We Did It / Disputed Territory - Hili Perlson

In his first solo exhibition in Berlin, Belgian artist van Wolputte fuses guerilla art in public spaces with the more viewer friendly art-dedicated exhibition space. Entitled “We Did It / Disputed Territory,” the show divides the gallery space into two levels. The upper level has been sealed off with a sheetrock wall, giving it the air of an abandoned and neglected space.

It is dirty, cold, and the power has been long cut off. In order to reach the gallery’s lower level, viewers must walk through this ante-chamber that looks more like a construction site than an exhibition space. The door and parts of the walls are covered with large sheets of black plastic, cut out from industrial garbage bags and sprayed on with construction waste and dust. The only source of light in this derelict cavity comes from a literal hole in the wall. Through the hole, one can see the galley’s lower level and leap, like a curious Alice in Wonderland, into a different realm – a clean, white and welcoming exhibition space.

However, the artworks on view here share the same guerilla aesthetic. They are rigid, deliberately dirty and low-budget. The images are made of Xeroxed copies pasted together to complete pictures which document the process of appropriating the gallery space. The main image is a shot of the short-lived “exhibition poster” – a site specific piece hung at the very public space of Schlesisches Tor Station, just across the street from Chert. The sign bears the exhibition title alongside with the gallery’s geographic coordinates. It is an abstract object, unrevealing and uninformative, that is, unless one was to enter the coordinates into a portable navigation device or look up the show’s title on the internet. And so, whether intentionally or not, the temporary public piece (it was removed after only one day) also explores the meaning of public and private in the age of digital information

Hili Perlson