Eyes in the Back of Your Head

March 24 — June 4, 2017
Numbers and letters in an alphanumeric sequence hold the keys to our askings.
It is in their repetition that the numbers acquire potency.
I come to you because I desire to see
Eyes in the back of your head.

To have “Eyes in the Back of Your Head” is to know everything that is happening around you, thus transcending the physical restrictions of the human perspective. The exhibition title refers to linguistic parallels between magic and communication technologies. It invokes both the possibilities of technical surveillance and the concept of the “second sight”; a sixth sense that detaches the visual faculty from its physical organ to expand it to a pre-linguistic bodily sensation which, in the form of the premonition, overcomes the limits of space and time.

For her first solo exhibition in a German institution, Bianca Baldi will present a textile installation at Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, which creates a seemingly floating labyrinth, as well as sculptures and a new video work. The source imagery from the estate of the Slovenian engineer Anton Codelli spans documentary photographs of the construction of the radio station Kamina (1911-14) which transmitted from German colony Togo to Nauen in Brandenburg as well as an talisman scroll from the Togo collection of Leo Poljanec at the Slovene Ethnographic Museum in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Its syncretic graphics form a mythological architecture to coax supernatural forces through a fortress structure. For both spheres addressed, the medium as a physical manifestation of invisible forces plays a major role.

Bianca Baldi takes symptomatic events from the repertoire of Western European imperial history as a starting point for her practice. With a precise eye for detail, she stages the concurrence of seemingly circumstantial, anecdotal moments with the great imperial narratives, which up until today determine the relationship between the West and non-European culture. “Eyes at the back of Your Head” adresses the visitor’s physical experiences pacing the talisman and thus makes tangible the significance of the irrational and the virtual versus the paradigm of disillusionment and rationality.

Bianca Baldi (*1985 in Johannesburg, ZA) studied Fine Arts in Cape Town, Venice and Frankfurt a.M. She participated in numerous large international exhibitions, such as the 8th Berlin Biennale, KW Institute Contemporary Art, Berlin (2014), the 19th Contemporary Art Festival SESC Videobrasil, Sao Paolo, BR (2015) and the 11th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, CN, (2016), as well as group exhibitions at Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp, BE (2016), Kunstverein Braunschweig and Kunstverein Frankfurt (2015) as well as at MMK, Frankfurt a.M. (2013). Recent solo exhibitions include “Pure Breaths”, Swimming Pool projects Sofia and “Zero Latitude” at the Goethe Institut Johannesburg.