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FREEDOM FROM THIRST
ALBRECHT PISCHEL & THE PERFORMANCE AGENCY

13/11/2021 -- 01/12/2021

FREEDOM FROM THIRST — originally conceived by German artist Albrecht Pischel as a pavilion for the 2nd Bangkok Biennale — opens up an ambivalent space between the commercial and the spiritual. The slogan is borrowed from a Sprite advertising campaign from the early 2000s and is subliminally evocative of Eastern discourses on detachment from desires. 

 

A customized mobile pop-up tent – a ‘pavilion povera’ – makes camp at TARS Gallery and shelters an eclectic ensemble of purling fountain sculptures by the artist. A sweet flow of colored soda endlessly cascades over heavy postmodern stone assemblages that contrast with the transient nature of the folding tent. Upstairs, another smaller pavilion echoes the first. It displays a series of ink drawings by American artist Matt Mullican, that Pischel freely incorporated into his exhibition. They are variations on the logo of a famous carbonated soft-drink produced under hypnotic trance and bridge the commercial and the spiritual in a similar way.

 

Following the opening, the pavilion will travel and appear across Bangkok, activated as a nomadic venue for events and occurrences orchestrated by The Performance Agency, a major hub for contemporary performance and fluid practices based in Berlin and Paris.

As such, its functionality oscillates between an architecture, a shelter and a promotional tool bearing logo-ish arrangements of texts and images made to attract. Whilst appropriating visual codes of corporate design, sponsorship and promotional strategies, the pop-up space also highlights the original purpose of a pavilion – or “Sala” in Thai – as a place of leisure offering a moment of rest and togetherness. 

 

 

FREEDOM FROM THIRST is funded by Ifa Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen and Goethe Institut Bangkok.

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ALBRECHT PISCHEL

lives and works in Berlin. He studied at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig and at the Academy of Fine Arts Hamburg. In his cross-genre conceptual practice, he playfully reflects on the conditions of the medium in use as well as the institutional or cultural contexts and codes in which art is displayed. In subtly staged anachronisms, obsolete media technologies return to the present. The reduced yet allusive works bring the peripheral center stage. Among others, his work was show at Manifesta 12, Exile Gallery Berlin, Helga Maria Klosterfelde Edition Berlin, Eigen+Art Lab Berlin, Goethe-Instiut Minneapolis, KW Berlin, Neilson Hays Library Bangkok and WTF Bangkok.

THE PERFORMANCE AGENCY

The Performance Agency is dedicated to the curation and production of site-specific performance formats. Since its initiation in 2017, it has been informed by the artistic esprit of the avant-gardes at the origins of performance art. In a firm belief in the transformative powers of art, The Performance Agency lives in a continuation of their energies – uniting artists from all fields to create collective spaces of experience that draw our attention to interstices, to the inexplicable, to the beauty of the everyday.

 

Upon invitation by Supportico Lopez, The Performance Agency curated the public program of the Archivio Conz - a collection of more than 3,000 works by late-20th-century avant-garde artists collected and produced by Italian publisher and collector Francesco Conz. Instead of reenacting the past, the program invited contemporary artists to enter a dialogue with the spirit of the time and lead to the development of The Performance Agency’s signature formats: Carefully staged performances arranged within an overall storytelling that allow audiences to traverse a world of imagination. The combination of historical references and an attentive orientation towards the future continues to guide the work.

 

Past and future collaborations include: Fitzpatrick Gallery (Paris), Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art (Copenhagen), Paris Internationale, Berlin Art Week, Curated By (Wien), Hermès (Paris), Bourse de Commerce - Pinault Collection (Paris), Mamco (Geneva), Caviar (Paris, Brussels, L.A.), KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin), Krone/Couronne (Biel/Bienne).

 

The Performance Agency now has studios in Berlin, Paris, Geneva and Vienna.