Julian Charrière & Andreas Greiner
September 2 – October 14, 2011
"Urbanism doesn't exist. It is only an ideology in Marx's sense of the word."
Rem Koolhaas, S, M, L, XL. 1995
With the influx of people and capital in cities come decrees that will lay new roads and rail. Infrastructure, institutions, homes and public spaces proliferate as the population demands their use. As the city limits expand—pushed from within by the combined energies of development, and pulled from without by the gathering momentum of adjacent conurbations—its components separate, giving structure to the city's zones; life naturally generates efficient forms.
PROGRAM presents Dominions, a commissioned exhibition by Julian Charrière and Andreas Greiner that breaches the gulf between national and microbial scales. Systematically collecting microbes throughout Germany and Switzerland, the artists will breed them in sealed glass vitrines in the gallery. The various molds collected will grow into colonies of different shapes, sizes and color; the interconnected network of filaments bursts into competing globes, hills, meadows and slime. This exhibition projects a new topography, one that came into being organically and free of social, political or economical parameters.
More than just a question of territory, the word dominion implies a degree of legislated control. Traveling throughout Germany and Switzerland the artists utilized their home countries' infrastructure as a guiding logic for the collection process. Country roads, the autobahn, the rail network—systems of movement that impose a level of control on the landscape—were hijacked to bring the world of microbes permeating the same territory into the controlled realm of display vitrines. At its core, Dominions is a display of the will to control and the variegated manner in which this force displays itself in our lived experience.
Julian Charrière & Andreas Greiner are both currently students in the Universität der Künste in Berlin, at Olafur Eliasson's Institut für Raumexperimente. They have worked both together and separately, and are members of Das Numen, a Berlin-based art collective that probes questions both biological and mystical.
Places where microbes were collected:
Germany: Darß, across the straight from Denmark; Greetsiel, on the coast of the North Sea; Cuxhaven, the meadows just in from the coast; Hohenwutzen, at the border between Germany and Poland; Dreiländereck, the point where Germany, Belgium and Holland meet; Nürnberg, by the walls of the city castle; The coal mines of Hambach; Cornfields of Althütte; Frankfurt airport, main hall; Trier, in front of the Porta Nigra; Viewing platform at Zugspitze, the highest point in Germany; PROGRAM's exhibition space in Berlin; The peak of Ochsenkopf, the highest mountain in the Fichtelgebirge; By the so-called Schwarze Pumpe fossil fuel power station by Spremberg; Elbsandsteingebirge, close to Dresden, where Caspar David Friedrich drew inspiration; Next to a plattenbau, or pre-fab housing block, in Dessau; At the cafe on the peak of Wendelstein; Next to some cows in Neubeuer; Across the water from a wind farm close to Hamburg; On a freshly tilled field in Sulz am Neckar; In a pig farm between Hannover and Minden; Amongst some trees on Kahler Asten.
Switzerland: On the street in Zug, the richest city of Switzerland; The heels of the Rhone Glacier; The Turtmanntal mountain range, the highest forests of Switzerland; La Brévine, the coldest place in Switzerland ; Lully, where Julian was born; Le Noirmont, forest on the Jura montain range by a pond next to the French border.
Martin Schied, Christian Gröger, Ditmar Ebbers, Urich Riedel, Niko Princen, Ekaterina Burlyga, Fabien Gehrig, Eric Ellingsen, Daniel Fernandez Pascual, Armin Keplinger, Felix Kiessling, Tyra Tingleff, Josta Hamann, Julius von Bismark, Carolin Schwarz & Nina Marie, Ursula Greiner, Kurt Greiner, Babeth Charrière, Jean-Claude Charrière, Nils Ole Petersen, Fabian Knecht, Alkistis Thomidou, Markus Hoffmann, Theo Bitzer