Places and hearts – #2 ≈ 5, Cologne

Hermes Villena, Vincent Schneider and Georg Barringhaus are the hearts behind the project space ≈ 5, Cologne. You’ll find the space open 24/7 in the underpass U-Bahnhof Ebertplatz. Together we realized the exhibition „Cornelia Baltes – Eclipse“ and had an amazing time during the Art Cologne 2016.

Love you guys!

 

KubaParis
Is „home“ the place where you’ve been born?

Vincent Schneider, Hermes Villena / ≈ 5, Cologne
All of us have been moving constantly as kids and continued to be nomads as adults. Home really is where the heart is. We just finished a Skype-Meeting a minute ago: Georg in Buenos Aires, half naked in a huge open studio, Hermes in his apartment in Cologne and me in Casa Cristea-Schneider in Berlin. Of course we love our roots, but you got to keep moving.

KubaParis
What do you see and feel when you look out of the window?

Vincent
If we now would be sitting in our exhibition space looking out we we would see glossy deep red tiles in a neon-lit empty 70s under passage. Occasionally a passerby would walk by and maybe stop a second to take a look at us and wonder. We certainly would feel weird.

Hermes
Raw everyday life.

KubaParis
How would your best friend (partner/visitors, guests) describe your rooms?

Vincent
Progressiv, exciting and very likable. Too cold in the winter. We have an interesting fan base of people who pass our space twice daily on their commute. They are always super happy, when we set up a new show. They love the monthly change and support us in what we are doing. Our friends and partners admire our work and give us a lot of positive feedback. That means a lot to us!

Hermes
Sometimes we may find a comment in form of a huge phlegm stain on our window. I’m pretty amazed by how we manage to evoke such a strong statement. Nevertheless my favorite reactions usually come from kids and grandparents passing by. They are just too cute.

KubaParis
How do you decide what artist you exhibit?

Vincent
We had two rules when we started: we wanted to support and promote young and less known artists, who did not yet have had their first solo show. And we wanted to present diverse and progressiv art, as we discovered our exhibitions almost perceived as art in public and therefore visited by a huge audience.
Now we tend to break the rules a litte: we exhibit friends, artists we admire, artists we always wanted to work with, artists who are a energetic and who aren’t too easy to understand. The mix of young and better known artists seem to be profitable for both.

Hermes
Right now I would say it takes us max. 5 minutes skyping to decide.

KubaParis
Your favorite art space?

Vincent
I have to admit, that I absolutely love the Museum of ethnology in Hamburg! Simply because I had such a great time there as a kid. I mean to me that’s the most important: an exhibition should be fascinating and able to suck you out of reality for a second to maybe have your subconsciousness be stroked a little.

Hermes
At the moment I’m really into the program of Supplement Gallery. I think these guys are doing a really good job.

KubaParis
Why do we need independet art spaces?

Vincent
Because often institutional and commercial exhibition spaces are not showing the most progressiv content available. They most of the time can not risk to not be approved. And without taking risks, we would not evolve.

Hermes
Independent art spaces tend to be more democratic. It might sound silly, but I really think that art is amongst others an important tool for pleasant coexistence. So in a way independent art spaces are always doing something for the common good.

KubaParis
What means independence for you?

Vincent
To us running ung5 is pure fun. We all have a full time job, do produce our own works and run this space together out of passion. Sometimes the openings are so crowded, just as last year during Art Cologne when you guys curated the show of Cornelia Baltes, that everybody passing by is immediately part of the opening and we can see how happy the artist and the visitors are. And then the next time we are just 4 guys on the opening night: the artist and us. That’s obviously a little bummer, but not a problem, because we don’t have to make exhibitions, we want to make exhibitions.

Hermes
0% budget + 100% motivation.

KubaParis
For what ≈ 5 stands for?

Vincent/Hermes
In the beginning the space was called 5,26 m³ describing the actual exhibition space available. If yo say that out loud it sounds a little like this: fụ̈nfKọmmazweisẹchskuˈbiːkmeːtɐ.
Also the name was impossible to use for web-content and social media. ung5 = ≈ 5 is short for approximately 5. Easier and probably more right.

KubaParis
Something you‘ve always wanted to say?

Vincent
We would be nothing without H.P. Lovecraft. And thank you KubaParis!

Hermes
Always aware, never afraid.

 

01_juan_sebastian_pelaez_01

Juan Sebastián Peláez, The Dubious Strait, installation view, 2016 Courtesy ≈ 5, © Juan Sebastián Peláez

02_Cornelia Baltes_Web_01

Cornelia Baltes, Eclipse, installation view, 2016 Courtesy ≈ 5, © Cornelia Baltes

03_mike_meire_all we ever_both_low_persp

Mike Meiré, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything All We Ever Got Was Cold / Bauhaus, 1979-1983 Volume Two, 2015 Courtesy ≈ 5, © Mike Meiré

04_Lene Vollhardt

Lene Vollhardt, Be careful what you wish for, 2015 Courtesy ≈ 5, © Lene Vollhardt

 

≈ 5
Ebertplatz 14
50668 Köln

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