Ginger Brooks Takahashi and Ulrike Mueller – “WHIP”

14. October – 03. November, 2007

opening: Sunday, 14.10.07. – 7 pm.

“A whip is a great way to get someone to be here now.
They can’t look away from it, and they can’t think about anything else.”
Pat Califia, A Secret Side of Lesbian Sexuality, in: The Advocate, December 27, 1979

New York based artists Ginger Brooks Takahashi and Ulrike Mueller present their new video work “Whip” as well as drawings and paper works. They approach their projects in a process and deal with the venue, its surrounding space and the prevailing social circumstances.
In preparation for their show together, they have been doing research at the Lesbian Herstory Archives in Brooklyn. Side by side, but still on separate paths, they both came to define the focus of their project: Ginger Brooks Takahashi has been especially interested in two images from the T-Shirt collection, one from “Outcast” – a feminist-lesbian group, which got involved politically with the rights of lesbian of Sadomasochists in the 1980 -, showing two whips crossed under a drawing of a female genital, the second one a line drawing of a women’s symbol and four women on it in a circle holding each other around the hips, leaning backwards and looking up. On one side radical lesbian sexuality that takes power and aggression into account, on the other the desire for an utopian place of peace and harmony. Ulrike Mueller found another expression of this same historical tension in a letter exchange between Outcast and the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival around the issue of sadomasochistic acts in the all-women space of the festival (1990). A dark leather scene in a dungeon versus lovemaking in field of flowers. What if we want both? The desire of safety, comfort, excitement and radical sexuality, all of them in a space reigned by our feminist politics. Monique Wittig, Pat Califia, Gayle Rubin, and lesbian feminist S/M support groups like “Samois” and “Outcast” have been resources in their working towards an actualization of lesbian and S/M communities and fictions of the past towards the queer sexuality and politics we’re into.

Ginger Brooks Takahashi maintaining a social, project-based practice, collaborating with kindred spirits. Among them, LTTR, a queer and feminist art journal, and projet MOBILIVRE-BOOKMOBILE project, a traveling exhibit of artist books and zines. LTTR has presented public projects at The Generali Foundation, The Kitchen, Art In General, and Printed Matter, and received Printed Matter’s Emerging Artist Publication Award in 2005. Takahashi is currently a student in the Whitney Independent Study Program and plays violin and bass guitar with a band called The Ballet. She has exhibited at numerous venues including Artists Space, New York; Art Metropole, Toronto; La Centrale, Montreal; Space 1026, Philadelphia; and The Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.

Vienna-born, New York-based artist Ulrike Müller works in different forms of performance—live, on video, captured on or exclusively for an audio track. Her 2003 Vienna conference (“Public Affairs”) which she developed into a book (“Work the Room”) was conceived around the question “What does it mean to act critically?” After Müller moved to New York in 2002 she joined the team that co-edits the magazine LTTR. Exhibitions, performances, and video screenings include Ridykeulous (New York, 2006), Diagonale, Festival of Austrian Film (Graz, 2005), and Mothers of Invention—Where Is Performance Coming From (Mumok, Vienna, 2003). The artist’s book Every little bit helps—Ulrike Müller: Two Audio Works (2005, with essays by Gregg Bordowitz, Barbara Schröder, Lanka Tattersall, and Walter Johnston) is distributed by Revolver Printed Matter. Müller graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna and has participated in both, the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York, and the PS 1 International Studio Program, New York.

The Space for Actualisation

The Space for Actualisation is a non-commercial art- and exhibition project in Hamburg, initiated by Nina Koeller (Berlin) and Kerstin Stakemeier (Hamburg). It deals with the present of that past, which remained unfulfilled, and looks back onto it with one specific interest: to not allow the loss of the past to the present. Instead fragments of the past will be actualised in the space itself.

Over a time-span of twelve months, twelve artists, artist-groups, musicians and other producers are invited to, each for one month, realise an actualisation. A fragment is dissected from its role in historicity – an artwork, an invention, an event, a song – to pull it into the present, to find out what the consequences of its actualisation are. Projects were already realised with among others Chto delat?, Henry VIII’s Wives, Nine Budde, Melvin Moti, Thomas Baldischwyler and Ben Watson.
Projects are planned with Katrin Bahrs, Ruth May, Susanne Winterling (Hamburg/Berlin), Peter Wächtler (Berlin), Alexandra Bircken and Nicole Wermers (Cologne/Hamburg/London) and others.

In each month a one-day workshop will be held which deals with the political and artistic setting of the production of both, the actualised and the actualisation. History and present here are enfolded to be both documented and newly connected. New threads are mapped out in (art)history. At the cultural studies department of the University of Lueneburg a seminar will be held which accompanies the project, in which a wider range of actualisations is to be worked out and realised.

The Space for Actualisation is kindly supported by Stiftung Kunstfonds and Hamburgische Kulturstiftung.

Space for Actualisation
Talstr. 17
20359 Hamburg


Opening Hours
Tuesday and Saturday 4–7 pm
and by appointment

October 12, 2007 • Posted in: event