11th Gwangju Biennale
2. 9. – 6. 11. 2016



Bernd Krauss

Bernd Krauß (b. 1968, Nuremberg/Rotterdam) is someone who might live inside his installation as it comes together. For GB11, Krauß’s commissions springs to life in the Mudeung Museum of Contemporary Art at the foot of Gwangju’s Mudeungsan Mountain, a place dedicated to raising awareness of issues surrounding land and nature.

From August through September, beyond the opening of the Biennale, Krauß will inhabit the museum’s first floor and fill it with materials and objects from the area: boots, mud, plants, commodities from mountain-gear shops nearby etc. Curated walks and journeys may take place during the day and/or night near the mountains, or even to the exhibition hall where a mobile vitrine made by Krauß houses some of his objects.

Geeky, free-spirited, sensitive, somewhat odd – these are some of the adjectives that can describe Krauß’s practice, which makes visible the untold and invisible in surprising ways. He is interested in creative actions, ranging from amateur craft and hobby shows to formalized art education and professional exhibitions, often performing a playful institutional critique from within. KVM + MW


When I was seven years old I went with my mother to a ceramics class at the very first Kulturladen in Germany, KURO. I thought that I needed military equipment in the form of tanks for playing in the sandbox. The course leader acknowledged this remark with astonishment, but a few weeks later I was able to pick up the armed vehicles and use them to play war games in my family’s garden. Approximately eight years later, when puberty hit my still-childish brain, I stopped using my mother’s folding bike to replay national speedway competitions as Egon Müller with my friends on the street. Instead, I glued different cardboard boxes onto the back of the bike to imitate the body of a heavy motorcycle. During my first semester of university in January 1991, the Gulf War started and students went on strike. After the strike was over I understood university works without going to seminars. Two years into my studies I participated in an “art recall” at my former high school, where I installed fireworks with matches in the school toilet. Meanwhile my art teacher Karl Kellner, along with a group of pupils, painted the asphalt football field green like it would be made of grass. That made the classrooms in the main building glow like aquariums when the sun hit the newly green ground. After watching our peers learn how to play theater for five and a half years, we decided we’d better do it ourselves in 1998. Only when Pier Luigi Tazzi would visit us in London would we have toilet paper. But then Nicolaus Schafhausen visited the flat I shared with Stefan Kalmár and I got a solo show at Künstlerhaus Stuttgart. Oh, that’s why I did the dishes for a year. When you’re a carpenter and you need to install a shelf at a customer’s house, you need to go there. But if you have a laptop, you don’t need a shelf.