-and-readiness. O’Callaghan’s art is a high-minded, high-spirited engagement with te low-grade ready made. (Declan Long)

Liam O’Callaghan is represented by the Rubicon Gallery, Ireland and Rasche Ripken Gallery, Berlin. Recent shows include “if and then” at the Butler Gallery and the Galway Arts Centre for the Arts festival. Solo exhibition/record ‘Bit Symphony’ at Temple Bar Gallery, was enthusiastically received by both peers and critics. As was his participation in Dublin Contemporary in Earlsford Terrace & The National Gallery. He was selected for the 20 year celebration of the Irish Museum of modern Art (IMMA) exhibition, entitled Twenty and was short-listed for the 2013 Venice Biennale. Recent exhibit’s abroad include the Moranokiang Gallery, LA and the Centro Torrente Ballester, Spain. Forth coming shows include a solo at the Rasche Ripken Berlin in June 2015.


AMBIENTATIONES: Talk with Lorenzo Sandoval

The talk is about some thoughts on highly scenographed environments, described by Argentinian art critic Carlos Massotta, in relation to Sol Calero’s spacial aesthetics for the Bureau for Paradoxical Relations.

‘Ambientaciones’, is how the Argentinean art critic Carlos Masotta defined the strategy of some artists. This conecpt was inspired by McLuhan’s idea of the media as an environment. Masotta recontextualized it into the critique of some of the artworks produced from the mid 60’s in Argentina, in a politically complex situation. This definition was not only pointing to the dematerialization of the work of art but also to the capacity of affect on the perception and in its expansion though time and space. He was describing highly scenographed environments. The ambientaciones were using a technique to create an atmosphere – which one can relate to the one defined some lines before in relation with the backgrounds. Those apparatus were setting up a new political grammar in the middle of relational settings. Like in different traditions of Latin American art, those devices were knots, joining highly intellectualized inputs with elements of popular culture with the aim of create political artefacts with an incidence in reality trough the use of the sense of humor. This talk will take Masotta’s concept to propose a partial genealogy based on that technique.

Lorenzo Sandoval works in the crossing points of artistic practice, curatorial processes and spatial design. He was production manager of the EACC (Castellón, Spain). Within Transeuropa Festival, Sandoval organized the project ‘Visualizing Transnationalism’ together with Emanuele Guidi. Sandoval has won several curatorial prizes such as: Inéditos, with ‘Around Is Impossible. An Exploration Of The Unexpected In the Cartographical Systems Of Goggle’, in La Casa Encendida (2011), The Can Felipa Curatorial price with ‘(…) Science, Territory and Subjective Narratives‘ and Curatorial open call 2012 with ‘Case Report‘ in Nogueras Blanchard. He has curated ‘The Rescue of the Effects, Notes For a Theory of The Reader‘ at General Public (2012); ‘Field Studies‘ (2012), ‘Osmosis‘, together with Gabriela Acha, ClubTransmediale Vorspiel and ‘Disruptive Patterns. Plans, Plots and Movements‘at Altes Finanzamt. In collaboration with Susanne Husse, he has developed ‘dissident desire‘ at District (Berlin). ‘Mutant Matters’, produced together with S.T.I.F.F., was commissioned by Savvy Contemporary (Berlin) and presented at ar/ge Kunst (Bolzano). At the moment, Sandoval is developing project ‘Spaces of Anticipation‘ with Emanuele Guidi for EACC and ar/ge Kunst. www.lorenzosandoval.net

Samstag 28 März 2015, 11-19h,
Workshop with Christopher Kline

O.K.(Comedic Struggle) Acting Workshop

Christopher Kline’s Workshop revolves around elements of community theatre musical production, with a focus on creating and acting out comedic dialog. Exploring the terrain of humor itself, participants will work out why some things are funnier than others, and will act out and rework “O.K.” dialogs to optimize comedic and dramatic effect.

The term O.K. has become one of the most universally used and understood words in the world. Its rise to prominence can be traced back to Martin Van Buren’s failed U.S. Presidential reelection campaign of 1840, for which the abbreviation of his hometown nickname Old Kinderhook was the rallying cry of his supporters. Oriented around the propagation of O.K. as a metaphor for the subtle permeation of small-town American idiosyncrasies into broader cultural forms, Kline’s project explores early cultural exports and anomalies originating in Van Buren’s (and Kline’s) birthplace as well as recent local developments there since post- industrialization.The recent focus of the project has been to gradually develop a full-scale theatre musical which synthesizes the lore and history of Kinderhook into a locally-relevant “everyman’s” medium.

Through workshops, exhibitions and smaller-scale performances such as O.K. – The Musical (Dress Rehearsals), staged in February at KW, the musical is slowly born as a series of historical vignettes viewed through a lens which is continually pulling back to reveal the inner-workings and, at times, unfortunate realities of amateur theatre.


11:00 A Dilettante’s Introduction to Theatre Musicals

11:30 Warm-up stretches, Power positions, Singing and voice exercises

11:45 Choral singing of songs from “O.K.–The Musical”

12:30 SUBJECT: Introduction to the history of Kinderhook, New York

12:45 “Getting into Character”, Table Read-Through of Script in disguises

13:00 Dialog and Acting Workshop on tone, timing, and inflection

13:30 one hour lunch break

14:30 Presentation and discussion on comedy writing and theories of why things are funny (with examples). Also: improvization

15:30 Return to dialogs with input from comedy discussions and adding improvization on topics brought by participants who will collectively finalize scenes

16:00 Dress rehearsals (in costumes, working on blocking, entrances, etc)

16:30 Live streaming on Pizza Suicide Club TV of improvs and results of workshopped dialog in costume, Repetition of scenes, working on details and individual lines, blocking, etc.

18:00 15 min break

18:15 Screening of documentation of O.K.–The Musical (Dress Rehearsals) at KW 26.02.2015 for workshop participants, cast, crew and band (33 minutes)

Selected results and relics of the collective work of the Bureau for paradoxical relations will be included in the nGbK-exhibition REDEMPTION JOKES in autumn and in the accompanying publication.

19 September – 15 November 2015
Redemption Jokes, Part 2

Supported by