FAKE-ESTATE by Anna Uddenberg at Schinkel Pavillon
Berlin, an ongoing exhibition till 31 December 2022. With FAKE-ESTATE, Schinkel Pavillon presents the first institutional solo exhibition by Swedish artist Anna Uddenberg (*1982) in Berlin.
Uddenberg has developed a new series of “usable” sculptures for the glassed exhibition space on the upper floor, which are loosely arranged in the room. Occasionally a group of baby-esque performers activate the ergonomic sculptures by posing in and around them. The addition of performance extends Uddenberg’s work along with her artistic research of how objects, through their function, gain control over the subjects who use them.
In an endless feedback loop, the reference point between sculpture and performer oscillates from “using” to “being used”, between dominating and subjugating. Based on masochistic practices in which the body is willingly released for humiliation, FAKE-ESTATE provokes moments of collision around questions of ownership, thereby negotiating the boundaries between free will and control.
Who owns our bodies, our minds, and our data? The performers’ poses, executed as a state of mindless flow, become representative of our behaviour, in which we hand over control to user-friendly technologies, algorithms and targeted advertising on a daily basis. The performers’ outfits are inspired by the kink subculture practice of Paraphilic infantilism (adult baby syndrome) – testifying to a desire to return to a submissive, childlike state.
The artist’s new multimedia work symbolically and materially quotes the immediate surroundings of Schinkel Pavillon. The historicizing facade buildings, rapidly constructed in recent years and criticized as “fake history” – including Berlin’s city palace that reproduces the 19th century – have transformed the area of Berlin’s southern Museum Island into a stage-like backdrop. The eclectically arranged buildings, most of which are used as investment properties, create a supposedly romanticized image of Berlin that hardly bears any relation to the socio-economic reality of the city.
The sculptures, whose surfaces are produced in a 3D printing process imitate materials of these facades – brushed stainless steel, rattan, “skins” or veneer – in this way themselves become “fake” of their own materiality. The view from FAKE-ESTATE thus becomes a unique stage for Anna Uddenberg’s exhibition in which the performers give up their ultimate “assets”, their bodily autonomy and, eventually, their “Self”.