Europe

Nina Könnemann
What’s new

For many years, Nina Könnemann has placed a camera before a billboard situated in the suburb Neukoln in Berlin. The silent film that exposes the both banal and paradoxical passages of time and space of the passers by highlights the transformation of public space. The surface of exhibition—the billboard—becomes a wall behind which the fascination of the artwork concentrates. The video shows individuals going behind the billboard to urinate, take drugs, meet—masked behaviors behind the object intended for observation, the billboard. The audience does not explicitly see what is happening behind the billboard, only the before and after. The public space is transformed into an intimate place that the artist does not try to reveal, thus increasing the fantasy about the possible: simple urinal, place of dealings, and places of exchanges, meetings. The apparent neutrality of the objective makes it possible to relate different spheres: those of the visible and the invisible, the real and the fantasies, the intimate and the public, the objective object and its subjective representation. By a mirror parallel to the presentation of “What’s New”, the projection screen in the exhibition space doubles as a figure of the billboard in the public space.

Nina Könnemann (b. 1971, Bonn, Germany) is a contemporary video artist. Since the 2000s, she has developed her video practice alongside installations and sculpture. The camera of Nina Könnemann borrows from realistic cinema and structural materialism. Located at the crossroads of Vertov's "Cinema-Eye"—which records a reality that the habit would prevent from seeing—and Anglo-Saxon experimental cinema, such that of Hollis Frampton and Michael Snow, where the consciousness of the medium is omnipresent, Könnemann closely examines marginal spaces, human behavior and subcultures. As an observer of public spaces, Könnemann documents in detail how social relations produced by social conditioning are manifested in the form of micro-interactions.