Museum Abteiberg

BRITTA THIE
POWERBANKS
June 24 – October 14

Exibition Opening 
Saturday, June 23

Preview from 16:00 until 18:00 at Saturn Techno-Markt and from 18:00 until 20:00 at Museum Abteiberg
Official opening at 18:00 at Museum Abteiberg

 

Artist talk with Britta Thie and contributors to the film POWERBANKS  
Sunday, June 24, 12 pm at Museum Abteiberg

 

POWERBANKS is a body of work presented across various platforms: as a film, an exhibition at the Museum Abteiberg, and an ongoing screening at a consumer electronics retailer. Questions concerning self-staging, self-mediatization, and self-fictionalization are posed in the latest film by Britta Thie. The plot deals with teenagers in Mönchengladbach, who spend their free time in a newly constructed shopping mall near the Museum Abteiberg. The museum and the mall become the stage for both the film’s production as a set and as the site oft the broadcast. Thie‘s new film will simultaneously be shown in the exhibition space, as well as on the screens on Saturn‘s sales floor. The exhibition spaces themselves are the production set; POWERBANKS is a pilot, the beginning for further episodes of a possible series.
For the duration of POWERBANKS, the setting of the mall as the epicenter of adolescents’ social lives will be transplanted into the foyer and the temporary exhibition rooms of Museum Abteiberg. The title POWERBANKS is a reference to the benches that populate the mall, which act as both seating islands and power charging stations. The exhibition itself will include a sculptural re-imagination of the benches, complete with free WiFi and electrical outlets. For the entirety of the exhibition, guests under age 20 will be able to visit for free.

Re-installing the architectural structure of the film’s set as the exhibition space creates an environment at the museum where the content and the atmosphere of the work echoes materially and digitally. To Thie the mall is a multi-layered in its double function as the production site as well as the exhibition site. The mall is a complex social framework within the city’s community, to adolescents in particular. While the social sphere and public spaces are openly contested today, the mall has become semi-public – corporately run and commercially defined, a destination and a safe haven with fictional potential.  
The location of the mall – as a space and as an image – is shaped by reprupose, appropriation and change through the youth, who, spending large amounts of their time there become the protagonists of their own stories between frozen jogurt stand, Forever 21 and largescal, high-resolution screens.   
In this new production and its presentation the art space and non-art spaces, online and offline spaces are merged and stitched together. The exhibition will present the new film and installative production, POWERBANKS as well as showcasing the background of Britta Thie‘s working method in other work. Current other works that will be shown are, for example, the film SYSTEM OF A DOUBT (2017), which is based on Thie’s early archive and deals with themes ranging from puberty to auto-fiction, or the series TALKING STILLS (2016-2018), which allows voice-over elements from Thie‘s films to “continue to narrate” and examines sound as an independent component of her work.

Britta Thie, born in Minden in 1987, studied at Münster Art Academy and the Berlin University of the Arts, master-class student of Hito Steyerl, produced her own first webseries Transatlantics in 2015, which attracted international attention. For the project of her new series POWERBANKS she was awarded the scholarship of the city of Mönchengladbach as  30th recipient, funded by the Josef and Hilde Wilberz Foundation.

The project was realised with the generous support of the Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Rheinland and Stadtsparkasse Mönchengladbach, Museumsverein Mönchengladbach, the Josef and Hilde Wilberz Foundation, the Hans Fries Foundation, Senator Film Productions, Saturn Germany, Minto Shopping Mall, Maier Bros. Filmequipment Rental, Ludwig Camera Rental, AUNDE Achter & Ebels and Natsu Food.

For more on Britta Thie, visit www.brittathie.tv.