12 x 3 meter print, car, audio collage
Commissioned by NEON festival Dundee.
8k, Aram Bartholl’s newly commissioned installation for NEoN, features a panoramic view of Sin City from Grand Theft Auto 5. The scene is a screenshot presented as a twelve-metre long print. A car parked in front of the billboard beckons visitors to take a seat and enjoy the view of the vast digital cityscape while listening to an audio collage of YouTubers playing the game.
Grand Theft Auto is an open-world, action-adventure video game series published by Rockstar Games. The title of the series makes reference to legal terminology for motor vehicle theft in the USA. The series has its origins in Dundee where it was first developed by Rockstar North (formerly DMA Designs) in 1997. The third chronological title, Grand Theft Auto III, released in 2001, was widely acclaimed for bringing the series to a 3D setting and offering a more immersive experience. The series has garnered controversy for its adult nature and violent themes.
The vast, open world of GTA 5 offers total free interaction for the player, like a huge playground with no moral boundaries. As a result, players tend to test the limits of what is possible in the game. YouTube hosts a massive collection of GTA 5 videos in which players frequently, hysterically, ‘go nuts.’ The ‘City of Sin’ in GTA 5 serves as a metaphorical excess flow valve, a projection plane and a mirror of today’s society, which has become increasingly regulated and controlled.
NEoN (North East of North)
all pictures on flickr
Ihr Paket ist abholbereit
On the occasion of its 30th anniversary, the Kunsthalle Osnabrück is showing Aram Bartholl’s most comprehensive solo exhibition to date. Aram Bartholl is one of the pioneers in Germany who deals with socially relevant conflicts of digitality and automation through art. Originally coming from the field of architecture, he uses his performative interventions, sculptures and workshops to question our current media behaviour as well as the public economies that are linked to social networks, online platforms or digital distribution strategies. He puts socially relevant topics such as surveillance, data security or dependency on technology up for discussion by transferring the gaps, contradictions or absurdities of our digital everyday life into spatial settings.
For the Kunsthalle Osnabrück, Aram Bartholl transformed the Kunsthalle´s church space into a walk-in recycling yard for electronic waste. The scenery is illuminated by three sculptures hanging from the ceiling, reminiscent of chandeliers that are made from recycled televisions. The result is a sensual as well as functional installation of complementary exhibition parts that invite us to reflect on the cycles, consequences and future perspectives of our daily consumption of media and goods. The walk-through parcours made of piled up electronic waste makes the amount of recycled material of our belongings visible and creates a unique environment for a diverse art mediation programme including workshops, plena by local climate activists, repair cafés, excursions, lectures and film screenings. Oversized QR codes on the church walls frame the setting and raise critical questions about our handling of energy resources, raw materials and labour rights in the digital society. Opposing the electronic waste, the exhibition contains a 30-metre-long DHL Packstation, which is put into operation during the exhibition period. Osnabrück citizens and visitors are able to pick up their parcels at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück and drop them off in the respective lockers.
Curators: Anna Jehle and Juliane Schickedanz
Curators public programme: Louisa Behr, Joscha Heinrichs, Anna Holms and Christel Schulte.
Funded by the Stiftung Niedersachsen (Foundation of Lower Saxony) and the Niedersächsische Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur (Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture). The VGH Stiftung (VGH Foundation) is funding the accompanying exhibition’s art mediation programme. With the kind support of Deutsche Post AG, Lerec Elektrorecycling GmbH and Osnabrücker ServiceBetrieb.
Curated by: Anna Jehle, Juliane Schickedanz (duo team, directors of Kunsthalle)
Curatorial assistance: Anna Holms
Public Programming: Aram Bartholl, Louisa Behr, Joscha Heinrichs, Anna Holms, Christel Schulte
Installation team: Norbert Hillebrand, Timo Katz, Andreas Zelle
Exhibition office: Natali Märtin
Visitor service: Frank Berger, Ulla Brinkmann, Harcharan Gill, Sina Lichtenberg, Kaan Ege Önal, Josef Wegmann
Finances: Viktoria Puskar
Janitor: Wilfried Wienstroer
Janitorial assistance: Frank Berger
PR: Kristina Helena Pavićević
Art mediation and education: Christel Schulte