MARTIN REITER: The Apple Never Falls Far From the Tree – Five Individualists Play Family

The Apple Never Falls Far From the Tree – Five Individualists Play Family

/ or maybe not? It is a question of perspective, the moth has the feeling that the apple falls far and long – the human being feels certain that the apple’s fall is not very far – the question of „where“ this apple falls and hits the ground remains unanswered in most cases, although this would, in fact, be interesting. This was the mental puzzle that wound its way through my mind as I visited the Schagers‘ exhibition for a second time. The five artists first deconstructed the Blue Salon in the arthouse Tacheles in Berlin and following this act subsequently developed new corners and spaces, filling these with 5 – 6* different exhibitions. Just the deconstruction of the existing or given interior architecture and the set up of the works in the new „framework“ belonged to the tradition of classical performance. Valarie, Felix, Helga, Herbert and Ufuk Serbest, along with the usual suspects from Tacheles, prised this show from time and space under tears all the way to blood and sweat. There is not one apple falling here, but many. They fall „on solid ground“ or for a „solid reason“.

Helga Schager’s exhibits are in part images carrying concrete information, and in part an installation dealing with gender, utopia, movement and signals. Not obviously and pleasing to the market, but defiantly subversive. The hunter and gatherer will be pleased, the retro art-boheme will feel provoked.

Herbert Schager’s images are color, photo and speed images – „the wall tears off“ – an entire film in one still. Reality texture and info-foam, Herbert Schager is easily capable of using oil on canvas and yet still generating a gripping surface that can be haptically experienced to radiate his view of things. He shows the viewers a part of his life and courageously posed it for discussion. His „Hammocks Installation“ compels the viewer into solitude and video, as his films can only be viewed via HMD** – whether kicking back in a hammock is a criticism of social entertainment habits or not is left up to the audience.

Ufuk Serbest’s installations are interactive, multimedia and confusing – the visitors play with them, more than once looking for things that Serbest never shows or addresses, but which are imputed through the materials and programs used. Thus the tide turns for the viewers, and they become elements in Serbest’s arrangements and set-ups. In his installations he has done away with the „evil eye“ as adolescent nonsense and opened up the crooked glance as an emancipatory enlightened act for art.

Valarie Schager puts the visitors to work, as everyone can – should – must „make her or his own image“. In two of her works the panel picture is divided into many small units. The painted gems playfully push together; they can be shifted, resulting again and again in new contents. A hands-on animation that dispenses with film, editing or projection technology. Valarie and Felix Schager have taken over their parents‘ way of „seeing“; if there were such a thing as memes (ultimately the storage of memory/information in single cells), then Valarie and Felix would be living proof of this.

Felix Schager’s pictures work with text fragments and cross the period from genuine child’s drawings to actual artworks with three works vividly, uncompromisingly and, most of all, rapidly. Just as the father’s wall tears off, the video installation races from High Noon to Scarface and back again. The way that Felix as MC Def Ill together with Fireclath (Valarie and Ufuk) and Herbert Schager’s Popspionage prepared the musical ground for the conclusion of the exhibition opening was a clear sign of family, far removed from conservative regression and mafiosi anarcho-capitalist machinations of family clans.

On Herbert Schager’s website there is a group of words: „… / how many see so little“ …. „The apple never falls far from the tree“ or „5 individualists play family“, in the Blue Salon of Tacheles, however, it is evident that „….. / some do see something …..“

I would like to thank the artists on behalf of Berlin and the Arthouse Tacheles for this inspiring exhibition.

Martin Reiter August 24, 2007 (board member of Tacheles e.V.)

* I am still not quite sure how many exhibitions there really are …
** Head Mounted Display