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05/02/2013 - 09/01/2013


Curated by Friedrich von Borries

Jakob Boeskov

Jeremy Deller

Thomas Demand

Beate Gütschow

Dirk Dietrich Hennig

Christoph Keller

Inigo Manglano oval

Mikael Mikael


Walid Raad

Julian Rosefeldt

Nat Tate

The Yes Men


What is reality, what is fiction? The exhibition in the Villa Schöningen, which begins on May 1, 2013, approaches this question. On show are works by 13 international artists who have dealt in different ways with topics such as reality, perception, identity formation and fraud. The thematic exhibition will show works from the genres of painting, photography, design and video art.

The spectrum of the works on show ranges from dealing with the patterns of perception and knowledge (Thomas Demand, Christoph Keller, Walid Raad) to methods of constructing reality (Beate Gütschow, Julian Rosefeldt) and dealing with fictional personalities (Dirk Dietrich Hennig, Nat Tate), to unexpected interactions between reality and fiction (Jakob Boeskov, Mikael Mikael, Ora-Ïto) and the political-economic dimension of the fictionalization of reality (Jeremy Deller, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, The Yes Men).

The exhibition was curated by Friedrich von Borries.

Press release Villa Schöningen

Jakob Boeskov (1973, DK), works mainly in the media of drawing, painting and film. In 2002, together with an industrial designer, he developed the ID Sniper rifle, the dummy weapon that shoots GPS chips under the victim's skin. At a Chinese arms fair, Boeskov received a large number of inquiries from the police, arms dealers and politicians. The film shown in the exhibition was shot at the Qatar Arms Fair.

Jeremy Deller (1966, GB) deals primarily with the practices of popular culture in videos, installations and social sculptures. In 2001, with hundreds of people involved, he staged a re-enactment of the Battle of Orgreave - a violent confrontation between striking miners and police officers that took place in 1984 in Orgreave, England.

Thomas Demand (1964, DE) creates cardboard models of famous crime scenes for his work, photographs them and then destroys them. Junior Suite from 2012 refers to a widely featured photo in the media of the table where singer Whitney Houston had the last meal before her death.

Beate Gütschow (1970, DE) photographer, works mainly with image fragments and image montage. Her work LS # 7 can be seen in the exhibition “Reality and Fiction”.

Dirk Dietrich Hennig (1967, DE) works with the “historical intervention” approach: He invents fictional artist personalities and creates works under their names - including George Cup & Steve Elliott. The duo's film The connection between form and sound # 15 was shown in Tate London in 2010 without the curators being aware of the actual author.

In his work, Christoph Keller (1967, DE) examines the means and possibilities of science and its peripheral areas. For the Cloudbuster Project (since 2003) he reconstructed the cloud sprinkler of the psychoanalyst and sex theorist Wilhelm Reich, and, according to Keller himself, was able to observe changes in the weather situation in various experiments.

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle (1961, ES), works on topics such as technology, climate and immigration, often in collaboration with laypeople and experts from other disciplines. The installation Phantom Truck (2007) gives the fictional weapons labs a real shape, which US Secretary of State Colin Powell cited as a justification for the invasion of Iraq.

Mikael Mikael (1974, DE) works on topics such as security, surveillance and retreat. For the Show You Are Not Afraid series, he photographs posters with the New York mayor's post 9/11 sentence in places of terror. In 2012 the poster was used by Israeli women who expressed their solidarity with an Egyptian blogger.

Ora-Ïto (1977, FR) develops products for brands such as Citroen, Artemide and adidas with his design studio. He became known in 1999 with the Back Up Louis Vuitton backpack and the Hackmac laptop, unauthorized products with the Vuitton and Apple logos that were never manufactured but met with great demand.

Walid Raad (1967, RL) became known as the originator of the fictional Atlas Group, which documents and edits the recent history of Lebanon. Since 2007 he has dealt with the history and current inflation of art in the Arab world and its interdependence with the conflicts in the region. For the series Preface to the Second Edition (2012), Raad photographed the reflections that the pictures create on the floor in the Doha Art Museum, in the hope, according to Raad, that the reflections from his photos will transfer to the pictures themselves.

Julian Rosefeldt (1965, DE) mainly creates video installations that analyze and reveal the stereotypes and careless repetitions of popular culture. For American Night (2009) he shot western scenes that fulfill the narrative styles typical of the genre and make them visible, but also cite other formats such as politics, pop songs and feature films.

Nat Tate (1929-1960, US), fictional artist and protagonist of the novel Nat Tate. An American Artist: 1928-1960 by William Boyd. The book premiere was staged as a tribute to a real but wrongly forgotten artist. The art scene initially fell for it. The Tate painting Study for White Building can be seen in the exhibition.

The Yes Men (artist duo and network, US) act and publish under a strange name and look to reveal the truth about the hacked companies, media and government institutions. After the election of President Obama in 2008, they publish a New York Times Special Edition that only contained good news, for example: "IRAQ WAR ENDS".


Friedrich von Borries (* 1974) teaches design theory and curatorial practice at the HFBK Hamburg. With his Berlin “Projektbüro Friedrich von Borries” he works both theoretically and practically in the border area between art, design and architecture.

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