Kotti Mantras is the first iteration of REIF’s Sonic Catharsis project curated for the 5th floor. The inaugural work is a meditation on the essence of sound through an investigation of the human voice and its ability to complicate power dynamics with words. Deconstructing language through lyrical repetition, the work slips into a trance that progresses into catharsis as artist Karl Holmqvist and poet duo Tabloid Press (Nat Marcus & Zoe Darsee) crescendo into a cacophony of meaning. In the fall and swell of Berlin’s infamous Kottbusser Tor, the work opens a portal that presses gently against the throat — imagining a way to transcend the body.
Karl Holmqvist (b. 1964, Västerâs, Sweden) lives and works in Berlin. His work often includes writing in artist’s books, installations, video and spoken word performances. Recent one-person exhibitions include Fridericianum, Kassel, Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Indipendenza, Rome (with Klara Liden), Kunstverein Braunschweig (with Klara Liden), Power Station, Dallas and Camden Arts Centre, London. He has participated in the Venice Biennial in 2003 and 2011 and Performa, New York in 2005, 2007 and 2013. He is represented by Galerie Neu, Berlin, dépendance, Brussels and House of Gaga, Mexico City.
Tabloid Press poetics are embodied disclosures, versed body politics, tall orders. They are poets just talking, playing with words. They are environmental: conceived in Berlin in 2014 by Zoe Darsee (b. 1991) and Nat Marcus, the project’s first publication was a gossip column on newsprint – the effect of its lyrics was intended not only for the reader in private, silent engagement, but for the whole interpersonal terrain in which the authors were growing up and about which they wrote. Written poems that could also bridge a “scene”, slice open a “club”. Written to enter a dancefloor as a poet and let the dancefloor enter the poem. In the following years, Tabloid has released over 12 publications, its activities widening to include facilitating poetry workshops, designing books and clothing, and providing textual documentation for live performances. No matter the format or function, the press’ activities are always a means to innervating the body, be it collective or individual, with a force called lyric. “To publish” is to make public, to reveal or announce — but in doing so, to publish is also always the act of formulating a public audience. Tabloid poetics are in this way sung testaments to a partnership, grounds for play and gospel house megamixes, people watching people-watching. They are lateral, acts of love, never not looped feedback, never not meant for our family and the reader we’ll never meet.
This program is made with the support of Nike Berlin.