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Noa Heyne and John von Bergen - Sculpture/Installation

Urban planning and architecture have always been steadfast witnesses to the social and political constitution of societies. But what happens when this architecture is decontextualised or fragmented?

Veranstaltungen in Berlin: Replace the Space
© Noa Heyne

When architectural elements are reinterpreted and used as symbols and carriers of the meaning of a building's function? Noa Heyne and John von Bergen devote their works to this new, different use of space and spatial experience. In their works, they take fragments of architecture or objects of everyday use and suspend their strict principles and categories of interpretation. Their work is thus, as it were, a call to rhapsody, to disobedience of thought in relation to urban, architectural space.

This claim to rethink, reinterpret and re-experience space and architecture appears in a completely new, historically charged light in view of the construction history of the host exhibition space - today's Kommunale Galerie Berlin. After coming to power, the National Socialists broke up the free trade unions in May 1933 and founded the "German Labour Front", in which employees and employers were henceforth centrally registered. As one of the most influential and powerful organisations in the Third Reich, it determined all labour and social law issues within the framework of Nazi ideology. Heavily destroyed during the war, the building was rebuilt after 1945, but was given a completely new façade design that today barely hints at the institution's original use. Only fragments of the architecture remain today and bear silent witness to the history of the perpetrators, hidden behind a new façade. Repurposing, reinterpreting and - sometimes playfully - recontextualising architecture is the guiding theme of the exhibition Replace the Space with works by Noa Heyne and John von Bergen. In his works, John von Bergen makes objects disappear behind the wall paint or lets them grow out of the wall. In this way, he generates the impression of something hidden, something that can no longer be identified. Noa Heyne, on the other hand, breaks the floor or wall into individual parts, ties them like marionettes to hand holders and strings and allows visitors to playfully dissolve supposedly fixed structures.

Opening: Tuesday, 3 May 2022, 6 p.m.
Heike Schmitt-Schmelz, City Councillor for Culture
Elke von der Lieth, Communal Gallery Berlin
Dr. Dorothea Schöne, Kunsthaus Dahlem