15 seconds

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15 seconds (2009) Sammlerfamilie, Galerie M, Berlin

link to the video

In the shopping area of Berlin Marzahn, a space similar to a car shop. A huge space, with wide bright windows, and in the center of it one car. What looked like an almost sold out car shop was actually the “Gallery M”. An unusual look for the gallery, and also not a usual look for the car shop. A new black car was placed in the center of the white gallery, without signs. There was a black liquid underneath and around the car. It was uncertain if the liquid came from the car or was already there before. The public was interested, looking around and trying to get an answer. People where walking around and trying keep their shoes clean from the black liquid. The complete picture and the atmosphere in the gallery seemed very peaceful.

At one moment everybody was asked to leave the gallery. The front door got locked. The gallery was empty, except for the car. After some moments, a tall man, in a black suit with a white mask over the head, like a Formula1 driver, entered the gallery from the back door. The car was chained to a column. This column was one of the constructive columns of the 18-story building.

A mummified man enters the car. He sat inside, turned the key and stepped on the gas. The man tried with the whole power of the engine to move the car forward fast. The car was almost jumping in all directions. It squirt from all sides, the walls got wet and black from the liquid. It screeched, hummed and rattled – everything was happening very quickly. The public couldn’t understand if the car wanted to pollute the room as much as possible, to get free, or try to destroy the column and thus maybe destroy the whole building. The expressive walls of the gallery covered in black paint gave the impression of a battle. It was a kind of concert, fight, dance, painting and act all in one.

Everything lasted only several seconds, but the results where very noticeable. After a short time the car stopped. The man came out calm and clean, slowly from the car and left the gallery through the same door he came in.

What actually happened? What was the goal of this action? Was that a fight between the human-machine against the architecture or was it a human trying to destroy his own achievements? Was this destruction or creation? A modern corrida, a butcher or the decadence of society? Was it an attempt of the human to destroy himself or evolutionary behavior?


Karin Scheel, Curator  Galerie M:

”Immediately, the same night after the action in the gallery, early in the morning I was awakened by the call of security people. They were calling me to go to the gallery, because an act of vandalism happened there. As I arrived, I realized that actually it was not an act of vandalism, but the remnants of last night’s action.”

“During the two months that the “exhibition” lasted, the public could see what was left of this action. Over time the liquid that was spread all over the walls of the gallery began to dry, and it started to build a structural sculpture surface similar to the desert.”














15 seconds (2009) Sammlerfamilie, view Galerie M, Berlin












15 seconds (2009) Detail,  Sammlerfamilie, Galerie M, Berlin












15 seconds (2009) Picture of the Invitation,  Sammlerfamilie