June 27 — July 19, 2020
Break of Gauge
Paul Kolling in collaboration with Jack Wolf
Paul Kolling (born 1993) deals with infrastructural and economic processes and their geopolitical, ecological, and social implications. His latest project, "Break of Gauge" (2019/20), was developed in collaboration with artist and filmmaker Jack Wolf and is dedicated to the complexity of Eurasian freight networks, to the so-called New Silk Road between Zhengzhou and Hamburg.
Apart from the most significant logistical hubs, transport times, and border crossings, hardly any geographical information about this newly emerging trade route is available. The artist combined and rendered thousands of satellite images with computer programs to create a panoramic view of the railway route. Exposed onto a strip of 35 mm film measuring three hundred meters long, the digital image is transmitted by specially made projectors. The film strip moves through the exhibition space for sixteen days, which corresponds to the duration of a train journey from China to Germany.
The film strip illustrates the route in its entirety, but can also be viewed in projected sections. This leads to different readings. What narratives emerge beyond the promises of economic prosperity and geopolitical expansion? To what extent is the globalization of the goods relationship and the expansion of its infrastructure a product and producer of political, economic, and social power relationships? What role do digital and analog technologies play in this?
Railway and film are both manifestations of modernity and have massively changed the perception of space and time. The juxtaposition of new digital processes and old technologies in the exhibition space expands these historical relationships and opens up a new level of reflection. With its location in Hamburg-Harburg train station, the Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof is itself part of the trade route.