Annika Kahrs

Annika Kahrs, NO LONGER NOT YET, 2019, Video- and sound installation, 2K, color, sound (17:23 min.)
 from Produzentengalerie Hamburg on Vimeo.

Sound as a means of communication often forms the focus of Annika Kahrs’ (*1984) performative installations – whether instrumental or vocal, between humans and animals, between actors on a stage, or between actors and their audience. Kahrs arranges many of her performances, films, photographic series and installations as playful experiments in which the protagonists must constantly renegotiate their positions relative to each other within a range of possible variations. Conventional ways of communicating, reception habits and behavioural patterns are disrupted and must be re-sought. In the discontinuities, shifts and misunderstandings that arise, the artist explores the interaction between fiction and reality, expectation and fulfilment, routine and failure, scientific research and social movements. 

The six small-format screens NO LONGER NOT YET, shown in the current exhibition, were created in 2019 to accompany the 8-channel video and sound work of the same name. Each also monochromatic, they document the filming of the individual scenes from different perspectives. With this installation Kahrs considers the occurrence of a condition that is both in the past and on the verge of being manifested – a liminal state, a threshold situation, in which a no-longer prevalent order is juxtaposed against a yet-to-be established system. Projected directly on to the exhibition wall, Annika Kahrs’ new work resembles a frieze, over 12 metres long. The video loop consists of eight scenes, running in parallel and simultaneously intersecting, each bathed in a different coloured spotlight, and showing the actions of 14 youthful protagonists. The composition is defined by pairs of scenes directly combined or played simultaneously so that they crossfade in the middle. With gestural brushstrokes, the actors write words in black paint on a wall, only to subsequently paint over them with white paint, and then repeat the process in each resulting context. During this process of construction and deconstruction, text becomes form and language becomes image. By means of constant renewal, a new text-image and hence a potentially new language is formulated. Accompanying the pictorial scenes, repeated approximately every 4 minutes, sound is played. It echoes the rhythm of the pictorial repetition and travels across the space during the projection’s running time of 17 minutes and 23 seconds via four pairs of speakers. The sound and text are taken from the 1965 song My Generation by the British rock band The Who, which is not, however, played in its original form. A musical icon of the 1960s’ youth rebellion, the song deals with the adolescent search for a place in society. To young people today, it might seem outdated. The young people in the video use fragments of the lyrics as a basis for formulating their own song-text (visualized in their painting). The acoustic level of the work presents the song in a processed version that is simultaneously slowed down and speeded up in the crossfaded scenes. Some of the youngsters personally intervene in the song’s structure by means of a DJ CDJ player and later using treble- and bass controls. The resulting sound in each case was recorded and used as a basis for successive scenes going by the same procedure. In parallel to the progressive pictorial disintegration manifested in the text fragments, the sound becomes distinctly distorted as the song is decelerated and accelerated. In the end, a besmeared wall can be seen, and a vaguely meandering sound heard. By this aesthetic strategy of repetition and transformation, and by means of a formal arc of suspense created by 15 coloured segments resembling fluid, transitory phases, Annika Kahrs diametrically contrasts the legacy of past generations with today’s young generation.

Works by the Villa Aurora fellowship holder (2020/2021) have so far been presented both nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions, including the Bienal Internacional de Curitiba (BR), Flat Time House, London (UK);  Centre Photographique Marseille (FR), Hamburger Kunsthalle, Kasseler Kunstverein, Museum Weserburg, Bremen;  Kestner Gesellschaft, Hanover and  KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, as well as SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin.

Annika Kahrs, NO LONGER 
 NOT YET, 2019, Eight 2K videos, colour, no sound (1–3 minutes each)

For more information about the artist, please contact the gallery or click here