paranoia is a show by berlin based artist maansi jain presented in the kiez-y watering hole and pub das Gift’s Giftraum (which translates to p o i s o n room speaking of reasons 2 be nervous.) the interactive installation explores how an individual is implicated in communally held fears.
the viewer must enter the gallery under a hot light through a narrow hallway; overhead robotic and human voice alternate in a blaring sound installation—encouraging vigilance against pickpockets as one enters the exhibition space.
in the middle of the room is an unspoken invitation* to touch and contribute to a blank square of indian burlap on stretcher bars with various red hues of paint, a visual nod to joseph albers’ “homage to the square” in red, and the artist’s missing period. the painting acts as a gathering place not dissimilar to the public square, animated by those who choose to “paint the town red” and join in the making of the work “only thieves get caught red handed!”
nearby, a distorted surveillance mirror hovers, acting as an interpretative surface for the interactive painting. titled “(public safety/visual aid),” the mirror is an anchor point between the installation at das Gift and the satellite installation at ex-girlfriend where the artist is presenting conceptual photography and sculpture that was inspired by months spent in front of a similar mirror in brooklyn. thus, the artist reimagines the relationship between das Gift and exgirlfriend as a meditation on paranoia itself.
paranoia, das Gift: 119 Donaustrasse, berlin 12043, Nov 2 to Nov 11, 2018
*the artist invited members of Berlin’s art community: Nika Fontaine, Alice Jones, Margaret Kollmer, Divina Kuan, Nathan Ma, Turiya Maddireddi, Anastasia Muna, Alexander Norton, Alexander Ost, Linnea Palmestål to participate as secret “influencer painters” and start the communal painting on Nov 2, 2018 at das Gift.