The Art of TV Series
28 September 2019


„ART / TV Series“ is a programme of Temporary Gallery. Center for Contemporary Art in Cologne dedicated to artistic confrontations with the medium of television series. Join us for the first episode consisting of screenings, lectures and artistic interventions!


5:30–6 p.m.
Aneta Rostkowska: Introduction to the project
Marta Sala: Presentation of the mobile installation created for the project "'I am the danger!' The Art of TV Series"

6–7 p.m.
Screening programme:
Richard Serra and Carlota Fay Schoolman, Television Delivers People, 1973
Christian Jankowski, Crying for the March of Humanity, 2012
Kate Davis, Weight, 2014
Melanie Gilligan, The Common Sense, 2014
Kim Heecheon, Sleigh Ride Chill, 2016

7:45–9 p.m.
Maeve Connolly: Televisual Remains And Social Bodies, Lecture (Skype)

During the breaks and 9–11 p.m.
Meryem Erkus: DJ-Set and Raf Andra: „5 : 5“, Artistic culinary intervention

*Walter White in "Breaking Bad"

5:30 p.m.
Marta Sala: Presentation of the mobile installation created for the project "'I am the danger!' The Art of TV Series"

The mobile art installation by Mateusz Okoński, Marta Sala and Dominika Szczałba-Żegleń was specially developed for the project "'I am the danger!' The Art of TV Series". The artists were inspired by American television series of the 80s and 90s and the fascination with American popular culture present in Poland at that time of their childhood. Dynasty, Twin Peaks, Miami Vice, The X-Files, Northern Exposure and Baywatch influenced the social imagination, common dreams and the fears of the whole society. Another important point of reference for the artists was the vernacular design of Cologne buildings and public spaces as well as postmodern architecture in the region. The installation creates a relaxed and inclusive space in which you watch the films over a long period of time and then reflect together. Outside the events, it functions as a place where the audience of Temporary Gallery can spend time. The objects form a set of an imaginary television show, in which the visitors can come up with and enact new episodes.

Mateusz Okoński (* 1985 in Kraków, Poland) is an artist, curator, collector and exhibition designer. A graduate of the Faculty of Sculpture of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, he is founder and former art director of Zbiornik Kultury at the Malopolska Institute of Culture. In 2010 he established the art group Quadratum Nigrum with Jakub Skoczek and Jakub Woynarowski. QN dig conspiracy theories and cracks in history; they combine classical works of the avant-garde and inspiration from remote times into new and often startling compositions. He lives and works in Kraków.

Marta Sala (* 1985 in Katowice, Poland) completed a master's degree in painting at the Art Academy in Krakow. Currently she studies Art in context at the UdK in Berlin (thanks to DAAD scholarship). She is a member and co-founder of the artist group STRUPEK. Her artistic activities include painting, installation, sewing, costume design, performance, participatory art and public art.

Dominika Szczałba-Żegleń (* 1985 in Krakow, Poland) is an artist, since 2007 member of the artist group STRUPEK. She studied graphics at the Art Academy in Kraków. She participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Her artistic activities include drawing, miniature, conservation and collage.

6 p.m.
Screening programme:

Richard Serra and Carlota Fay Schoolman, „Television Delivers People“, 1973
„Television Delivers People“ is a seminal work in the now well-established critique of popular media as an instrument of social control that asserts itself subtly on the populace through “entertainments”. With Muzak playing in the background, a scrolling text denounces the corporate masquerade of commercial television to reveal the structure of profit that greases the wheels of the media industry. By appropriating the medium he is criticizing—using television, in effect, against itself—he employs a strategy characteristic of early, counter-corporate video collectives—a strategy that remains integral to video artists committed to a critical dismantling of the media’s political and ideological stranglehold.

Christian Jankowski, „Crying for the March of Humanity“, 2012
Jankowski requested Televisa, one of the largest Latin American broadcasting companies, to reproduce an entire episode of the Mexican telenovela La que no podía amar (The One Who Could Not Love). Though made with the original script, location, cast, and post-production procedure, Jankowski’s version replaces all of the actors’ dialogue with crying. Through earpieces, they were able to hear their original lines, so their cries were synchronized with the pace of the original episode. The title of the work refers to a mural by David Alfaro Siqueiros – the world’s largest, La Marcha de la Humanidad en la Tierra yhacia el Cosmos (The March of Humanity on Earth and Toward the Cosmos, 1965–1971). Crying for the March of Humanity thus takes one of the most prominent instances of melodrama – the act of crying – and connects it to the grandiosity of Siqueiros’s title. In this way, Jankowski created a complex dialogue between two forms of mass media possessing social and political influence: the mural and the telenovela.

Kate Davis, „Weight“, 2014
„Taking a 1961 BBC documentary about artist Barbara Hepworth as its starting point, „Weight“ explores how televised depictions of creativity have constructed our understanding of artistic production and other forms of labour. „Weight“ re-imagines the value systems that this documentary is predicated upon and proposes an alternative vision.“ Kate Davis

Melanie Gilligan, „The Common Sense“, 2014, Phase 1
The 15-part science fiction miniseries "The Common Sense" shows how technologies change our behavior and our bodies. It introduces the story of a future technology known as "The Patch," which allows one to share affective and physical experiences directly with others. About ten years after its invention, students in a seminar discuss retrospectively the resulting changes. The technology, which was introduced with a lot of hope, has not led to greater understanding for the other, either in private life or at work, and has only promoted capitalist optimization strategies. The negative effects are particularly evident when the network fails: because they are no longer used to being alone without control or feedback from the network, all the characters fall into a state of disturbance and disorientation.

Kim Heecheon, „Sleigh Ride Chill“, 2016
„Sleigh Ride Chill“ represents the contemporary city of Seoul, its inhabitants, and the investigation of their world. Three different stories intertwine while the camera navigates downtown Seoul: 1) In one, someone’s laptop is lost with all its private information leaked on the internet; 2) in one, someone streams online while playing a famous game from the recent past; 3) A broadcasting system that covers the stories of Korea’s new “suicide club.” The video also suggests familiar digital technologies such as VR or Face Swap and interface applications as a useful instrument for understanding Korea. One technological facet of the “K-future”—represented by online dots and a mass of dots which directly go (back) into the real world, or the co-existence of the two worlds—indicates not only the face of contemporary Seoul but also that of the future human world.

7:45 p.m.
Skype lecture:
Maeve Connolly: Televisual Remains And Social Bodies

For many decades, the relationship between art and television was framed in terms of opposition. Artists wanted to radicalize televisual form, rejecting standardised production practices while also demanding access to TV distribution structures and audiences. Since the early 2000s, however, television has lost much of its status as a dominant cultural form, and is no longer regarded as a site of advanced technology. Yet artists have continued to draw upon specific aspects of TV form and infrastructure, such as serialised narrative structures, the aesthetics of live news feeds, and footage from broadcast archives. This lecture explores how artists have used these leftovers or ‘remains’ of television to articulate and explore ongoing transformations in the constitution and representation of social and public bodies.

Maeve Connolly is a Dublin-based researcher, focused on changing cultures and economies of art and media practice. She is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Film, Art & Creative Technologies at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Dublin, Ireland, where she co-directs the MA in Art & Research Collaboration (ARC) and also teaches studio modules on the BA in Art. She is the author of „TV Museum: Contemporary Art and the Age of Television“ (2014) on television as cultural form, object of critique and site of artistic intervention, and „The Place of Artists’ Cinema: Space, Site and Screen“ (2009), on aspects of the cinematic turn in art. She is also the co-editor, with Orla Ryan, of „The Glass Eye: Artists and Television“ (2000), a collection of artists’ projects exploring the televisual.

Meryem Erkus: DJ-Set

For the project of Temporary Gallery Meryem Erkus prepared a special DJ set inspired by music coming from TV series.

Meryem Erkus aka Diana Jones works versatile in Cologne at the interfaces art and sound. As founder of the art and project space GOLD + BETON at the Ebertplatz and the former subculture niche Baustelle Kalk e.V., she shares her responsibility for many music experiments and hybrid forms of exhibition. This range is also reflected in Diana Jones' DJ sets. Between Electronic, Post-RNB, Vaporwave or Kraut, you will find here for many regular musical New Release. Erkus is part of various curatorial teams in the city, including the 1-week (sound art) bridge music exhibition, Stadtgarten Köln, the FAR OFF - Cologne Contemporary Art Fair (area: Performance), and the young label baumusik, the large part of visual artists to its catalog count. For the Baustelle Kalk e.V. she has already been awarded several times, i.a. 2016 with the Cologne Culture Prize for Young Initiatives.

Raf Andra: 5:5, artistic culinary intervention

In his artistic contribution to the evening Raf Andra will present and serve 5 five dishes from five famous TV series, among them "Sanguinaccio Dolce" from "Hannibal Lecter", "Blue Candy" inspired by "Breaking Bad" and the amazing snacks of "Changs Frito Lunch" of "Orange is the New Black".

Raf Andra was raised and educated between Argentina, Germany and Ecuador. He works with digital media, photography, installation, simulated photography and video. He was the founder and co-director of Project 686 Gallery (2014-2018). He also worked as art sales consultant for the Spanish and South American markets and as a purchase assistant for fine art dealers in Cologne and Düsseldorf. In 2018 he founded a gastronomic club with the aim of experimenting with artistic and chemical concepts through gastronomy. He lives and works in Cologne.


1 —  Mobile art installation by Mateusz Okoński, Marta Sala and Dominika Szczałba-Żegleń
Photo: Tamara Lorenz