Niklas Goldbach

Heaven

15.01 – 13.02.2010

The sky is above us. The grand all-embracing space is an invitation to reveries across borders and nationalities, but in the video triptych HUB we find ourselves in the border district. Barbed wire disturbs the immediate idyll, and a minor army of uniform figures dressed in white shirts and black trousers move slowly and at times cultic around in the bare landscape on both sides of the barbed wire.

 

The diptych Front to back/back to front shows two times two headless figures assume various positions on the walls of the gallery. Like in HUBthey are dressed as if in uniform. We are not talking about people but headless mannequins. The body is accentuated and the focus is on physics and functionality rather than individuality and mental activity.

 

Ambiguity is central in the works in the exhibition. We find ourselves in a border district and at times even in nothingness – that is ‘the non-place’ as it is known from Marc Augé and partly Thomas Moore’s Utopia. The Utopia is at once the perfect society and a ‘non-place’ in the shape of an unattainable ideal. As Foucault wrote "a fundamentally unreal space".  Are we in Goldbach’s universe on the border between the good and perfect utopian world and its counter image the evil and impoverished dystopian world?

 

In the video Prologue we are immediately drawn by the beautiful blue summer sky, but the dream scenario is quickly disturbed by the interference of a vast number of airplanes that drag distinct trails on the sky. The massive number of airplanes is alarming, since it is unclear if there are peaceful intentions behind their intrusion in the air space. The patterns on the sky can also point towards another alarming factor, as they can be seen as the scars inflicted on nature by our globalized world.

 

Goldbach questions man’s conditions of life in a globalised, protectionistic, and market orientated world. Does it have room for the individual? The airplanes signal movement, but is this option only granted to a part of the world’s population? And who is guarding the borders?