Christian Jankowski

Sender and Receiver

September 9, 2020 – February 13, 2021

For the exhibition Sender and Receiver, Christian Jankowski took what is probably the most famous duo in classical communication theory to reflect on forms of transmission processes: the sender and receiver. Developed in the late 1940s as a simple mathematical model for optimizing signaling in the telecommunications sector, it quickly became an absolute allegory for the exchange of information between two channels. This abstract model, in which meanings and contents are ignored without comment, immediately draws attention to a previously unnoticed component: the transmission channel through which the message to be transmitted is routed. It is precisely this fragile threshold moment during a transfer that decides whether communication is successful or not.

This previously undetected third party, sliding between the togetherness of sender and receiver, represents an essential feature of Jankowski’s artistic practice. Since the 1990s, feeding into medial contexts and self-contained systems, performance and mimic-like interventions have been the central leitmotif of his work. Not infrequently, a border-crossing act between the spheres of the art and media worlds, and thus broader social structures, is carried out here.

Jankowski first appropriates the logics of his chosen domain and its habitual processes and patterns of action in order to infiltrate them with conceptual interferences, which often lead to self-running events with uncertain outcomes and arbitrary semantics.

In new and in previous works, some rarely shown, themes revolve around ideas such as profession and life-callings, moments of disturbance and liminality are materialized within various transmission channels. Even though artistic works occasionally tend to gather metaphorical dust after their initial ascription of meaning, social events and processes of change offer the possibility to place them in a new dialogue with their environment and thereby undergoing a shift in meaning. The transmission processes traced in the exhibition in the field of telecommunications, spirituality, or territoriality are thus given an idiosyncratic proximity to the present through perception filters in the face of the year 2020, one that has been profoundly dictated by a virus.

Installation views © Eike Walkenhorst.

Ground floor

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First floor

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