"I'm not here to make friends"

November 25, 2017 — February 11, 2018

Instead of an evening vernissage, the exhibition will be opened on Saturday, 25. November, 2-6 p.m.

Founded in 2013 in Hamburg, the Galerie BRD is an affiliation of artists showing work on a regular basis in the form of thematic exhibition projects. Recurring themes include the relationship of the subject to society and technology, neo-capitalist creativity paradigms and the dogma of permanent self-optimisation. The Galerie BRD's current show "I’m not here to make friends" at the Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, amalgamates video works by the invited artists and found-footage in order to reflect the function of concepts of authenticity in post-capitalist societies as well as the principle of imitation as an affirmative and subversive practice.

The title of the exhibition "I’m not here to make friends" alludes to the now clichéd mantra of contestants in an array of different TV reality shows: uttered in dramatised situations of conflict, it illuminates an awareness of what is at stake, an unswerving pursuit of that goal in the knowledge that you don't have to dissemble to achieve it. As an expression of an overall discomfort with regard to the group, it articulates, by way of a reflexive assurance and postulation of individual authenticity, both participation in and demarcation from community. It is simultaneously an escape movement, the confirmation of individual identity and the affirmation of intolerable conditions. In the exhibition at the Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, the Galerie BRD applies the sense of this mantra to our experience of the present in post-capitalist societies, itself having long-since taken on the semblance of the hyperreal.

Concepts of 'wealth', 'travel', 'adventure' and 'fun' generated by advertising and the media disseminate ideas about luxury, proximity to nature, ecstasy or childlike innocence: their shared premise is the suggestion of authenticity, originality, naturalness and freedom, all of which are produced as desirable goods and as such, can be identified as commodities in the experience economy and part of a value chain. Closely linked with its bedfellows lifestyle and identity, it is this constant (re)production of experiences, which typifies and underlies the current sense of unease. In the increasing economic saturation of all areas of life, these dream dispensations generated thus by no means offer an escape and increasingly blur the line between an 'authentic' self and its medial simulacra.

Via the video works featured at the Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof by FORT, Philip Gaißer & Niklas Hausser, Dorit Margreiter, Stefan Panhans, Nicolaas Schmidt and Pilvi Takala in conjunction with the found footage compilation, the Galerie BRD probes the logic of imitation, simulation, affirmation and repetition as structural principles of capitalist systems of exploitation, but also as tools of subversion and resistance from within the system.