Project Info

  • 💙 Mouches Volantes
  • 💚 Andre Sauer
  • 💜 Elke Kania
  • 💛 SImon Vogel

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The legendary Cologne club bar King Georg was run by André Sauer for ten years, from 2008-2018. The hallmark of the club was the original décor of the former animation establishment from 1968 - and of course the outstanding programme. André Sauer and his team created a unique place full of creativity, a perfect setting for people to feel at home, to celebrate music, culture and community. At the end of 2018, Sauer invited artists who had often been guests at the King Georg to artistically explore the extraordinary ambience and special atmosphere of the location and thus capture memories of the club in their works. The resulting artworks are now being presented for the first time in the exhibition Das Herz brennt in seinem eigenen Gesicht (The Heart Burns in Its Own Face) at Mouches Volantes, curated by André Sauer. Alwin Lay created a site-specific staging that is mounted over eight metres on the circumferential window front of the Mouches Volantes. The transparent images act like a membrane that connects the urban exterior with the interior. Guests are drawn into the memory of King George's cosmos. The five pictorial motifs by Alwin Lay simulate a choreography through the club in their narrative sequence: from the doorbell along the cloakroom to the back of the pub with the intimate séparées made of brown leather, down into the cellar where ice cubes dance detached through the air. A surreal component can also be found in Lyoudmila Milanova's contribution. Three light boxes depict characteristic impressions of the King George's décor: The shiny golden beer taps, the red-covered bar and the dark brown wood panelling with the heavy dark red curtain at the entrance. The steam above the taps and the mist above the bar catch the light and thus make the atmosphere, the air, in the room tangible. The staging of the bar is like a spaceship just before taking off into the magic of a club night. In the ravishing sensuality of their black and white grain, the four photographs by filmmakers Miriam Gossing & Lina Sieckmann appear like stills from a 16 mm film. Shot in long exposures using only the available light, the photo series I vestiti nuovi del re explores that place full of ghostly stories, like that of the pink silk scarf hanging abandoned but proud on the coat rack. The bar provided a refuge for dazzling self-promoters to shine like the legendary chandelier that came crashing down during a concert and, like the wondrous script of life, hurt no one. The collaged photographic work Midnight Bliss by Hermes Villena, artist and resident DJ at King Georg at the time, shows a jungle-like plant environment in front of glasses on the bar of the club, waiting to be filled with drinks - the midnight bliss can come! The jungle is a beautiful metaphor for a club bar: after all, in both 'biotopes' different species exist side by side and with each other in wild beauty. A romanticised idea of nature meets the mythicisation of nightlife, both interpenetrate each other - we like to be enchanted. In the second exhibition room at the back, a new work by Mischa Kuball can be experienced. The immersive video installation king_king mirror, an adaptation of his iconic work platon's mirror, is based on video material and sound recordings from King Georg. The image plane is inverted and immersed in the specific reddish light mood of the club, the sound is a collage of voices, music set pieces and mood. The projection is onto a silver mirrored foil, but some of the images spread out across the surrounding walls. On the dance floor of the King Georg, one could look at oneself in mirrors - in Kuball's installation, the performative moment of a club night is combined with Expanded Cinema. The sound carpet of the installation runs through the entire exhibition from this back room (the séparée, as it were); the reflections of the light make unexpected worlds appear.
Elke Kania