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Berlin Gallery Weekend Discoveries. Jonas Roßmeißl, Die Neue Statik | A new static, at Klemm’s

slowly build up the sentence by reduction to absurdity

In an apparent attempt to communicate through negation, sealing off access to the wrong statement each time, limiting the script without ever stating it, Jonas Roßmeißl uses a specific peacefulness to present a meticulous and critical work of investigation, whose greatest virtue is the delay it always manages to provoke.

Despite the blatant political aspect, Die Neue Statik | A new static, the artist’s first exhibition at Klemm’s as part of Gallery Weekend Discoveries, is the opposite of an exhibition-manifesto: rather than being the stage for direct references used to illustrate a statement or protest, it is the script for a space of provocation and iconoclasm, activated above all by what is not allowed – that is, through the force of sealing.

The pieces presented – televisions or packaging – are mostly familiar and relatable, removed from their functional space through small transformations that render them useless. While stressing the uselessness of these objects, however, Roßmeißl ensures that the loss of functionality does not make them unrecognizable. This familiarity is crucial to achieving the intended seal, since this is what triggers closer proximity.

Among clean ruins, partially decomposed sculptures, maggots, traces of warehouses and mobile phones, the provocation is reinforced by the way Roßmeißl is also involved in the curation, defining the way – in this case, the iconoclastic tone – through which the elements come together. In this regard, not only was the lighting designed and set up by the artist, but two additional devices were also installed in the gallery: one is responsible for blocking the mobile network and the other distorts the image whenever someone tries to take a picture.

Transporting the work into the spectator’s field, blocking the immediate sharing and sealing the approach with a languid touch, the pieces are delivered to a new place. In this case, a simple one that exhausts its inherently useless character, leaving only criticism intact – not the one which the artist directly enunciates, but the one which the artist helps to enunciate. Deep down, the sentence is also a game that only reveals itself at the end.

The exhibition ends on October 26.

Guilherme Vilhena Martins (Lisbon, 1996; lives in Berlin) is a writer and curator. He holds a degree in Philosophy from Lisbon Nova University and is currently finishing an MA in the same field at Freie Universität Berlin. His literary work consists of two books - 'Háptica' (douda correria, 2020), 'Voz/ Estudo de Som' (author's edition, 2022) - and texts, chronicles and reviews written for different magazines in Portuguese and English, among which Umbigo and Frieze. He has managed and edited 'Alcazar', an interdisciplinary literary project that brought together writers and visual artists around the idea of collective transdisciplinary writing. Besides, he has curated several exhibitions in Portugal and Germany and is one of the co-founders of EGEU, a project space established in 2019 in Lisbon. Vilhena Martins is interested in artistic practice as a critical tool and a form of discussion. His work revolves around the notions of waste, fulfilment and desire, as well as their different instantiations. Lately, he’s been focusing on the phenomenon of tourism.

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