Planned City Cinema at Simian / Copenhagen

Planned City Cinema with Union Gaucha Productions, Karimah Ashadu Dora Budor & Noah Barker, Harun Farocki, Pilvi Takala

curated by Elisa R. Linn & Lennart Wolff

May 19 – 9 July, 2023

Kay Fiskers Pl. 17
Copenhagen, Denmark

Photos by GRAYSC. Courtesy of the artists and Simian.

Simian’s second exhibition space is converted into a temporary cinema. The video and film program titled Planned City Cinema expands on Irma Hünerfauth’s experimentations with sound, image, and movement and her interest in the interplay between natural and social systems in art and society at large vis-à-vis the dominant paradigm of extractive development. Works by Union Gaucha Productions, Karimah Ashadu, Noah Barker & Dora Budor, Harun Farocki, and Pilvi Takala document, dissect, and scrutinize the production, maintenance, and medialization of the built environment and the ideologies, economies, and power relations it materializes. Thereby, they prompt a reflection on Simian’s urban surroundings in the “new town” Ørestad as well. 

Planned City Cinema is accompanied by a talk with the curators of the exhibition, Elisa R. Linn and Lennart Wolff, a screening of a film by Black Audio Film Collective as well as a talk with Reinhold Martin. 

Union Gaucha Productions (UGP) was founded in New York in 1997 by artists Karin Schneider (*1970 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Nicolás Guagnini (*1966 in Buenos Aires, Argentina), and was active until 2010. Distinct from Schneider and Guagnini’s individual practices, under the guise of a “film production company” they produced a diverse body of works, often collaborating with other artists, architects, musicians, performers, filmmakers and thinkers. Both Schneider and Guagnini moved to New York in the late 1990s, and the works produced under the moniker UGP map the artists’ experiences of migration from South America to the US at the cusp of the millennium. Their films and videos bear heterogeneous influences, including those of political and artistic avant-gardes from Brazil and Argentina as well as American experimental cinema. Approaching the documentary tradition, the works of UGP sometimes depict particular individuals, as well as objects. But against the backdrop of the homogenizing processes of multiculturalism, which sought to re- inscribe differences as stable identities, they unfix subject and object as they manipulate, perform, and model them. Deploying the “machine” of film alongside and against the “machine” of art history, they privilege a mutual activation (in Ambasz’s words, “an ensemble of inter-related processes”), demarcating an “infra-life” between gestures, images and forms of exchange: a fluid territory where identities, friendships, and ideological affinities are always in flux.

Karimah Ashadu (*1985 in London, UK) is a British-born Nigerian Artist living and working between Hamburg and Lagos. She has studied at institutes such as De Ateliers, Amsterdam and Chelsea College of Art and Design, London. Ashadu’s practice is concerned with labour, patriarchy and notions of independence pertaining to the socio-economic and socio-cultural context of Nigeria and West Africa. Recent works include Cowboy (2022)—a video installation which deftly and poetically relates to aspects of colonial structures and black history, while captivating the viewer with its beauty and sensuality. Other works such as Plateau (2021-2022) explore tin-mining in Nigeria’s Jos Plateau state. Ashadu is currently completing the screenplay for her first feature film Salt Mine, set in Dakar. Her films have been exhibited and screened at institutions internationally, including Kunsthalle Bremen; Tate, London; Secession, Vienna; Kunstverein in Hamburg; South London Gallery, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève. Her work is part of public collections such as MoMA and the Federal Collection of Contemporary Art, Germany. In 2020, Ashadu established her film production company Golddust by Ashadu, specializing in artists’ films on black culture and African discourses. She was named Abigail R. Cohen 2021 Fellow at the Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination, Paris.

Noah Barker (*1991 in California) is an artist based in New York. Recent exhibitions include Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Albisola (2023), The Wig, Berlin (2023), Halle für Kunst Steiermark, Graz (2023), Capitain Petzel, Berlin (2022), Fluentum, Berlin (2022), Progetto, Lecce (2021), MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome (2021), Alienze, Vienna (2021), Löwengasse, Cologne (2021), Air de Paris, Paris (2019), Fanta- MLN, Milan, (2019), and Lodos, Mexico City, MX (2019).

Dora Budor (*1984 in Croatia) is a New York-based artist and writer. Her recent solo exhibitions include Galerie Molitor, Berlin (2023), Kunsthaus Bregenz (2022), GAMeC, Bergamo (2022), Progetto,Lecce (2021), Kunsthalle Basel (2019), 80WSE,
New York (2018), and Swiss Institute, New York (2015). Her work has been presented in numerous group exhibitions including 59th Venice Biennale (2022), CAPC Musée d’art Contemporain de Bordeaux (2023), Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2022), Tabakalera, San Sebastián (2022), 58th October Salon I Belgrade Biennale (2021), Tbilisi Biennale 2021 (2021), Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome (2021), Migros Museum, Zürich (2021), Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin (2021), Kunstmuseum Winterthur (2021), 2nd Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (2020), Geneva Sculpture Biennale (2020), MoMA Warsaw (2020), MO.CO Panacée, Montpellier (2020; 2018), 16th Istanbul Biennial (2019), Kunstverein Nürnberg (2019), 13th Baltic Triennial (2018), Kunsthalle Biel (2018), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk(2017), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2017), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2016). Budor was a recipient of Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts in 2019, Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant in 2018, and the Rema Hort Mann Foundation’s Emerging Artist Prize in 2014.

Harun Farocki‘s (1944 in today’s Czech Republic – 2014 in Germany) over 120 films address practices of labor and the production of images – analyzing the power of the image in remarkable and prescient ways. His work demonstrates the powerful role of visual media in shaping our understanding of ourselves and others, as well as the social and political systems that send images into the world. Solo exhibitions of Harun Farocki’s work have been staged at Tate Modern, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; National Museum of Modern Contemporary Art, Seoul; among others. 

Pilvi Takala’s (*1981 in Helsinki, Finland) video works are based on performative interventions in which she researches specific communities in order to process social structures and question the normative rules and truths of our behaviour in different contexts. Her works show that it is often possible to learn about the implicit rules of a social situation simply through its disruption. Takala represented Finland at the 59th Venice Biennial 2022. Her work has also been shown at Mediacity Biennale, Seoul (2021), Moscow Museum of Modern Art (2021), Künstlerhaus Bremen (2019), Kiasma Museum of Contemporary
Art, Helsinki (2018), CCA Glasgow (2016), Manifesta 11, Zurich (2016), Centre Pompidou, Paris (2015), MoMA PS1, New York (2014), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013), New Museum, NYC (2012), Kunsthalle Basel (2011), Witte de With, Rotterdam (2010) and 9th Istanbul Biennial (2005).Takala won the Dutch Prix de Rome in 2011, the Emdash Award in 2013, and the Finnish State Prize for Visual Arts in 2013. The artist divides her time between Berlin and Helsinki. 

Elisa R. Linn is a writer, curator, and educator based in Berlin. She is the co-director of the Halle für Kunst Lüneburg, and teaches at Leuphana University. Linn is a graduate of the Whitney Independent Study Curatorial Program and pursuing a PhD in Philosophy under the supervision of Marina Gržinić at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Her writing appears in publications and magazines such as Starship, artforum, Texte zur Kunst, BOMB, Jacobin, and the Journal for the History of Knowledge, among others. 

Lennart Wolff is an architect, curator, and educator based in Berlin and a graduate of the Architectural Association, London. His work encompasses curated exhibitions, public art projects, architecture commissions, and exhibition architectures, such as recently for a show by LaToya Ruby Frazier at Kunstverein Hamburg. With Klaus Platzgummer, he co-directs the AA Visiting School Zurich “Exhibiting Architecture,” which since 2021 has been hosted by Kunsthalle Zurich.

Since 2012, Linn and Wolff have run the curatorial and artistic project km temporaer. Recent exhibitions, performances, film screenings, and lectures have taken place at Petzel Gallery and Maxwell Graham Gallery, New York (2023), Architecture Museum at the Technical University of Berlin (2022), Barnard College/ Columbia University, New York (2022), Museo Nivola, Sardinia (2020), National Gallery Prague (2018), Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York (2018), South London Gallery (2018), and Royal Academy of Arts, London (2018).