BIP 2010 – Out of Control, Berlin

BIP 2010 – Equilibrium and Accident

Next stop on the line for my review of BIP2010, the 7th International Biennial of photography and Visual Arts in Liège, is the arresting Grand Curtius Museum where the exhibition Out of Control, Berlin takes place.


Overseen by two Berlin curators Dr. Matthias Harder (Helmut Newton Stifftung) and Félix Hoffmann (C/O Berlin), this exhibition is small, impeccably curated and it is also the one that follows most punctiliously the main theme of the exhibition: control and its antithesis.

In his Sie und Wir photo series, Ulrich Gebert follows special law enforcement troops of the German police during their training exercises. The buildings where they shoot, jump and hide are fake, their interior is a total wreck that the photographer has also documented in another series called Bloody Mess.

4400048887_5c2b2040e6_o.jpgUlrich Gebert, from the series Sie & Wir, 2005-2006. Courtesy by KLEMM’S (Berlin) and Ulrich Gebert

UG_Sie_Wir-2.jpgUlrich Gebert, from the series Sie und Wir, 2006

0aabloodynmess.jpgUlrich Gebert, 2005, Bloody Mess #1

UG_Bloody_Mess2_02.jpgUlrich Gebert, Bloody Mess #2, 2005

Ricarda Roggan ‘s Garage is are nocturnal ‘still-life’ depicting cars which have ‘escaped’ from the control of their driver. Under the harsh light and half hidden by a cloak, the vehicles appear to be wounded victims rather than just wrecked cars.

4400049541_bcd690a3fb_o.jpgRicarda Roggan, Garage 9, 2008. Courtesy Galerie Eigen + ART (Leipzig/Berlin) © SABAM Belgium 2009

rroggan_garage_12.jpgRicarda Roggan, Garage 12, 2008. Courtesy Galerie Eigen + ART (Leipzig/Berlin)

Murder Weapons… The tile of Simon Menner‘s photo series says it all. The photographer managed to convince the Berlin Police Department to give him access to weapons that have been used to murder people.

4400049109_9fbffd67de_o.jpgSimon Menner, Revolver, from the series Murder Weapons, 2009. Courtesy Simon Menner

0aascissoosmenner.jpgSimon Menner, Scissors, from the series Murder Weapons, 2009

In his series City TV, Frank Thiel exposes 101 photos of surveillance cameras in public space. The close-up abstracts these inconspicuous devices from their context which has the effect of conveying the idea that video control is almighty and ubiquitous.

4400050281_45f44c1864_o.jpgFrank Thiel, Untitled (City TV [Berlin]#104/12), 1997-1999. Courtesy Frank Thiel and Gallery Krinzinger (Vienna)

In her series Suspicious Minds, Viktoria Binschtok turned the spotlight on the unconspicuous bodyguards that stand at the periphery of statesmen in public venues. She extracted these men from their original context, mostly press pictures. The men they are paid to protect might all be different but these body guards adopt similar posture, they have the same intense look on their face and they are all dressed to blend in the background.

VB_SM_body78_03.jpgViktoria Binschtok, Body 78, from the series “Suspicious Minds”, 2009. © Viktoria Binschtok

4341033575_39923c5073_o.jpgViktoria Binschtok, from the series “Suspicious Minds”, 2009. © Viktoria Binschtok

Tobias Zielony has long been portraying young people living at the margin of society, out of its control and rules. Many of the young men in the series Big Sexyland earn their living as male prostitutes. Zielony found them in a porno cinema and its adjoining park in Berlin. Shot with artificial or infrared lighting, the photographs concentrate on the gestures and poses of young men. Avoiding any form of judgment, the images depict them killing time between action: smoking, sleeping, or simply loitering.

4400050389_7933b44cc9_o.jpgTobias Zielony, Park, a.d.s., 2005, from the series Big Sexyland. Courtesy Tobias Zielony

TOZI-020-01.jpgTobias Zielony, Maik + Rico, 2006, from the series: ‘Big Sexyland’

I’m not entirely sure to understand why Thorsten Brinkmann is part of this selection of photographers but that doesn’t matter so much, i’m always glad to see his work hanging on a wall:

4400049387_cf648c6d35_o.jpgThorsten Brinkmann, Monte Del Snow, 2007. Courtesy KUNSTAGENTEN (Berlin)

18thoroosotum.jpgThorsten Brinkmann, Lady Glittersky, 2009

BIP2010, the 7th International Biennial of photography and Visual Arts in Liège, is open until April 25, 2010.

Previous posts about Viktoria Binschtok’s work: One bear, one elephant, and three people on the phone. About Thorsten Brinkmann’s: Self-portraits with stuff.