Nils Alix-Tabeling
Le Bétyle d’Ail
Exhibition: 19 January – 16 February 2019

Kunstraum’s year-programme opens with Nils Alix-Tabeling’s Le Bétyle d’Ail, a performance over two nights followed by an exhibition of its sculptural and scenic remainders alongside video documentation. Le Bétyle d’Ail merges the format of an operetta with that of traditional Japanese Kabuki theatre, the performance featuring two protagonists – one played by an actor and the other by an inanimate sculpture, the soundtrack depicting the unfolding perceptions of both.

Inspired by Marcel Aymé’s novel ‘La Vouivre’, the script depicts the love relationship between a mythical creature from French pagan folklore, and a macabre sculpture of a fallen medieval soldier. Together both characters compose one body, the rotten soldier merging with and digesting the slithery creature, her dress forming her lair and her lair composed of his reorganised body parts. The living dead and the immortal fairy engage in a lighthearted conversation on the parameters of their mutual immortality.

The operetta unfolds thematics of sexuality, desire and frivolity, seen here as a positive and critical notion, as opposed to dogmatic understandings of these terms. The piece salutes queer authors like Sidonie Gabrielle Colette and Paul Verlaine in a grotesque and macabre celebration of the human body in its glorious grossness and chthonic drives toward their inner cavities, seen as spaces of merging together and organic conversations.

Tabeling takes the traditional Kabuki role of a kuroko within the operetta, serving as a visible stage hand, his role  to accentuate the performance’s delivery, manually adjusting the lighting and heightening the magical aura of the performance.

Le Bétyle d’Ail was first performed in Tabeling’s apartment during Art Brussels 2018. It was commissioned and curated by Komplot, Brussels with support from Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles & Ville de Bruxelles/Stad Brussel. The piece is acted by Andrea Baglione, with music by Mathieu Levet.

Rainer Ganahl
Comme des Marxists fashion show
8 Dec 2018

Marx has been a major point of orientation as I strive to conceptualise the world around me through the lens of his historical materialism and his ethics. I make these artworks not only out of my inherently ludic nature, but also because of my unceasing belief in the fundamental democratic assumption that all people should be treated as equals.

– Rainer Ganahl

COMME des MARXISTS is a fashion house created by New York based Austrian / American artist Rainer Ganahl, who’s haute et basse couture collections (including Karl Marx Wears Prada; Lottery Economics; Marx 4 Kids; Karl Marx Speaks Chinese; Hermes Marx; Marx 99 cents; and Karl Marx visits David Zwirner on 20th Street) playfully reflect on the inequalities and contradictions of both the fashion industry and our contemporary world. COMME des MARXISTS zooms in on the precarious conditions associated with fashion production, our surveillance society, as well as the notion of art as a prestigious, non-suspicious blue-chip token for ultra-high-end consumption and investment.

Coinciding with Ganahl’s first exhibition in London – Comme des Marxists at Fashion Space Gallery, London College of Fashion UAL – Kunstraum will host a high-energy mashup of fashion show and performance night, mixing video of Ganahl’s 2013 New York White Columns show with live streaming video of the event itself.  Garments from the exhibition with new works added will be modelled by a variety of people including art world professionals. 

We would like to thank all the models who participated : Jacqueline Ramnarine, Virginia Valentini, Antoine Simon, Yidan Zhang, Jadie Caldwell, Amalie Marinas, Mariyam Khatri, Sushma P., Lisa Penny, Nimneh Hyde, Julia Sasaki Hernanz, Lucy Cowling, Tyler Eash, and Camille Bréchignac.

Comme des Marxists continues at Fashion Space Gallery until 12 January 2019

Anna Hulačová
Graceful ride
29 Sept – 24 Nov 2018

In Anna Hulačová: Graceful ride, table–like horizontal surfaces are inset with abstracted forms which mutate from cell structures, micro-organisms or insect’s internal organs, within a biosphere of variable proportions. This unknown micro–macro space is the ground into which the artist plants a web of symbolic citations, from tradition, mythology and history.

Hulačová’s visual language is expressed through her work’s materiality: cement surfaces of varying textures are applied to underlying sub-structures; smooth planes of cement, or inset aluminium and paper panels are drawn on with flowing lines of graphite pencil; honeycomb and other natural materials are imbedded within forms’ internal chambers; flesh-like and waxy surfaces are formed from complex polymers.

Hulačová repurposes Czech visual culture through the 20th Century to create an imagined cultural representation of the world we find ourselves in today. Hulačová’s borrows from and updates the tropes and subjects of Soviet-era sculpture, the country’s post-war spirit of the future and 1950’s agricultural collectivisation. In Graceful ride Hulačová taps into paradigms of representation in past, present and future, sometimes quoting directly from sculpture history, at other times more loosely.

Insect physiology, sexual habits and collective dynamics are a common thread through Graceful ride, particularly in relation to human society. Without mechanics around it, a stripped-out tractor engine is transforming into an insect form; industry becoming integrated as part of an organic whole. In an inset, two dragonflies gleefully mate – insects who combine their bodies during intercourse to create a single eight-winged flying entity. A high relief frieze depicts bee-keepers, taking over the grand gestures of Soviet cosmonauts. The insect is represented as an industrialised worker, the worker integrated into an organic system.

Anna Hulačová: Graceful ride will be accompanied by a small reader to be released after the opening, including texts by Thomas Cuckle and Nils Alix-Tabeling. The exhibition is supported by Czech Centre London and Techo | Royal Ahrend. Anna Hulačová’s work is shown courtesy of Hunt Kastner, Prague.

Life/Forms 2.0: 'Königin der Nacht’
2 September 2018
a performance by Johannes Büttner and Bastian Hagedorn


‘Königin der Nacht’ or Queen of the Night is the vernacular name given to a rare species of cactus. The Selenicereus grandiflorus hardly blossoms in its lifespan, but when it does it is always at night, with the white vanilla-scented petals having wilted and died before dawn.


This Königin is an even more peculiar type. Growing in the half-dark, it doesn’t feed on organic matter – instead you can help with the fertilization process and bring her to life. But the fertilizer may be hard for us to provide…


This event is part of /forms. Download the free publication that accompanies this series via

The series started with:

/forms 1.0 | To want to be what you are at Chisenhale Studios, Sunday 5 August with a masterclass in mimicry and manipulation for ambitious orchids, led by Anna Frijstein.

It continues with:

/forms 3.0 | Wild Combination at Flat Time House, Sunday 16 September with a guided tour on how to be wild, time travel and other peculiar classifications of living beings, led by Lou Lou Sainsbury.

/forms 4.0 | at PEAK, Sunday 21 October with a movement class and participatory performance by Rachel Cheung, led by Piedad Albarracin Seiquer as a simulated AI.

Curated by Lucy Cowling

Kunstraum's Friends & Neighbours
Zoe Williams & Deniz Unal, Lindsey Mendick, Lisa Penny, William Ashcroft & Aisha Bozonga, Jennifer & Christine Binnie
May-July 2018

Inspired by Kunstraum’s building’s former function as a community hall, Friends & Neighbours expands beyond the gallery’s walls to test the conditions of accessibility and social potential of contemporary art. The project’s title suggests ‘neighbourliness’ as a model for a non-hierarchical relationship of an art space to its audiences. Standing contrary to stereotypical media depiction of communities who live in social housing, the programme foregrounds residents’ ongoing involvement in cultural life and proposes an alternative to galleries’ role in gentrification and social cleansing.

Zoe Williams and Deniz Unal – Food & Rituals 

Zoe Williams and Deniz Unal’s Food & Rituals is massive food installation and communal eating area which playfully reflects on the relationship between food and rituals, where notions of excess, expenditure and eroticism intertwine. Through a collaborative process involving the participation of EC1 residents in collective baking, drawing and ceramic making, the installation emulates the traditional tea parties which have their roots in the local area with the ‘Peace Parties’ following WWI.

Lindsey Mendick – a solid touch

Lindsey Mendick’s ‘a solid touch‘ is a collective installation which showcases ceramic vessels stemming from a series of weekly workshops during which women of EC1 were introduced to pot making and experimenting with clay. Assembled in a self-contained, communal space which the audience will be invited to inhabit, the displayed objects are an aesthetic and metaphoric reflection of the personal stories, thoughts, and social concerns that were shared between the participants throughout the process of making. Inducing both functionality and playfulness, the ceramics, made by and for humans, subsequently embody their domestic and ritualistic function. This collectively made installation reflects on the social dimension of art making via series of objects which critically address questions of female solidarity and the utilisation of group action to enable positive support and exchange.

Lisa Penny – Sweats ‘n’ Joggers

Investigating the poetics and language of dress in urban youth culture, Lisa Penny’s  Sweats ‘n’ Joggers is the outcome of a series of workshops that the artist has been running for young people at Soapbox – a youth centre on Old Street focused on music production, performance, dance and digital media. Featuring a series of unique garments created by the participants by modifying white sweatshirts and trackpants, Penny’s project explores the cultural significance of clothing as a means of communication and identification.

Will Ashcroft and Aisha Bozonga – Mandala Benches

Will Ashcroft’s and Aisha Bozonga’s Mandala Benches will create hubs for communal activity and reactivate three public spaces in the housing estates which are underused and, as a result, are flagged for redevelopment. Ashcroft — an artist, musician and EC1 resident — and Bozonga — a Goldsmiths Art Therapy Student — have worked with residents to design, build and decorate eye-shaped benches and planters for their local area. Taking reference from mandalas – a spiritual symbol of Hinduism and Buddhism representing the universe – the benches will connect together to create a giant mandala which will form the youth stage of Whitecross Street Party. Designed using sacred geometry, the benches and planters will be reconfigured into three formations, semi-permanently installed in the public spaces of neighbouring estates.


Jennifer & Christine Binnie 

For the Whitecross Street Party, Kunstraum commissioned the artist Jennifer Binnie to produce a large-scale painting displayed as part of a performance with her sister Christine Binnie, before being semi-permanently installed above Kennedy’s Fish and Chips.
Commemorating Emily Davison (1872-1913) – a suffragette who fought for the vote of women in the UK in the early twentieth century – the painting is celebratory of Davison’s achievements, representing the suffragette gloriously riding King Georges V’ horse that hit her to death in 1913. T
he painting was part of a participatory performance in which party-goers were invited to enter in and experience the wonder of a magic wardrobe.




Tyler Eash and Sara Rodrigues
Allusion to a body no longer present
2 June 2018

Curated by Camille Bréchignac

“When she died at 3 in the morning, the doctors came along and I said:
‘open the window let the soul out’
and I thought after this: ‘Why did I say that?’
I don’t really believe in it do I?
But I said it and I still wanted the window open
and I can’t explain that sometimes.”

‘Allusion to a body no longer present’ is a collaboration between artists Tyler Eash and Sara Rodrigues, curated by Camille Bréchignac and produced with Kunstraum for the satellite programme of Block Universe.

Initially conceived for the Swiss Church in London, the performative installation was reworked within Saint Giles, a 14th Century Gothic church at the heart of the Barbican. The performance, featuring the artists alongside Rodrigo B. Camacho and Alexandra Baybutt, is comprised of spoken text, music, choreography and sculpture. The script is derived from interviews with members of the Swiss Church congregation on the significance of self, search for meaning, and remembrance after death.

Shelly Nadashi
The Avocado Vampire
26 April – 9 June 2018

Mary Hurrell
2 (Aerial)
9 March - 14 April 2018
Performance on Saturday 24 March

Mary Hurrell’s 2 (Aerial) is the second part of a project, produced in collaboration between Kunstraum and Flat Time House, which maps changes in state of an amorphous body. The trilogy is conceived as one choreography stretched over time and space. Time is used as a material in Hurrell’s work, acting as a counterbalance to movement, a force of friction or fluidity to form.

Having departed from resistant, glacial motion and crystallized forms in 1 (Pitch), 2 (Aerial) moves to a lower viscosity. The dominant materials in 2 (Aerial) – glass and rubber – share characteristics of conversion; structures between solid and liquid states. The transition between states is expressed through sound, video and choreography. The recorded voice stretches into an elongated soundscape, mapping an intangible body. Glass sculptures rest suspended in space; melding the conflicting characteristics of weight and transparency. States of intimacy and distance collapse and conjoin as the cyclical movement of two projected bodies fuse together.

In Hurrell’s work object making, choreography and sound production perform a similar function; to explore movement and the body as a language, communicating on a pre-linguistic and physical level. She is interested in the embodiment of these perceptual and sensory languages as well as unpacking paradoxical dualities within ideas of the feminine.

Hurrell’s project follows on from a research residency at Flat Time House in London and the performance 1 (Pitch), organized by Fluent, held at Centro Botin, Santander, Spain. The cycle will conclude with an event at Flat Time House on 28 April.

Von Calhau!
12 January - 10 February 2018

Curated by João Laia

For over a decade, Marta Ângela and João Artur have been collaborating under the (shifting) name of Von Calhau! (also known as Calhau or von Calhau, among others). Recalling this elusive signature, the duo’s practice flows between different formats and media, being mostly recognised by their performances and installations that consist of sound and moving image.

PHANTOM BLOT BACK TO ATTACK focuses on the idea-image-object of the Black Blob. The title references a 1980’s graffiti tag ‘mancha negra volta a atacar’ still visible on a wall in a Lisbon suburb, as well as the Walt Disney character the Phantom Blot, who got his own spin-off comic series between 1964 – 1966. The amorphous blob has been transformed into the disobedient inflatable object Von Calhau! use during some of their performances to scare the audience away. Now seemingly caught in an idle moment, the black blob slowly rises up and rests back down again. Showing an eerie relation between solid and gas-like states, the sleeping beast transforms from angry eyed ghost to gallery-sized presence. The elusive inky black phantom reappears to haunt the walls, casting a shadow over everything but the character’s white gloves and the comic’s sound effects.

Von Callhau!’s awareness of the world’s instability is reflected in their use of language, approached as a tool based in tacit agreement that is full of contradiction and in permanent transformation. Translating this understanding into ‘concrete poetry’, their work produces the humorous, surreal and visceral cosmos that Von Calhau! inhabit and propel.

Von Calhau!: PHANTOM BLOT BACK TO ATTACK / MANCHA NEGRA VOLTA A ATACAR is supported by Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Portuguese Embassy in the UK and Instituto Camões, Portugal.

Von Calhau! in Art Review

Maria Metsalu
in fragments from the shattered toe
Saturday 25 November 2017, 8pm

For the closing event of her solo exhibition fragments from the shattered toe, Merike Estna has invited Maria Metsalu to perform in and on her installation.

Maria Metsalu is an Estonian performance artist. Her works express an ongoing interest in self-mythologization and autopoiesis via new, corporate technologies in an attempt to understand their terms of social exchange and transformation. Metsalu graduated from School for New Dance Development in 2016, and is one of the founding members of Young Boy Dancing Group. Her work has been shown as a part of Performa 17, in Manifesta 11, Kunsthalle Vienna, Tallinn Art Hall, and the 2016 NU Performance Festival in Tallinn, Estonia.

Merike Estna’s solo-exhibition at Kunstraum incorporates an intricately painted stage/floor painting which, over the course of the exhibition, hosted a series of performance events including Lina Lapelytė (as part of Kunstraum Five Years Party), Performances For Pets (Krõõt Juurak & Alex Bailey) and Charismatic Megafauna.

Merike Estna
fragments from the shattered toe
29 September – 25 November 2017

Merike Estna’s solo-exhibition at Kunstraum incorporates an intricately painted stage/floor painting which, over the course of the exhibition, hosts a series of performance events from international dancers, musicians and artist, against a backdrop of Estna’s large-scale curtain painting and other new works.

In her practice Estna seeks for the conceptual integration of painting and daily life, often inscribing the languages, processes and applications of painting onto scenic design and stage-setups. Estna embeds patterns and colour combinations derived from applied arts vocabularies – which haven’t traditionally been accepted in the discourse of painting – juxtaposed with what have become familiar motifs of digital communication. Estna’s work challenges the masculine territory of painting and questions the strict visual separation between painting and craft discourses. The works are often activated by visitors or gallery staff: as drinks or cakes served, as clothing or hand towels. Her installations become a meeting point for exchange between visitors and the often unstable qualities of painting.

Produced in partnership with: Lithuanian Culture Institute; Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center; and Temnikova & Kasela, Talinn. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England; Cockayne – Grants for the Arts; The London Community Foundation; Republic of Estonia Ministry of Culture and Eesti Kultuurkapital.


damage was reparable, 2017
acrylic on canvas

toe, toe, toe, go, go, go, 2017
acrylic on plywood

fragments from the shattered toe, 2017
acrylic on hand tufted wool wearable rug and artists hair


Liquid rock, 2017
acrylic on canvas



Saturday 7 October 2017, 7 - 11pm

Kunstraum first opened its doors in September 2012. During Frieze week Kunstraum is celebrated its five year anniversary! It featured screenings of performance videos commissioned by Kunstraum from Alex Cecchetti and Fay Nicolson, performances from Lina Lapelytė, musician Steev Lemercier, plus special guests, all within the exhibition of Merike Estna.

New editions by Alex Cecchetti, Merike Estna and Fay Nicolson were also launched.

Jennifer Tee
Structures of Recollection and Perseverance
1 July – 9 September 2017

Jennifer Tee’s Structures of Recollection and Perseverance is a total environment, in a display structure inspired by the exhibition design of Brazilian Neo-Concrete artist Hélio Oiticica. Tee’s Kunstraum exhibition runs in parallel to her show at Camden Arts Centre, the overall project departing from two concepts: Let it come down, alluding to events outside of our control, and Resist, which responds to this provocation both physically and spiritually.

Tee’s installation for Kunstraum combines her own works with ethnographic objects, artefacts, books, plants and works by other artists. A central motif in Tee’s practice is the term ‘the soul in limbo’: the artist imagines the soul as caught in an unnamed conceptual or psychological place on the border between the here and the possible. Structures of recollection and perseverance plays on this theme as it lingers on slippages of death, dreaming and the unconscious. The featured objects have been chosen by Tee for their attitude of resistance towards structures that seem difficult or impossible to change, with many of them employing a specifically ‘female’ form of defiance.

Jennifer Tee: Structures of Recollection and Perseverance includes a reading room selected by poet Jane Lewty. The exhibition is accompanied by a booklet including texts by Thomas Cuckle, Brenda Guesnet and Jane Lewty.

Jennifer Tee’s parallel exhibition at Camden Arts Centre entitled ‘Let it Come Down’ continues until 17 September 2017.

Jennifer Tee
Upside down palm tree (Trachycarpus Fortunei),  2017

In his memoir ‘Tristes Tropiques’ (1955), anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss recalls his visit to Brazil and his instant infatuation with the country. He details his paradoxical experience of being immersed in the culture as a researcher, while simultaneously remaining a detached observer and a perpetual outsider. The palm tree has similarly been violently severed from its roots and turned upside down, caught in a state between exotic attraction and alienation.

Burial Urn in the Form of a Female Figure
1000-1500 AD, Colombia
Private collection

Ancient burial urns such as this one were found in chambers inside deep shafts of tombs in northwestern Colombia, and functioned as repositories for the bones of the deceased after their flesh had been removed. These bones were considered to be seeds from which new life could spring, and the urns were thus vital links to the honored dead. With its womb-like shape, the urn emphasises the proximity between death and fertility, and attains a life-like quality through very simple aesthetic features.

L’Inconnue de la Seine
Death mask
Plaster, 15 x 30 x 25 cm
Modern reproduction by Atelier Lorenzi, Paris

Around the late 1880s, the dead body of an unidentified young woman was pulled out of the Seine in Paris, France. A pathologist at the Paris Morgue was so taken by her beauty — and the resting smile on her face — that he made a wax plaster cast of her face. In the following years, copies of her death mask became a popular fixture on the walls of artists’ homes, and inspired numerous literary works. While we might consider death as a cruel and unavoidable fact, ‘L’Inconnue de la Seine’ almost seems to have escaped it, or perhaps found bliss in her untimely ending.

The caster I visit every day has two masks hanging next to his door. The face of the young one who drowned, which someone copied in the morgue because it was beautiful, because it was still smiling, because its smile was so deceptive – as though it knew.

– Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926),
The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (1910)

Parangolé Xoxoba-Homage to Nininha of Mangueira (1964)
Textile cotton, red and green, 134 x 92cm
Hélio Oiticica (1937-1980)
Collection of Witte de With Center of Contemporary Art, NL

Hélio Oiticica was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1937, and became one of the leading figures of the Neo-Concrete artistic movement in Brazil. While educated in a Western tradition, he became an advocate for a specifically Brazilian sense of aesthetics and cultural concerns. In his work, Oiticica placed a high importance on the lived experiences (vivências) of communities and his audience. The cape is part of Oiticica’s series ‘Parangolé’, with which he aimed to search for an “infinite dimension of colour as it relates to structure, space, and time”. The resulting works were ‘habitable paintings’ in the forms of clothing, capes, banners, or tents.

Oiticica intended for the capes to be dressed in, danced in, and displayed. Visitors are welcome to activate this work through movement and dance.

Complete set of Canopic jars
800-900 BC, Egypt
Collection: The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, US
30 x 13 x 13 cm (set of 4), Modern reproduction

The Ancient Egyptians used so-called ‘canopic jars’ for the safekeeping of particular organs after a person’s death, as they believed that they would be needed in the afterlife. A set would always consist of four jars, each designated for one organ: the stomach, the intestines, the lungs, and the liver. They did not make a jar for the heart; the Ancient Egyptians believed it to be the seat of the soul, and so it was left inside of the body. These replicas of canopic jars highlight the contrast between the contemporary treatment of death within society as opposed to many Ancient cultures, where death occupied a central role in cultural life and was met with a great deal of both material and spiritual preparation.

When from a long-distant past nothing subsists, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, still, alone, more fragile, but with more vitality, more unsubstantial, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls, ready to remind us, waiting and hoping for their moment, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unfaltering, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection.

– Marcel Proust (1871-1922),
In Search of Lost Time,
À la recherche du temps perdu (1913-1927)
Vol I: Swann’s Way

Reading event with Jane Lewty and Jennifer Tee
12 July 2017, 7 pm

As part of Jennifer Tee’s solo exhibition ‘Structures of Recollection and Perseverance’ at Kunstraum, London, the artist invited poet Jane Lewty read her text from the accompanying publication accompanying the exhibition, followed by readings from the Resist stack of books featured in the reading room of the exhibition. Listen to the recording here:

Johnston Sheard & Nils Alix-Tabeling
How Can You Love Me Knowing That I Could Never Love You? (Part One)
Saturday 17 June, 7pm

How Can You Love Me Knowing That I Could Never Love You? is the first installment of a three part project by Johnston Sheard.

The first act by Johnston Sheard, is a seance of humming tongues serenading to a piano piece composed by the artist, with pedal steel guitar accompaniment. The gallery, returning to its previous guise as a place of worship, is divided into a known and an unknown realm by a tabernacle of dead flowers. A choir of singers attempt to defy the impending ephemerality of mortal love by disseminating their emotions across the divide into the unknown eternal. Making indelible transmissions to their eternal paramours like the entangled supernatural photons of quantum physics.

In the second act by Nils Alix-Tabeling, the unknown realm responds in the form of a film depicting a hypothetical sphere of fairytale archetypes hidden within the quantum. Protagonists struggle to become human through a surrealist narrative of disappearances and teleportations. Schizophrenia is questioned as a supernatural power that can penetrate the layers within polysemic objects, enabling protagonists to transition between the visible and invisible, and communicate with the unknown.


Piano – Eeva Reetta Laiho
Pedal Steel Guitar- Jez leather
Saxophone – Jeff Bennett
Drums And Percussion – Keef Winter
Choir Conductor – Eleanor Westbrook
Vocal Workshop facilitator – Elena Dana

Cinematographer : Thomas Depas
Actors : Anastasia Bay, Arthur Egloff
Sound : Johnston Sheard

Special thanks to Whitecross Community Centre, Peabody Estates Gardening Club, Zoé Denys and Dominik Krauss.

Supported by Fluxus Art Projects and using public funding by Arts Council England










Beth Collar & Hannah Still
Brainstem Thinking
Saturday 10 June from 6–9pm

For a week, converging on 10 June, Beth Collar and Hannah Still will work alongside each other and in relationship, rather than in collaboration, transforming the space of Kunstraum into a working environment – holding space for silence, apathy, antagonism and affection – that will become the backdrop to performances that take their ongoing conversation about ways of feeling, thinking through and thinking about the stomach brain, brain stem, inner speech and free speech as their shared starting point.

Hannah Still is an artist and writer. Most recently she has been thinking around the poetics and politics of the interview, the absence of fiction within fiction and the micro-conditions of the documentary image.

Beth Collar is an artist. Her practice examines the external forces that meld her personality, alter her desires and guide her behaviour. She is interested in the visual languages of systems of power; how the verbal can interact with the physical and through this how histories are exhumed and repurposed.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Performing Objects
Isabelle Cornaro, Benedict Drew, Anna Franceschini, Iain Hamilton Grant, Rebecca Lennon, Maria Walsh and Zoe Williams
curated by Caterina Avataneo
3 June – 4 June

Inspired by Graham Harman’s essay On Vicarious Causation, Performing Objects speculates on the performativity of objects through a selection of videos by Isabelle Cornaro, Benedict Drew, Anna Franceschini, Rebecca Lennon and Zoe Williams, and additionally draws parallels between object-oriented theories and the objectification of the human body.

While the videos offer glimpses of a world beyond the scope of human interrogation, the surrounding space designed by Zoe Williams and the durational choreographed performance by Anna Franceschini suggest a celebration of fetishism/eroticism and a bidirectional contamination of body and object, respectively.

In a context where distinctions between subjects and objects are blurred, each playfully mimicking the other, art historian Maria Walsh and philosopher Iain Hamilton Grant reflect on pornographic literature and the treatment of flesh, and discuss how, or even if, it is possible to re-contextualize or re-interpret the human body.


Sophie Jung
Producing My Credentials
14 April – 27 May 2017

With performances on:

Saturday 22 April

Sunday 30 April, 6pm

Saturday 6 May, 1pm

Thursday 18 May, 7pm

Saturday 27 May, 6pm

Developed during a six week residency in Kunstraum, Swiss artist Sophie Jung’s Producing My Credentials folds writing and performance within a complex environment, where precious items from her vast archive of made and found stuff, watercolour drawings of hermit crabs, papier maché tubes, collected cream jugs, left-over lamp shade carcasses, discarded building material and organic detritus sit side by side. Activated by a series of performances, each will be an undoing of the last, a rewinding, a new beginning – a pre-recorded version of a pre-failed rehearsal or a stuck auto-cue. The total work is a constantly remixing libretto for a never-to-be finished opera on precarity and wobbly legs.

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with commissioned texts by Paul Clinton, Tom Morton, Megan Nolan and Sally O’Reilly, designed by Kristin Metho.


Download texts:

Episode 1 – Pangea

Episode 2 – You know I like a laugh

Episode 3 – The one with or without

Episode 4 – My cholesterol was raised by wolves

Episode 5 – A poem for the lost nerve ends our collective solar plexus

Episode 6 – It’s late some say by sin and some by virtue fail


Olivier Castel
Communicating vessels
25 November 2016 - 11 February 2017
(closed 18 December - 10 January)

































9 September – 5 November 2016

An exhibition taking place at Kunstraum and on the South wall of Gallery 4 of the National Gallery from 9 September till 5 November, 2016, on the occasion of the research and release of “Isa Genzken’s Ring”, a publication edited by Olivier Foulon, published by (SIC), Brussels and Kunstraum, London, with the support of Henry Moore Foundation and Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles.












Fiona James
GUTLESS SPEECH (and other impossible thoughts)
11 August 2016

Thursday 11 August, 7pm
Fiona James: GUTLESS SPEECH (and other impossible thoughts)

GUTLESS SPEECH is the first public edition of For that Rare Diagram Freak, a collective research project supported by Kunstraum, set to develop over four live events throughout the next year. The first edition will feature a physical workshop guided by Andrew Kerton and a performative talk by Fiona James.

(Flexing the rod, undoing the bind, dumbing down loosely)

Andrew Kerton’s workshop will draw on a range of somatic practices such as Body Mind Centering, Middendorf Technique and Embryology with the intention of exposing inherent patterns that manifest in the flesh. Though different in technical approach, these methods reference the development of the human body on a cellular scale, suggesting how the brain’s plasticity might be harnessed through movement and rhythm to enhance our capacities for thought and self development.

Through the deployment of vibration and its vocal release, we will consider how the attributes of language are influenced by our material structure and where this knowledge can be directed towards collective frames of agency. How can our simplistic physical fundaments and needs (eg. breath) be used to reconfigure thinking, and how does utterance extend and reinforce from the basics of necessity?

(vibrbrbrbrbatory notes)

Fiona James’ performative talk will credit theories influencing the wider project (e.g. Wilhelm Reich’s theories on the orgasm; Schulamith Firestone’s notion of the technical; Catherin Malabou’s use of epigenetics; Reza Negarestani’s brand of in-humanism) while providing points for a discussion that will influence the research’s direction.

As a pre-emptive set of notes, these simple conceptual gestures will be ordered for delivery in light of Kerton’s workshop, allowing the overriding rational to be developed in an exposed collective space. In this way the workshop will serve as conceptual material for consideration, while also influencing the physical conditions that participants bodies can receive and respond to.


Image caption: Fiona James, The Leaky Lecture Series, 2015, at FLUID PHOSPHORESCENCE, Residency Unlimited, New York, Curated by Mette Kjærgaard Præst. Photo by Samuel Draxler.

Fay Nicolson
5 August 2016

Friday 5 August, 8.30pm
Performance: Fay Nicolson – OVER AND OVER PURE FORM
I have no knowledge I can sell                   
                    They will get a strong return
I will not serve your clients well                   
                    On what they have to pay to learn
I will not value what you do                   
                      Its not too late to evaluate
The state of education’s through                   
                    Do not leave your grade to fate


On Friday 5th August Kunstraum presents the first in a new series of performance commissions, with a live enactment of Fay Nicolson’s text OVER AND OVER PURE FORM.

Accompanied by a chorus of four performers and live percussion, Nicolson’s OVER AND OVER PURE FORM meditates on the reality of art education today and how bodies, behaviours and attitudes are moulded through formal terminologies or ideologies. Structured around a typical first semester at art school, the performance draws on module components including studio exercises, a critical studies lecture and the all-important evaluation.

OVER AND OVER PURE FORM reflects on the changing nature of art education, drawing on Nicolson’s own experience alongside texts by Friedrich Schiller, Thierry de Duve, Charles Madge and Barbara Weinberger. Between 1967–73, ‘Mass-Observation’ pioneers Madge and Weinberger conducted a sociological study of an art school, observing the emotional affects on students when subjected to a specific artistic value system. Thiery de Duve’s 1994 text ‘When Form Has Become Attitude – And Beyond’ charts a historic shift in the fundamental attitudes in art education, from ‘genius’ to ‘creativity’ to ‘criticality’.

Nicolson borrows from various teaching models, including the visual exercises of Josef Albers and Oscar Schlemmer at the Bauhaus, and the formal methods developed by Richard Hamilton and Victor Pasmore at the University of Newcastle. The title of Nicolson’s text is taken from the diary of Oscar Schlemmer, who’s practice and teaching revolved around the body.

OVER AND OVER PURE FORM’s concluding section, the evaluation, constructs a critique of the neoliberal condition of art education – cold and rational assessment criteria divorced from emotional and social experience. Borrowing from Schiller’s idea of ‘Play Sense’, Nicolson presents a manifesto – calling for an art education which revalues physical experience.

Running time: 30 minutes
Chorus: Jasmin Aldridge, Helen Davison, Lillian Wilkie and Madalina Zaharia
Percussion: Cédric Fauq
Assistant: Tilly Sleven


Jumana Emil Abboud
Haunted Springs and Water Demons in Palestine
14 May – 30 July 2016

Jumana Emil Abboud’s project takes its title from a 1920’s study by the pioneering ethnographer Dr. Tawfiq Canaan, documenting sites that were thought to be haunted by spirits, good and bad. In Palestinian traditions these ‘haunted’ or ‘blessed’ sites are activated through storytelling, folktales, and an expansive fairy-tale practice.

Abboud’s project is an attempt to locate 125 sites identified by Canaan’s study. With the remapping of the landscape – new towns, infrastructure, settlements, etc. – many of the sites have been buried, dried out, or obliterated. In the villages only the older generation recall such and such a haunted site, their knowledge often accompanied by fables once rumoured upon the village. Through the journey to locate the long-lost sites and the stories which belong to them, Abboud has produced a new body of works in film (made in collaboration with cinematographer Isa Freij), drawing and painting. Weaving folk stories with the present political reality, the project moves between fact and fiction, past and present.

Jumana Emil Abboud:
Haunted Springs and Water Demons in Palestine is produced in collaboration with BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead and is supported by A.M. Qattan Foundation; British Council, Palestine; Rana Sadik and Samer Younis. Special thanks to Delfina Foundation and Raven Row.

Abboud’s exhibition at BALTIC runs from 6 May to 2 October 2016. Earlier drawings in the exhibition were commissioned by the Southbank Centre / Hayward Project space.







Jumana Emil Abboud, From cub to boy: the power of water, 2015
gouache and pastel on paper, 21 x 28cm



Jumana Emil Abboud, Bride I & Bride II, 2016
acrylic, gouache and pastel on paper, 28 x 39cm





Jumana Emil Abboud, Cocoon, 2015 (detail)
pastel, pencil, spray-paint and acrylic on paper, 73 x 110cm



Jumana Emil Abboud, Rocks II, 2016
acrylic, gouache and pastel on paper, 120 x 80cm



Photographer: Tim Bowditch

Dorine van Meel
Disobedient Children
23 October – 19 December 2015

Sunday 29 November, 5pm
An evening of performative readings by Maria Gorodeckaya, Dorine van Meel, Megan Nolan,
Rianna Jade Parker (The Lonely Londoners), Naomi Pearce and Nina Power










Download exhibition booklet

Music and sounds produced and performed by Jesse Osborne-Lanthier and Olle Holmberg. Voice-over by Dorine van Meel.

Disobedient Children is kindly supported by the Elephant Trust and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.


Photographer: Tim Bowditch


New Pabulum
Aline Bouvy and Simon Davenport
curated by Justė Kostikovaitė
6 September - 10 October 2015














download exhibition text


Photographer: Oskar Proctor


Alex Cecchetti
The printing house of hell
27 June - 22 August 2015









Alex Cecchetti, Copy of Marie-Madeleine otherwise said Marie l’Egyptienne, 1311-2015, silicone and plaster



Alex Cecchetti, Chapel of Female Masturbation, or teaching to a young boy, 2015, blackberries on wall






Alex Cecchetti, Dancing with a teapot, 2015, oil on paper


Alex Cecchetti, Arabesque, 2015
, walnut wood



Alex Cecchetti, Song of Solitude, 2012
, china ink on paper and birdcallers




download exhibition text


Photographer: Tim Bowditch


Barbara Visser
Manual/2: The Patient Artist
25 April – 13 June 2015

Unlearning to speak
Tyler Coburn, Luca Frei, Joachim Koester, Jacopo Miliani
28 February - 11 April 2015

Events programme:

Saturday 28 March, 5-7pm

Marie Kølbæk Iversen will present a selection of her work, be in conversation with
Mette Kjærgaard Præst, and screen a prepremiere of a her work Io/I (working title).

Wednesday 1 April

‘S’ a Screening
Film screening organised by artist Jacopo Miliani

Thursday 9 April
Liquid Swords – An annotation of Hip Hop and Contemporary Art

An evening with: Live streaming from New York, thoughts on Whitney Houston
and modernistic architecture, Deleuzian rap jamming session and much more.

Participating and presenting: Ingen Frygt | Hannah Heilmann | Agatha Valkyrie Ice
with Dorota Gaweda and Egle Kulbokaite | Mathias Kryger | Renyi Ng | Mette Woller

Liquid Swords is conceptualised and organised by Mette Woller

Audio on Soundcloud

Video on this is tomorrow



Joachim Koester, My Frontier is an Endless Wall of Points
(after the mescaline drawings of Henri Michaux)
, 2007
16 mm black and white film loop

Tyler Coburn, NaturallySpeaking, 2013/14
text, screensaver, monitors, furniture

Jacopo Miliani, Alphabet, 2013
25 photographs

Luca Frei, Soldering without fire / Bleeding to death, 2015 (details)

Luca Frei, Corrections, 2015
Giclée print on paper


Unlearning to speak – exhibition text


Photographer: Tim Bowditch


Nicoline van Harskamp
25 October - 13 December 2014

Photographer: Tim Bowditch
download exhibition text