Sidsel Christensen, Leif Elggren and Thomas Liljenberg, Kimmo Modig, nova Milne, Lea Porsager, Robert Steijn, The Telepathy Project

Exhibition curated by insitu collective
(Marie Graftieaux, Nora Mayr, Lauren Reid)

13 - 28 June 2014
insitu, Berlin

extrasensory bonds (installation view) 2014. Photo: insitu
For extrasensory bonds insitu collective invites seven international artists to present their investigations into extraordinary forms of communication such as channeling a higher power, reaching out to one’s own past- or future-self or understanding the world through their dreams. By adapting methods such as hypnosis, telepathy, dream analysis or card-reading, the artists all open a door to intangible forces, some with a quite humorous approach.

Through this exhibition, insitu collective intends to explore not only alternative forms of communication, but also to discuss the human need behind it – the desire to connect with something beyond our understanding, and belief in indefinable powers, however differently they might be imagined. In that sense the exhibition is designed as a laboratory space for visitors to experience unusual connections themselves. The audience is welcome to try out self-hypnosis, artistic healing methods or register for a fortune telling session to discover their own extrasensory bonds.

Sidsel Christensen Study for Composition I (install view) 2009. 2-channel projection, duration 20’00”. Courtesy the artist. Photo: insitu

Sidsel Christensen

In 2009, Sidsel Christensen underwent hypnosis for Study for Composition I in which she found herself the leader of a Greek cult from 2000 ago that is on the precipice of collapse. Through the use of abstract geometric forms, the work draws a potential parallel between transformative spirituality and early modernist abstract practice in fine art.

Leif Elggren and Thomas Liljenberg Experiment with Dreams (install view) Firework Edition 1996. Letters A4 and book. Courtesy the artists. Photo: insitu

Leif Elggren and Thomas Liljenberg

In their book Experiment with Dreams (1996), Leif Elggren and Thomas Liljenberg have gathered over 200 letters written to the most powerful and famous persons and institutions all over the world that they have dreamt about. In the letters, they accuse them of stealing ideas from the artists’ unconscious and therefore ask for monetary compensation.

Robert Steijn body double/animal speech (install view) 2014. Drawing on paper A3, audio file, magnifying glass. Courtesy the artist. Photo: insitu

Robert Steijn

Throughout his practice, Robert Steijn generates collaborations and exchanges with various communities to celebrate ritual. For extrasensory bonds, the choreographer and dancer presents a handwritten drawing titled body double/animal speech  (2014), whose reading is meant for a self-hypnosis session. Invited to sit down in a dedicated quiet room, the audience follows the meandering tiny writing with the help of a magnifying glass and audio of the artist himself reading those lines. The experience invokes meditation and introspection.

nova Milne Videodromes For The Alone: Love Cats 1991/2007. Video, duration 2’17’’. Courtesy the artists

nova Milne

In Videodromes For The Alone: Love Cats  (1991/2007) by the husband and wife duo nova Milne, we see the artist, Stephanie in her youth in 1991, performing a choreographed dance routine to The Cure’s Love Cats. She is joined alongside 2007’s Richard, her future lover and collaborator, seemingly as if they have been embedded in each other’s lives all along.

Kimmo Modig On reading (install view) 2014. Letter to visitors on A4 paper. Courtesy the artist. Photo: insitu

Kimmo Modig Reading with You (performance view) 2014. Photo: insitu

Kimmo Modig

In the very personal letter On reading  (2014) Kimmo Modig tells us about his practice of card reading and how this might be related to art. Modig writes that card reading can put us in unexpected situations and that it makes him and his opposite maybe even feel or say something real. “Making art is the same as fortune-telling. It’s me wanting us to believe. Or you wanting me to be right.” On the 28th of June 2014, Modig performed Reading with you via skype at insitu a fortune-telling session for visitors.

Lea Porsager Schizometrical Objectification (install view) 2012-2013. Video, duration 4’44’’ and schizometrical objects, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist. Photo: insitu

Lea Porsager

Known for referencing a broad range of occult theories, sciences and pseudo-sciences of the body and mind, Lea Porsager investigates  multiple ideas of the power of things in her work Schizometrical Objectification (2012-2013). For this piece, Porsager offers with “serious irony” prototypes to stir up zest on a cellular level and invites the audience to begin self-healing processes. With one hand on the metal plate and the other holding the absurd objects to the affected body part, the healing is initiated.

The Telepathy Project Dreaming the Collection (install view) 2012. Video, duration 32’29’’, and colour prints A4. Commissioned by The National Gallery of Victoria, Australia. Courtesy the artists. Photo: insitu

The Telepathy Project

Dreaming the Collection (2012)  by The Telepathy Project (artist duo of Veronica Kent and Sean Peoples) draws from the ideas of Democritus, an ancient Greek philosopher who hypothesised that images emanated from material objects which could enter the pores of the sleeping person and directly influence their dreams. The artists slept on reproductions of paintings of sleeping figures to divine what the sleepers were in turn dreaming about. Guest performers then recreated these dreams through scripts and songs. For the installation, visitors are welcome to take away copies of the paintings to discover the figures’ dreams for themselves.