"Helge is properly distraught. A large Café Deutschland painting in the background, he wants to finally get his seat at the table, not just serve others. Schröder will soon be chancellor, the beginning of the Berliner Republic, New Labor, Achenbach is collaborating on Agenda 2010, Joseph Beuys’ spirit regularly appears—everyone is inspired and ecstatic and animated. Helge becomes a collage artist. He succumbs to temptation: the seducer becomes a deceiver."
Since 2016, Alex Wissel has been working together with Jan Bonny on various filmic sketches for "Rheingold," a series about the downfall of art dealer Helge Achenbach, who described his falsified invoices as "collages" before the court. A radical interpretation of Beuys’ dictum that everyone’s an artist? Filmed as a webseries at the Volksbühne in spring 2018, among other things, narratives are collaged, invented and improvised to tell of social sculpture, power, deceptions, and great misunderstandings.
The exhibition continues this shady social portrait as a soap opera in painting, drawing, stage design, and video. In Harburg, the stage for these surreally real entanglements will extend through the Kunstverein’s exhibition space in the old waiting room as well as the train station. Parts of the stage design will be installed on top of the nearby glass waiting room now in actual use for travelers, serving as an advertisement for the exhibition at the Kunstverein while also repositioning the idealistic to dubious slogans. Most of all, here doing what needs to be done means continuing to collage and improvise.
Installation views: Michael Pfisterer