Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff
Exterior Genthiner Straße
Calla Henkel (b. 1988, Minneapolis, Minnesota) and Max Pitegoff (b. 1987, Buffalo, New York) are Berlin-based artists who have been working together for over a decade. Together they found and operate venues as catalysts for collaborative artistic work. Their expanded documentation of these spaces traces the economic, structural and often personal systems that build shared spaces, taking form through photographs, texts and narratives. Casting friends in quickly-scripted productions staged with a self-assured anti-professionalism, their work interrogates the role of public and private space, as well as the boundaries between personal and professional relationships. Currently they run TV, a bar on Berlin’s Potsdamer Straße which doubles as the set for both a TV show the duo are working on and a location for friends’ performances. Like Times Bar and New Theater, where Max and Calla staged plays and served drinks in Berlin in the past, TV continues their project of simultaneously demystifying and theatricalizing the scene that forms around it. Their pseudo-documentary photography, like Exterior Genthiner Straße, also charges these ideas with searing social commentary. Taken from a series of photographs of large-scale renderings of real estate developments which cover their construction sites in Berlin, Exterior Genthiner Straße instead focuses on the unconcealed, the unrendered, the real. Calla and Max programmed the 2017/18 season at the Volksbühne’s Grüner Salon. Their work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum, New York; Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen; Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe; and Kunsthalle Bern; and is currently on view at the Fri Art Kunsthalle, Fribourg. This work is offered as an extension of their recent exhibition at The Downer, Berlin.