Heike Baranowsky

Barometer (i)
Germany 2011

Kunstsaele Berlin
Opening Wednesday 08.02 18:00 - 21:00
Daily: 11:00 bis 20:00

Meet the Artists
13.02. 12:00 – 13:00
18.02. 12:00 – 13:00

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During the GDR era, a low pressure room was set up at the Kienbaum National Sports Center, a training facility for top athletes, to simulate conditions at high altitudes. In one way, the room is a relic from the past, but at the same time it is also a technical facility that's almost unimaginable for a non-specialist. Both aspects relate to a part of Germany history. The low pressure room, which was decommissioned when the site was taken over by the Federal Republic in 1990, is a vestige of the Cold War, but it was never dismantled or cleared away, and remains completely functional to this day. What distinguishes the low pressure room in Barometer from the numerous abandoned buildings that testify to the shutdown of a society after 1989 – and the films about these buildings – is that it is potentially still usable: the building and its seemingly utopian technology are out of service, but they could be brought back to use at any moment.
There would be something fictional, even cinematic about producing low pressure in a room to simulate height if it weren't for the problem of the invisibility of the object. Baranowsky meets this challenge by using weather balloons that float animatedly in the room. The use of balloons sets the real space in motion by using the possibilities at hand to create a space for the imagination. The dancing, dream-like movement of the balloons gives the film a certain poetry, while at the same time a real space is presented that documents a piece of Germany history.

Heike Baranowsky
, born 1966 in Augsburg, studied art in Munich, Hamburg, and Berlin. In 1999 she finished her MA at the Royal College of Art, London. Alongside numerous project of her own, represented by the Berlinische Galerie, the Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts, the MoMA New York, the Olbricht Collection, the Stoschek Coll, the NBK Berlin, Gallery Barbara Weiss, as well as the Arsenal –  Instiute for Film and Video Art, she teaches at various universities in Germany and abroad.

1 channel video installation
Format: HD, colour
Running time: 54 min