Anja Kirschner & David Panos, “The Empty Plan,” 2010. 78
minutes, HD video, sound.
Right: Jakob Simonson, “Untitled (the
Forest)”, 2006. Acrylic paint, MDF, wood, cast iron.
Anja Kirschner & David Panos, Jakob Simonson
Realismus ist kein Stil
September–4 November 2012
Signal – Center for
Monbijougatan 15, entrance from the backyard
SE 211 53 Malmö, Sweden
Saturday 1–5pm, Sunday noon–4pm
Signal is run by Carl Lindh, Emma Reichert and Elena Tzotzi.
Realism is not a style, nor a manner. To navigate between the reality
of things and the capacity to imagine solutions that surpass the obstacles
in a given system without fleeing into escapist endeavours is quite an
ambiguous challenge. A challenge that might seem too costly to
In their film The Empty Plan, London-based
artists Anja Kirchner and David Panos contrast scenes from three different
productions of Bertolt Brecht's 1931 play Die Mutter, with scenes
from his exile during the 1940s in Hollywood, the mecca of entertainment.
Shifting between documentary, historical reconstruction and melodrama, the
focus on the relationship between theory and practice in Brecht's theatre
intermingles with conflicting personal, artistic and political ambitions,
raising questions about the nature of art and the unrealised dream of its
supersession through revolutionary practice.
In dialogue with
the film, the sculptural painting installations of Swedish artist Jakob
Simonson explore the border where the image comes into existence, or is
lost – where the image is barely image. The front side, as well as
the back, are both parts that are clearly presented to the viewer whose
sight is set on a mode that oscillates between perception and illusion.
Simonson's works operate both as physical experiences featuring the
involvement of the body, and as images dubious to our reason. It's a
back-and-forth movement between intellectual distance and emotional
absorption that challenges every second of our attention.
Following Brecht's logic, one way to provoke rational self-reflection and
discourage the audience from falling into an illusionary narrative world
was to sit back, have a cigarette and reflect on what was being presented
on stage in an emotionally distanced and critically engaged way. That is
not a style – it is an attitude.
accompanying the exhibition Realismus ist kein Stil:
talk: Liz Magic Laser, New York-based performance and video artist
Thursday, 4 October at 7pm
A conversation on contemporary
theatre in relation to Brecht's theory and practice, in collaboration with
Tuesday, 9 October at 7pm
The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi, and 27
Years without images, Eric Baudelaire
Tuesday, 23 October at
Film screening: Nebulosan (The Nebula), Eric M.
Tuesday, 30 October at 7pm