Martín Daiber, Sebastian Gögel and
Thomas Moecker: New House New World
13 January—3 March 2018

This show is anything but modest.
The title refers to the book »Neues Haus Neue Welt« [»New House New World«], and admits it. Architect Erich Mendelsohn styled his villa to be a modernist icon. The country house, Am Rupenhorn No. 6 is located on the banks of Lake Stößensee, between the Westend and Grunewald districts of Berlin, and was built in 1928/29. Designed and constructed with painters and sculptors in the late 1920s, it quotes cubist and Bauhaus influences, but in particular highlights a specific insufficiency of the present by challenging it. The documentation of this building in book form in 1932 is not only Mendelsohn’s manifesto, it celebrates a »new world« without focusing on the functional; it is the vision of an artist.

The reform visions of the architects and the liberal developer concentrated on a life in harmony with nature by linking indoor and outdoor areas, with flowing transitions like retractable windows. However, every room in the house is defined in particular by a work of art created specifically for it [e.g. by Lyonel Feininger, Amédée Ozenfant and Ewald Mataré].

The wall colours, the shape and characteristics of the furniture, the type of floral decorations, carpets and tableware and the direction of lighting were chosen based on these works. Even the stillness or motion implicit in the works is transferred to the spaces and the art serves as the thematic accompaniment for gatherings and activities.

Art comes first.
The self-confidence of the more than 90-year-old statement made by »Neues Haus Neue Welt« provided the perfect inspiration for Martín Daiber, Sebastian Gögel and Thomas Moecker. The influences from the pages of this book in the current exhibition are clear affirmations.

In spite of all the tension between the three positions, genres, temperaments and media, a tension which also renders the presentation mobile, the ambitions immodestly combine to ask fundamental questions – for example on autonomy and the location: is it a privilege or an Achilles heel to discuss society from its outermost, from its upper margin? The question of the actual value and the non-material added value of art: an irrational benchmark for intellectual property? The question of its good conscience; should art express itself as a poetic variant of politics and philosophy? Is the concept of perfection good—and is it necessarily non-functional? How calculating is the artist, or how much calculation can a work bear, or should it instead surprise itself or, even better, its creator? And who is master of significance—or does the image reclaim the interpretation prerogative, perhaps from the viewer’s expectations?

There is the old, rhythmically epochal pattern; the times that are a burden unto themselves, that are apathetic and timid, trigger self-reflectiveness, cultivate late-romantic tedium and cause us to drift away into other worlds—or to make fundamental changes. This awareness—one way or other—is initially expressed in a new formal language. And here is where conflict comes in, from the house at Rupenhorn No. 6, built in 1928 via ....[Otto Dix, George Grosz] to the exhibition of works by Martín Daiber, Thomas Moecker and Sebastian Gögel in 2018.

Viewed in this way, we are almost entering an art exhibition with museal aspirations.
And that is yet another show of strength—but, at the same time, the exhibition also has the wonderful suspended state of snapshots between the discarded and what is to come—yet conspicuously failing to state the prospects for the future.
—By Tina Simon /Translated by Brendan Bleheen
Dr. phil. Tina Simon

Author and publicist, Leipzig
Josef Filipp Galerie | Imprint