Proberaum (Rehearsal Room)

January 30 — February 21, 2010

Gernot Faber, an unmistakable figure with his large head and long, greasy hair, is a fictitious personality created in 2006 by the Hamburg artists Sebastian Reuss (b. 1974) und Lutz Krüger (b. 1972). Since then, however, Gernot Faber has experienced and created a great deal – and this makes him eminently real. In 2007, after he had participated in numerous exhibition projects in and around Hamburg, the association »Neue Kunst in Hamburg« sent him, on a travel scholarship, to Romania. In 2009 he was appointed interim director of the Icelandic gallery kling&bang. In 2010 Gernot Faber received the Hamburg bursary for fine arts. As an incidental sideline, Gernot Faber has also begun to write, and a slipcase edition containing five publications will be appearing soon.

In Gernot Faber, Reuss and Krüger have found an ingenious way to create aesthetically exciting installations while at the same time, on a conceptual level, posing radical questions about the conditions for »making art« and »being an artist«. Against the background of the institutional art world’s mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion, their productions explore authentic creativity. They investigate what sort of artistic autonomy there can be when a precarious artistic personality has diverse, often contradictory demands placed upon it. As a »humanoid chimera«, Gernot Faber does not alter the conditions under which he works, but changes his own state. Varying in accordance with the dialogue between Sebastian Reuss and Lutz Krüger, Gernot Faber is sometimes young, sometimes already dead, straightforward and talkative or else complicated, dishevelled or completely bohemian – but always without a fixed abode.

Following his successes as an artist and gallerist, the exhibition in the Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof now shows Gernot Faber as the manager of his own story, which has long since taken on a life of its own. In London »Dead Brains« has been formed—a rock band for whom he is a cult figure.

The exhibition begins with an extensively advertised concert by the London band. The large exhibition space is given over to them as a stage. But where does that leave Gernot Faber? He occupies the office wing of the Kunstverein, surrounded by promotional products, surveys the »rehearsal room« designed by himself, and manages his own fate. In the visitor’s perception of the exhibition, which includes the darkened stage as well as the backstage area, direct sensory impressions of the spatial installation mingle with rumours and relics.