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Exhibition by the artist group FORT opens at the kestnergesellschaft in Hannover
FORT Leck, 2012. Installation view. Courtesy FORT and Galerie Crone, Berlin Photo: Marcus Schneider.

HANNOVER.- This spring the kestnergesellschaft will present an exhibition by the artist group FORT. The collective FORT moves like a seismograph through our everyday world and traces social, political, and economic events and developments. The appropriation, transformation, and staging of places that they find or create themselves are central to their artistic practice.

Their detailed spatial arrangements are often created in connection with performative interventions. They are like stages or experiments with which the artists reveal and reinterpret the mechanisms of our consumer society and the art market. In their interventions, performances, and installations, the artists react to existing structures and relationships, while at the same adding peculiar elements to found situations and playing with our perception of the supposedly familiar.

The kestnergesellschaft will present the large-scale installation Leck (2012), which will be shown for the first time in a museum setting. In Leck , the artists have transferred the entire interior of a former Schlecker drugstore into an exhibition space at the kestnergesellschaft. This transplantation to a new location provokes an unfamiliar view of the aesthetics of the typical drugstore. By focusing on the grotesque aspect of the empty shelves and aisles, they not only address the downfall of Schlecker—one of the largest bankruptcies in post-war Germany—but also the related issue of the precarious working conditions of the company’s employees. With their video work T h e C allin g (2014), the artists continue their engagement with the demands and contradictions of today’s information society, in which performance is paramount. The video takes place at a call center, a workplace whose atmosphere is dominated by hectic activity, sensory overload, and pressure to perform. However, FORT present the call center not as a place of uninterrupted service and communication, and instead show employees who have fallen into a deep sleep at their desks. The motif of sleep becomes an ambivalent element of temporary withdrawal and resistance.

FORT consists of Alberta Niemann (*1982 in Bremen) and Jenny Kropp (*1978 in Frankfurt am Main). Since 2008, they have created installations, performances, and video installations (until 2013 with Anna Jandt, *1980 in Bremen). Their works have been shown at the Kunsthaus Dresden (2013), the Neues Museum Weserburg in Bremen (2009), and the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin (2008). They have participated in group exhibitions at the Bundeskunsthalle Bonn ( Andere Räume, 2012) and the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin ( One on One , 2012).

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