Berlin, Germany

52° 31′ 32.3″ N, 13° 23′ 15.3″ E

In the heart of Berlin, an original, unrenovated Wilhelmine building complex houses the former King Size Bar, a reception hall, an abandoned courtyard, and a 1930s shooting range—the latter of which serves as the exhibition space for HOUSE, a multipurpose space presenting exhibitions, musical performances, readings, and, so it happens, the occasional séance.

HOUSE presented its inaugural exhibition in 2023 and this year has collaborated with artist Jeff Cowen to present its second: Séance. Conceived as a metaphorical dialogue between the artist and the past, Cowen has installed fourteen works on custom-made steel fixtures, accompanied by works that provided reference points for his own. Pieces by Hans Bellmer, Joseph Beuys, Anna and Bernhard Blume, Paul Éluard (under the pseudonym of Didier Desroches) with Dora Maar and Man Ray, Sigmar Polke, Margaret Raspé, and many more, surround Cowen’s monolithic installations.

“HOUSE, as a holistic concept of showcasing art in a dialogue to its surroundings, examines the symbolic meaning of buildings, stories deriving from historic houses, and the change of its meaning over time, rather than becoming a rationalist examination of architecture,” says the organization’s co-director Juliet Kotherather. “It’s an empathetic approach towards the history of a building, while the housed exhibitions are concerned with the auratic quality of a place.”

Cowen’s contemporary lens-based work taps into the rich history of photography and its relationship to mysticism, spiritualism, and the paranormal. In Séance, he plumbs the medium’s ability to connect past and present, immortalizing memories and exploring the nature of time. “His photographs are not mere representations, they are invitations to a deeper realm of existence,” says a gallery statement.

Séance continues through June 14. Find more programming at HOUSE on the space’s website and Instagram.

Exhibition view of works by Jeff Cowen, HOUSE, Berlin
Anna and Bernhard Blume. Kuchenkoller, 1986. Courtesy of Servais Family Collection
Installation view
Installation view
Paul Éluard (pseud. Didier Desroches) with Dora Maar and Man Ray. Le temps déborde, 1947. Courtesy of Yoram Roth collection
Installation view

Header image: Joseph-Beuys, 2 Sheep’s Heads, 1961-1975. Courtesy of a private collection, Cologne. Installation view at HOUSE Berlin

All images © the artists, courtesy of HOUSE Berlin. Photos by Noshe

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