Julius von Bismarck: Punishment I / Alexander Levy Gallery, Berlin

Gallery LEVY Berlin re-opens as Alexander Levy Gallery with a solo exhibition with new works by Julius von Bismarck, a young Berlin-based artist who became famous with his “Image Fulgurator”. For his new work, “Punishment I”, Julius von Bismarck went on a journey through Switzerland, South America and the U.S. armed with a whip. By whipping nature, he is on one hand defying nature’s power, and on the other hand rebels against socialization.

Julius von Bismarck: Punishment I, Alexander Levy Gallery, Berlin / Germany. Opening reception, January 27 2012. Video by Astrid Gleichmann.

PS: See also: Julius von Bismarck, Benjamin Maus, Richard Wilhelmer: Fühlometer (Monumental Interactive Smiley).

PPS. Watch Julius von Bismarck whipping!

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

In January 2012 the alexander levy gallery, formerly LEVY BERLIN, will open under a new name after extensive renovations. Launched in September 2009 as a branch of the Hamburg gallery, the program has mainly focused on the promotion of young and experimental art. After two years, Alexander Levy will now expand this emphasis and the new alexander levy gallery will concentrate solely on the presentation of young artistic positions.

A first example of this updated approach can be seen on 27 January 2012 with a solo exhibition by Julius von Bismarck. Punishment I shows new works by the young progressive artist in the refurbished space. The title of the exhibition points to a pre-Christian legend that says that the Achaemenid King and Egyptian Pharaoh Xerxes had the strait at Hellespont punished with 300 lashes, after bridges that had been built on his order were destroyed by a storm shortly after construction.

Julius von Bismarck took up this anger allegorically for his new series of works. From October to December 2011 he went on a journey through Switzerland, South America and the United States armed with a whip. At impressive locations he plays with the rhetorical power of this traditional retaliation, whipping nature, defying its power, until he is exhausted. In a contemporary context, he thus rebels against socialization and, as a modern Sisyphus, questions value patterns which are conveyed to people today by societal constructs and authorities. The resulting evidence of these equally martial and meditative actions are collected in form of film footage, photographs and the whips in the context of Punishment I.

Julius von Bismarck, * 1983, has studied since 2009 with Olafur Eliasson at the Institut für Raumexperimente. In 2008 he won the Golden Nica of the Prix Ars Electronica with his work “Image Fulgurator”. Following numerous exhibitions at internationally renowned locations, he became the first artist to receive the Prix Ars Electronica from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

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