2 March–7 April 2013
Opening: 1 March 2013


NGBK, Oranienstraße 25


Annie Goh, João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva, Michal Heiman, Hilma af Klint, Joachim Koester, Ofri Lapid, Marie Louise, Susan MacWilliam, Matt Mullican, Lea Porsager, Patrick Rieve, Sarah Schönfeld, Rosemarie Trockel, Ute Waldhausen

Project group RealismusStudio

Jan Ketz, Christin Lahr, Michaela Richter, Frank Wagner, Susanne Weiß, Edda Wilde


Sonja Hempel

In cooperation with Heidelberger Kunstverein (exhibition duration 23.11.2013-2.2.2014)

The exhibition looks at the experiment as a mode of exploring the inexplicable and the uncertain. The NGBK RealismusStudio and Kunstverein Heidelberg have joined forces to present a series of artistic positions which investigate the thresholds of science through experiments of their own.

At the heart of the exhibition is the question of how much our “state of mind”, and the patterns of perception and perspectives that arise from it, shape our assessment of what is real. Twelve international positions direct our focus to the subjective and subconscious:

American artist Matt Mullican, for example, has been conducting self-experiments under hypnosis since the 1970s. The installation Room (No.7) presents statements by Mullican’s other ego, “that other person”, written onto long stretches of fabric. These are investigations into his own and yet unknown self with which Matt Mullican seeks to understand the world.

For her latest project How to Program and Use T – F (2013), Danish documenta artist Lea Porsager took part in a séance with a Lithuanian medium. She then translated the thought-forms that revealed themselves to her into bronze sculptures.
Northern Irish artist Susan MacWilliam is also interested in exploring the paranormal. Her videos, photographs and installations deal with researchers and eyewitnesses of supernatural phenomena. MacWilliam will be showing three pieces – the most extensive presentation of her work in Berlin to date.

Realised as experiments and propositions, the works in the exhibition ask questions about what makes us believe and what we are prepared to believe. They steer our attention towards mystical, spiritistic objects of investigation, or challenge areas of psychological research. The artistic experiment can operate far more freely than its strictly scientific counterpart; it is not obliged to follow a fixed form, deliver measurable results or be repeatable. This open approach holds the potential for moving away from prescribed paths and entering uncharted periphery realities and poetic realities – to create new truths.

The catalogue contains an introduction to the subject and to the artists represented in the exhibition. Six other people were asked to outline their interpretations of the terms consciousness, belief, medium, truth, perception and doubt. This resulted in a small and idiosyncratic encyclopaedia in which each entry aims to undermine the lack of ambiguity usually inherent in these concepts.
Published by NGBK / ISBN: 978-3-938515-52-5 / Price: 10 € at the exhibition and 12 € in bookshops.

In cooperation with the Heidelberger Kunstverein


Sun 03.03.2013 17:00
Screening & Lecture
with Susan MacWilliam
13 Roland Gardens: Susan MacWilliam presents her video 13 Roland Gardens (2007, 22 min 30 sec), in which Eileen Coly, daughter of the famous Irish medium Eileen J. Garrett, describes Garrett’s R101 Airship Séance of 1930 and 13 Roland Gardens, site of Harry Price’s »Laboratory of Psychical Research«. In 1951 Eileen Garrett (1893 – 1970) founded The Parapsychology Foundation; in 2007 MacWilliam was artist in residence at the foundation during which she lived with Eileen Coly.

Thu 14.03.2013 19:00
Lecture & Discussion
with Ofri Lapid & Dr. Knut Ebeling
An intervention in technology and vision: The artist Ofri Lapid will present her work and discuss with Dr. Knut Ebeling (KHB) its development through its correlating aspects: archival research, the history of the medium and scientific proposition.

Fri 15.03.2013 19:00
with Matt Mullican
Engaging the picture: Artist Matt Mullican will discuss his work and ongoing research into the emotional interpretation of pictures and signs. Since the early seventies Mullican has been interested in the ability a picture has to grab our consciousness and create an experience. This ongoing investigation of sign-language will be discussed as well as the theatrical experience, its ability to transform extreme emotional states, and the trance-like phenomenon that is the
core of his performance.

Sat 23.03.2013 19:00 – 23:00
A Journey of Light with the Reiseagentur (Art Outreach NGBK) and Ofri Lapid, in English
Journey O5 / 2223O32O13: Together with the artist Ofri Lapid we will embark on a journey towards inner and outer lights. We will explore, research and document their absence and presence, their relationships and functions as well as our projections through small experiments within the exhibition and the urban surrounding.
Meeting place: NGBK. Max. participants 16. Please make sure to bring sturdy shoes, warm clothing, something to drink, a few Euros for public transport, and ( most importantly! ) an electric torch.