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Gallery Power LTD

Solo exhibition at ChertLüdde, Berlin 4/2/2023 – 6/4/2023

The exhibition Gallery Power LTD at ChertLüdde gallery explores the relationship between power, energy, and culture through real and artificial limits.

The exhibition is set to run for two and a half months, however, there will be a limit on the amount of power the exhibition is permitted to use. The sculptures on display will include motors and lights, which visitors can choose to turn on and off. The amount of power remaining will be displayed as a countdown timer in days, hours and minutes on an e-ink screen at the entrance/exit of the exhibition. The remaining power will be displayed as a countdown timer in hours, minutes and seconds on an e-ink screen at the entrance/exit of the gallery.When the energy limit has been reached, the sculptures will remain off for the remaining duration of the exhibition.

The sculptures’ ability to ‘work’ is dependent on the energy (and power) provided by the gallery, along with the visitor’s attendance and engagement in turning them on or off. The more they engage, however, the more the energy is consumed leaving later visitors with less energy to work with. But they will not have total control. One work will include a 2000 Kilowatt spotlight which is controlled by an external mechanism. This element throws into question who really has control, power and energy in a cultural space as it pits personal autonomy against corporate, political, and historical decision-making bodies.

By creating an artificial limit on the amount of energy the power-hungry sculptures in the exhibition can consume, while handing over the power of decision-making from the artist to both the visitor and gallery, the exhibition turns into a site for experimentation, where an outcome can be predicted, but is not assured.

How energy is produced, consumed, and allocated correlates to existing power structures. Equally, the culture we create, promote and consume is inherently connected to those same power structures. In the book Art & Energy, Barry Lord argues that culture and art are intrinsically linked to the resources available to us on earth. He traces a cultural line from humanity’s initial muscle and reproductive power to our early mastery of fire, through to our exploitation of fossil fuels and our current transition into more renewable energy resources, pointing out how each new source of energy transforms how we “interact with the world, organize our communities, communicate, and conceive of and assign value to art.”

Finding ourselves in the middle of an energy-source transition means that those power structures and cultures are being forced to change. And while change is inevitable and necessary, it is rarely without pain; pain experienced as a loss of power, energy and culture. Change itself requires huge amounts of energy; to push and pull established behavior, thinking and structures in new directions. Through the various motorized and illuminated works this energy and its limits are manifested, while also revealing less visible limits which we negotiate in our very human pursuit of control, growth and happiness.

Fudakowski’s exploration of the idea of energy production, consumption and control is of a nuanced, human-centric, and personal nature. Not only are ‘resources’ questioned, and what humans use to fuel life, but also the less tangible use and expenditure of thought and decision making which while seemingly personal, and relatively small in contrast to global activities, have huge accumulative consequences. The integration of technological monitoring of the exhibition as a life form with a limited time span and power resource becomes the architecture of this conceptual questioning; providing and defining the parameters of the experiment.

Misery Salad, 2023; Animated glass neon, electrical cabling, transformers, toggle switch, smart plug, 165 × 150 × 10 cm. Photo by Andrea Rossetti.

Photo by Andrea Rossetti

Custom switch with ESP and e-ink display, Photo by Andrea Rossetti

The show must go on and off and on and off and on and off and on…, 2023. Steel, motor, Plexiglas, lacquer, hand blown glass, fringing, LED, switch, cabling, smart plug, 203 × 100 cm. Photo by Marjorie Brunet Plaza.

Photo by Andrea Rossetti

Photo by Marjorie Brunet Plaza.

Photo by Andrea Rossetti

Photo by Andrea Rossetti

Photo by Marjorie Brunet Plaza.

Photo by Marjorie Brunet Plaza.

Photo by Marjorie Brunet Plaza.

Photo by Andrea Rossetti

Mussels, Motor, Mouth, 2023;Steel, Plexiglas, acrylic paint, hand blown glass, steel, motor, smart plug, 184 × 72 cm, Photo by Andrea Rossetti

Photo by Andrea Rossetti

The Alchemy of the Hinge, 2023; Steel, Plexiglas, acrylic paint, bulb, cabling, 175 × 60 × 87 cm, Photo by Andrea Rossetti

Photo by Andrea Rossetti

Photo by Marjorie Brunet Plaza.

Photo by Marjorie Brunet Plaza.

Photo by Marjorie Brunet Plaza.

Photo by Andrea Rossetti

Surf and Turf, 2023; Steel, Plexiglas, acrylic paint, bulb, cabling, 207 × 56 cm, Photo by Andrea Rossetti

Photo by Andrea Rossetti

Out of Your Hands, 2023, Emil Niethammer 2000W spot light, built in 1985, (the same year as the artist's birth) and controlled remotely by Peter Fudakowski, the artist's father. Photo by Andrea Rossetti

Photo by Andrea Rossetti

Reasons Not to Reproduce, Engraved brass plaques, Photo by Marjorie Brunet Plaza.

Poisoning of Queen Bona, 2023; Steel, fabric, trim, bulbs, glass, pull switch, electrical cabling, smart plug, 180 × 190 cm, Photo by Andrea Rossetti

Photo by Andrea Rossetti

E-ink screen and Raspberry PI, display to indicate the total amount of power consumed, the amount of power currently being consumed, total amount of power consumed per day and the remaining amount of time the exhibition has to run in correlation with how much energy remains. Photo by Andrea Rossetti