The Kunstverein Grafschaft Bentheim presents Lars Karl Becker’s first solo exhibition by an institution. ‘Tap Water from Coke Bottles’ also marks the start of the programme under Muriel Meyer’s artistic direction. The title of the exhibition interrogates the state of Western prosperity. It refers to the child who takes tap water in a plastic bottle to sports class, distinguishing him from the child who buys a chilled Coke with his pocket money, or the one whose parents pack him a carton of juice. Lars Karl Becker’s sculptural installations and video works move between mockery and cynical fascination for the absurdities of late capitalism.
In the video work ‘This is about you and me’, gestures of philanthrocapitalism make fun of themselves as if automatically. A forced bow before the screen on a pedestal of modern designer legs turns the desire for absolution into a physical experience. Neon light flickers in the exhibition space: shopping trolleys hang from the ceiling on chains, cut up, shredded and stripped away. The red colour of the handles is unpleasantly prominent. Lars Karl Becker also breaks the smooth formalism of his sculptures by escaping the viewer’s first glance. He combines macho attitudes with self irony. Most of the trolleys have hit the wall. Becker includes human, artistic and one’s own failure as options.
The video work ‘Good news, comrades!’ takes us on a deserted journey through darkness and emptiness that begins in the universe and sets human actions against the great void. The system is questioned through immersive images that are driven into our consciousness via our retina. A film scene from 1968 poses the class question by giving male workers the factory they work in as a gift. Finally, the camera leads to Scotland at the beginning of European industrialisation. The video work now finally turns into a ghost-train ride in which a girl talks about working in a cotton factory. Her boundless admiration for her boss’s visions of education, regulated child labour and health insurance clashes with today’s prevailing ideas of social conflict. Lars Karl Becker slowly and pleasurably scratches away at the idea of the success story.
On Saturday the 2nd of October the parafictional catering service Durty_Beanz, presented a ten course vegetarian tasting menu to 8 participants. On each dish a questionnaire had to be filled out. The results will be evaluated in the upcoming exhibition catalogue next year. The performance took place on the occasion of the exhibition ‘Tap Water from Coke Bottles’ by Lars Karl Becker at KVGB (Kunstverein Grafschaft Bentheim). And is part of the experimental art mentoring program supported by the state of Lower Saxony.
The exhibition was made possible by the support of the Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur and the Stadt- und Samtgemeinde Neuenhaus.