Paul Kolling deals with infrastructural and economic processes and their geopolitical, ecological and social implications. In 2020, at the Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, he presented “Break of Gauge”, which focuses on the complexity of the Eurasian freight transport networks between Zhengzhou and Hamburg. Kolling’s annual edition for the Kunstverein draws upon this project depicting sections of the freight train connection in a series of inkjet prints. His survey of the so-called New Silk Road, from which, apart from the main logistical hubs, transport times and border crossings, little geographic information is known, was carried out using satellite imagery and remote sensing technologies. Kolling a.o. had a GPS device travel by train from China to Hamburg. The title of the series “WB190621” refers to the train number of the freight train equipped with GPS. The individual images were extracted from a 300-metre film that depicts the entire train route and the landscapes it traverses. For his edition Kolling only chose pictures on which the train route is partly covered by clouds. Aerial photography usually tries to generate cloud-free images in order to have the full landscape uncovered. On the contrary in Kolling’s series cloud formations become the central motif. Kolling's "WB190621" refers to a variety of questions connected to the mapping of the world: the single images of the freight train connection were combined to form a continuous and straight line for "Break of Gauge". Due to their distortion they do not allow any conclusions to be drawn about spatial and geodata-based orientation. What is to be seen remains strangely abstract. The clouds counter the artificiality of this structure. It is through them, that the climatic conditions of the shooting situation and moments of coincidence are inscribed in the pictures.
Paul Kolling (*1993, lives and works in Berlin) graduated with “Break of Gauge” with Simon Denny at the Hochschule für bildende Künste, Hamburg. Together with Paul Seidler and Max Hampshire, Kolling also initiated, among other things, a series of " the project “terra0”, which uses Ethereum blockchain technology to organise the self-management of a forest. Kolling’s work and projects were among others presented at the transmediale, Ars Electronica, Biennale de Lyon, Furtherfield Gallery, Drugo More, re:publica, Schinkel Pavillon and the Vienna Biennale.