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KINDL opens major survey exhibition on the work of Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs
Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs: Defying Gravity. Exhibition at KINDL’s Power House (installation view first floor, M1), 25.3.–15.7.2018 © Jens Ziehe, 2018.

BERLIN.- Defying Gravity, the major survey exhibition on the work of Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs, features entirely new works as well as their most important series of works from the past ten years. Two floors of the KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art present the full range of the artists’ work: film, photography, sculpture, and installation offer an impressive demonstration of how Onorato and Krebs examine and expand common notions of the documentary.

More than ten film projections in the clearly structured rooms of the first floor reveal references that are echoed on the luminous second floor with works of photography and a group of entirely new sculptures. The exhibition highlights two central groups of works: The Great Unreal (2005–2009) and Continental Drift (2013–2016).

The extensive series of photographs The Great Unreal was created during a road trip through the United States—and thus in a context that is strongly defined by Hollywood and ubiquitous images of the American dream. Onorato and Krebs continually countered clichéd ideas of mystical American landscapes with surprising and surreal alterations.

For Continental Drift (2013–2016), the duo once again embarked on journeys, this time in the opposite direction: instead of traveling to the west, they went east. On the way to Mongolia they drove through areas for which barely any clichés exist, including Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. On a total of four trips by car to Ulan Bator they recorded their journey in analogue photographs and 16mm films. The juxtaposition of chance sights and deliberate constructions demonstrates that to Onorato and Krebs the idea of a thing is just as important as its reality.

In Berlin, where the two artists have maintained a studio for many years, Onorato and Krebs realised the series Building Berlin/Constructions (2009–2012), in which wooden scaffoldings built on empty plots of land echo the silhouettes of the buildings behind them and connect them illusionistically in the medium of photography. Since very few such areas exist in this form today in Berlin, the pictures themselves have now become documents of contemporary history.

Taiyo Onorato (*1979 in Zurich) and Nico Krebs (*1979 in Winterthur) studied together at the Zurich University of the Arts. Since 2003 they have worked together as an artist duo. Their work has been shown internationally in many galleries and institutions, among them MoMa PS1 (New York), Kunsthalle Mainz, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Foam (Amsterdam), and the Contemporary Arts Center (Cincinnati). The exhibition at the KINDL is their first institutional show in Berlin. They live and work between Bovec (Slovenia), Vyhne (Slovakia) and Berlin.

The exhibition is curated by Andreas Fiedler.

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