About Face

Niklas Goldbach’s video installation, On Spirals, is a re-interpretation of one of the icons of early film installations by Dan Graham. Filmed on an empty lot somewhere in New York City in 1970, “Two Correlated Rotations” was produced by Graham and one of his assistants. Each equipped with a Super 8 film-camera the two men span around each other in circles filming their respective partner. The piece was to be presented as a double screening in which each film showed the making of the other. While Graham’s work dealt with the relation between the human body in general, the space and its limits, Goldbach’s interpretation questions the autonomy of the art work and the role of the artist. It is less the body than the ego of the artist which occupies the center of Goldbach’s new production as through digital manipulation it seems as if the artist is filming himself, spinning in endless circles around himself and trying to catch his own features and secrets. But it is not only the protagonist that has changed. Graham recorded his performance on an urban demolition site in New York; Goldbach chose one of Berlin’s most affluent areas, and a building that, like no other, reveals the junction between art and the financial market: the Deutsche (Bank)–Guggenheim building on Unter den Linden. The yard where Goldbach’s performance takes place was recently covered with a glass roof and presents in its typical glass and steel architecture, a corporate style that ostentatiously shows off a cool presumption pretending that there is nothing precarious.