Keller-reinigungs-service (Basement Cleaning Service).

 

The walker‘s infinite passage. Colombian Video art in Migration Vol. 1.

 

 

Kellerreinigungsservice (Basement Cleaning Service).

Reflections on the public space.

 

 

Bunker – Monument – Museum – Krypta.

 

Baugestaltungs- satzung No. 23 (Regulaciones de publicidad exterior No. 23.),  Adrian villa + Akiro Hellgart, 2’45”
Eating potato (Comiendo papa), Fernando Pertuz, 3’01’’
Dieses Ding steht ganz fur sich alleine. (Video-walk) (Esa cosa está ahí completamente sola, Video-recorrido), Carolina Pinzón + Evi Krukenhauser,  22’00”
Lullaby for a Bunker.Canción de cuna para Bunker, Luisa Roa 4’23”
Erinnerungen eines Monsters (Memorias de unos monstruos), Luis Ortiz, 11’18”
Mirages of the door (Espejismos de la puerta), Fernando Pertuz, 2’50”
Die Profanierung (La profanación), Elkin Calderon, 4’32”
Fosilizados, Esteban Rivera, 7’05”

 

 

Selection of video art made for the 1st Colombian Film Festival of Berlin, Panorama Colombia. This selection made in 2015 and entitled Keller Reinigungsservice (Basement Cleaning Service), brings together the audiovisual work of nine Colombian and German artists.
“Kellerreinigungsservice” (basement cleaning-service). The basement is the dark side of the house, ideal to make corpses disappear, unforgotten ones as well as those which embarrass us. Bunkers, tombs, monuments, museums, a basement gladly receives a free cleaning-service facing the look of an unknown visitor, tourists, adventurers, foreign students and immigrants.
Kellerreinigungsservice is also the exercise of conserving a hypothetical and spontaneous “open-air museum” inside Germany. If we displace this reflective matter into the actual demand to preserve an infinite social memory in Colombia, we will agree to refresh those ideas of the museum, monument and conservation which we maintain immersed in the formalin of modernity, but yet alive and democratic in the face of the dialogue which is ideally expected of the construction of the public, rather by means of a city than by means of social and territorial more ambitious restructuring like the one announcing the post-conflict.
Curator: Julian Santana

 

 

Kellerreinigungsservice guided tour:

Bunker – Monument – Museum – Krypta.

 

The route of our very own Colombian “open-air museum” in Germany begins with Baugestaltungs – satzung No. 23 (Outdoor advertising regulations No. 23.) by Adrian Villa and Akiro Hellgart who make an intervention on the facade of the building of the Ministry of Culture of Cologne, Germany with an 8 x 8.5 meter banner in which you can read a fragment of the outdoor advertising regulation statute of Cologne. This action draws attention to the condition of urban landscape conservation and does so by claiming on architecture the staging of the administrative dialectic that effectively rules the possibilities of intervention of the public space.
Making manifest the scope between the article and its materialization, is a way to remind us how the public space is both a concrete and tangible place and a concept open to interpretation. A place for the negotiation of vital spaces and midpoints between chaos and preservation.
Immediately we are facing the memorial of the Berlin wall, a block of reinforced concrete whose enormous testimony is sometimes imperceptible to the fleeting or brief glance of the tourist. In his performance in front of the wall, Fernando Pertúz plays the role of an ordinary hungry person eating a raw potato, perhaps as the “original sin” that both the ancient Andean inhabitants of 4,000 years ago, and the stories of European famine between the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries, have in common. In this case we could refer especially to the fundamental role this single food product would play in a divided Berlin at the end of the Second World War, for example in the episode of the Berlin Blockade between June 1948 and May 1949, when by means of airplanes, hundreds of thousands of tons of dehydrated potatoes were distributed to the inhabitants of West Berlin. Something very interesting in performative actions like this one is that they make it evident that our first relationship with the public space is necessarily a basically bodily and perceptive relationship and after that, intellectual and historical.
Such huge masses of metal, hero statues, squares, are as confusing to the walker as the bureaucratic acts that allow famous public embezzlements at the local level, such as the so-called “Carrusel de la contratación” (Contracting Carousel) of 2010, whose “symbolic monument” is tangible, very alive and very active, the whole construction of the third phase of Bogotá’s public transport system. Both activities, the placement of symbolic-cultural and symbolic-economic monuments, would have in common that none of them are the result of a direct dialogue with the wanderer, the inhabitant, with the body and flesh of the city. It is very likely that in the idea of “popular consultation” –so popular these days in Colombia– is the root of the problem: the enormous institutional fear in making public the criteria with which are decided the boundaries of where the public space should be built.
Having presented credentials and passed the first test, we come face to face with a huge Schwerbelastungskörper (heavy load-bearing body) around which was installed the video-tour of Carolina Pinzón and Evi Kruckenhauser, That thing is standing there completely alone, a project that reflects on this construction by the Nazi architect Albert Speer and whose purpose was to determine if the Berlin ground would resist the monumental buildings that would make part of Germania, the megalomaniac project of city carefully conceived by Adolf Hitler. Although history is always written by the victors, here is this “small” condensation, a remnant of a desire that today seems implausible and unattainable, but whose presence is fortunate insofar as it allows us to question the validity of everything that we throw to the public space in moments of ideological lucidity or delirium.
The video covered by putting us in context through the voice and memories of those near the Schwerbelastungskörper, allows us to understand much more clearly that a monument will always be part of a habitat with complex and even organic functions that happen on a daily basis, like the one exercised by these gardeners under the pretext of this “body of burden”, between caring for their gardens and nurturing their own human relationships. It could be said that before throwing the cement of history, we would have to do many more interviews of this type, both in rural and urban areas and we would have to make much more efficient the idea of not only “inquiry before”, but “inquiry during” and “inquiry after”. Precisely regarding the public dialogue, as its artists mention, this project raises very important questions such as: What are the value criteria to choose some voices over others? How to decide if something should disappear? What should be perpetuated?
Immediately afterwards, with an ironic tone, Luisa Roa coos us with her Lullaby for a bunker, an action she performs inside an abandoned bunker she found in the surroundings of Weimar, probably as in “That thing is standing there completely alone”, this also turns out to be a residual structure, one that surely will not have escaped the administrative and local deliberation of the city. However, perhaps because of its remote or private location in the middle of that Weimar wasteland, it has allowed only an effective and vital type of interaction, that of cobwebs and concrete.
This action takes place in the context of a larger project in which Luisa Roa makes reference to the function of the monument, history and its petrifaction, seeking to approach the city as a claustrophobic place, in such a way that this perfect maternal love between abandonment and ruin is similar to the perfect love between history and its monuments. Many times these children are so ugly that we would rather not wake them up.
We are increasingly approaching the object that calls us, and it is there, where we see emerge on the horizon Memories of some monsters of Luis Ortiz, in them we see the persistence of the classical ghost vessel, a spectral monument that navigates between the colonial and modern ports, struggling against the “flow” of Rhine river (word of Celtic origin whose meaning is “flow”). Then Ortiz refers to a quote from Heraclitus: “In the same rivers we step and do not step into, [since] we are and we are not [the same]”, also alluding to the monster’s ability of eating things while regurgitating them as new.
From this point of view it is convenient to analyze the other work of Fernando Pertúz in the exhibition, his Mirage of the Door, in which he just imagines the mass of the monument as an ephemeral, volatile charge that disappears with a simple and precarious digital effect. Although the interest of the artist is surely directed towards questioning the notion of the legitimacy of the edge and the border mediated by the overwhelming monumentality, we can also understand that even the oldest monument, the most imposing or the most respected, can be questioned before the eye of who does not acknowledge it, from the tourist to the displaced, from the newborn to simply that of an inhabitant nearby who has decided to look back in another direction.
Once these phantasmagorical preludes have been crossed, the inevitable step could not be more than the one given by Elkin Calderón in Die Profanierung (The Profanation), confronting himself and us with the memorable corpse, the greatest of fears and yet the greatest of illusions: the expectation of finally seeing the vampire rise up and give an urgent turn to the antagonism between the mausoleum and life, between the monument and the community that surrounds it. However, the artist, when checking the body, returns in front of the camera while in his hands he holds a plaque with the name of Friedrich W. Murnau engraved on its surface, the remains of the director of Nosferatu lie there at the mercy of the active defiler of history, the one in which we have the challenge of becoming into.
And finally, through an interview with David Stodolsky, member of the Cryonics Institute in the United States, Esteban Rivera leads us through a “building / monument” built on what was Walter Gropius’ home in Dessau, Germany. The house was renovated by Bruno Fioretti Marquez Architects in 2008 and the construction reproduced the original proportion of the Gropius house. As the artist mentions, the house functions in this case as a metaphor of what is fossilized and of a Modernity that has lasted until today in a true fossilized state. The post-conflict, memory and its museums, are then public, social and collective concepts of very delicate application, concepts that as we have seen, could fall into unidirectional categories of discursive encysting between mummification and cryogenics.

 

JULIAN ENRIQUE SANTANA

 

 

Exhibition venues:
Colombian Film Festival of Berlin. Panorama Colombia 2015. (Berlin, Germany)
Cineautopsia Experimental Film Festival. 2016. (Bogotá, Colombia)
Colombian Film Festival of Berlin. Panorama Colombia 2017. (Berlin, Germany)
17th International Festival of the Image. 2018. (Manizales, Colombia)