Since its founding earlier in 2014, the FLEX exhibition space in Berlin-Mitte has dedicated itself to the exploration of social sculpture, presenting new shows as so-called “rounds”. Each round begins a dialogue between artist, artwork and viewers, presenting an exhibition of physical works by two artists who “face off on common ground” rather than as part of the art world’s hierarchy of established or emerging personas. A satellite event, for example a screening of thematically-related video works, is presented halfway through the duration of the show as a means of extending the dialogue. Because the three founders of FLEX met while working in Erika Hoffmann’s well-visited Sammlung Hoffmann, the group—today comprised of Hannah Hallermann, Isabel Parkes, Yvonne Roeb, Valeria Sanguini and Laura Serio—is granted unique access to the Sammlung itself, for example when presenting the collection’s videos as part of a Round One event.
For their latest round, opening September 12th, FLEX will present works by Glaswegian Turner-prize winner Martin Boyce and Cologne-born Pauline M’barek. While Boyce presents the object, M’barek creates the means with which to view it, in a “dialogue about positive and negative space.” Both with an interest in memory, objecthood, and exoticism, their work conjures ideas and worlds surrounding the cultural artefact. Boyce’s are a web of loosely connected forms, sometimes with a lack of traceable history, that allow the artist to show how casually contemporary culture picks up and discards its references. By feigning primitive qualities, Boyce underlines habits of distance: the further one grows from the place and origin of an object, the sooner one declares it
exotic. M’barek’s Trophy Stands—based on the artist’s studies of mask stands found in ethnological museums around Europe—will assume exoticism with full force, sculpting the violence that surrounds them in lieu of the artefacts themselves.
Catch the vernissage from 19:00 this evening, at weekends 13:00–18:00, or by appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.