We should have occupied every place

West Germany, Berlin, 2008

Written in letters that stretch across the entire wall including the doors, the very title of Barbara Breitenfellner’s spatial installation, We should have occupied every place, could be compared to a “multiball” that triggers an explosion of associations. Fittingly, the shabby backroom of a former dermatologist’s practice accommodates seven pinball machines, set off against a decrepit wall picture of a Japanese missionary amidst a crowd of laughing Sri Lankan children. The view cannot be grasped in a single sweep. Visitors are overwhelmed by references to concepts such as the cultural decline through globalisation, climatic disasters, the proliferation of free churches, controversial humanitarian aid projects, assimilation, social housing, drug-induced crime, capitalistic conformism or multiculturalism. A stuffed owl is wisely and mysteriously staring at them, while the pinball machines at their disposal are further distractions. Almost all the pinball machines are on loan from private collectors, and the wall picture is from a collection of Japanese technology magazines that Breitenfellner recurrently mines for her work. Her installation features images of religious, cultural and personal obsessions, while on the other hand addressing our individual and social responsibility to question, promote or, on the contrary, actively oppose strategies of control. (Meike Jansen)

Material: wallpaper made from xerox-copies, pinball machines, black ink, stuffed barn-owl.
Dimensions: 3 x 4 x 12,9 m

Installation views: Thomas Bruns