Motivated by the search for alternative working models in the art world, curators and art educators Kira Dell and Laura Seidel run the project space Neun Kelche at Pasedagplatz in Berlin-Weißensee since 2021. The space used to be home to a Kaiser's supermarket. Today, the space with its floor-to-ceiling windows offers a large, light-flooded exhibition area. Neun Kelche understands itself as a neighborhood initiative, which offers local artists space for their own activities and exchange.
The artist Barbora Zentková and Julia Gryboś address collective fatigue, exhaustion and social reactions to the mode of being exhausted in their collaborative works. In the project space Neun Kelche the duo shows works from the series Tea Bags on Eyelids and activate the exhibition with a musical intervention to conclude the Project Space Festival on August 31.
Putting tea bags on eyelids is a social response to eyes that are getting tired but are not supposed to look tired. Being busy is seen as productive and attractive. In response, looking tired and crumpled reverses into the opposite. The artists use the tea bags as a natural source to dye the textiles they work with and find a mode of slowing down in the return to traditional craft techniques such as tying and weaving. This repetitive activity as a ritual of relaxation is interwoven into the installation. At the same time, each knot introduces us to manual labour and confronts us with the pressures of the efficiency of human labour in capitalist structures.
For the Project Space Festival, Grybós and Zentková stage their expansive installation in the project space, to which the performers respond musically. They create a sensual experiential space of relaxation and offer a counter-moment to the ever-present potential for societal or individual collapse.