Loris is a ten-year-old art space in the gallery-packed Potsdamer Straße area, and a joint effort of ten artists with different creative approaches. In a non-hierarchical structure they share the space to present individual and group shows, and regularly invite collaborators and organize exchanges with other artist-run spaces. We spoke with one of the initiators – Ruth Hommelsheim – to find out more about the space and the team that runs its varied program.
Tell us about Loris' very beginnings. Who started it, when, and why?
We started Loris with a group of 8 artists in 2007. The project was initiated by Ruth Hommelsheim who met Ulrike Ludwig at a workshop at bbk Berlin, and together they started looking for artists and a gallery space. The aim was to create an independent platform and exhibition space. Artists and focuses changed over the period of ten years. The current artists are Oliver Dignal, Paulina Gimpel, Ulrike Hannemann, Andy Heller, Ruth Hommelsheim, Oliver Krebs, Jan Lemitz, Anne Metzen, Pujan Shakupa, and Nina Wiesnagrotzki.
What bonds all the different people and artistic positions that are part of the project?
In spite of the heterogenity of approaches, the artists are united by their effort to critically capture and transform reality, and to experiment at the borders of the respective media.
What is the main focus of the gallery?
Photography, video, and installation form the methodological interface of the participating artists. Topics like urbanity and naturalness, constructions of identity versus the collective social body, processes of memory and knowledge indicate the diversity with regards to content.
How do you develop the program and share the workload? Do you also tend to collaborate with contributors outside the gallery circle?
The workload is equally shared between all members. In monthly Jour Fixes we organise what has to be done. Parallel to monthly individual presentations of the Loris artists, the format Open Space was implemented. Open space initiates cooperations with invited colleagues, international artist groups, and exhibition spaces. Furthermore the format Blue Monday is able to surprise: on Monday evenings in between exhibitions there is free space for experimental lectures, screenings, and concerts.
Were there any major obstacles or challenges you encountered over the time of running the space?
Non-hierarchical organisations are a challenge...
Ulrike Hannemann, From the 2nd floor's corridor, 2017
Tell us a bit about your current show, „The Palace – Then and Now“ by Ulrike Hannemann.
In her exhibition, „The Palace - Then and Now“, Ulrike Hannemann investigates the current relationship with the chequered history of the Independence Palace in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She visited the palace at varying intervals and numerous times, and approaches this historical location through photographs, collaged elements and an in-depth view at existing furniture, furnishings and fixtures. Playing on reality and fiction, selected photographs are printed in varying sizes, and individual structures are cropped out and rearranged on coloured backgrounds to be re-photographed.
What is coming next at Loris?
The upcoming exhibitions are a group show organised by Nina Wiesnagrotzki who invited i:project space Beijing to Loris. The exhibition is called „OPEN SPACE 22 | It's blueness soothes the sharp burn in your eyes“; participating artists are Wu Ding, Michiel Hilbrink, Martin Kohout, Anahita Razmi, and Nina Wiesnagrotzki. It is curated by Antonie Angerer, Anna Viktoria Eschbach, and i:project space Beijing/China. Opening is on April 7 at 19h, and the show runs until May 1.
The next solo show is „Concrete Doubt“ by Ruth Hommelsheim. It opens on May 12, and runs until June 3.
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Potsdamer Str. 65, 10785 Berlin, U Kurfürstenstr.