Arne Schmitt & Nico Joana Weber
4 February – 30 April 2017


He looked at a tree. To be split and made into rafters. He looked at a streak of rust on the stone and thought of iron ore in the ground. To be melted and to emerge as girders against the sky. These rocks, he thought, are here for me; waiting for the drill, the dynamite and my voice; waiting to be split, ripped, pounded, reborn; waiting for the shape my hands will give them. (Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead, 1943)

The architect’s gaze at the world: a storage of resources, a terrain to conquer, a plinth for his creation. In Ayn Rand’s novel "The Fountainhead", the protagonist Howard Roark is not only an ideal model of the modern architect, whose buildings are not obliged to any tradition or community; at the same time he is a radical individualist, acting autonomously and creating autopoietically. This exaggerated manifestation of a fully emancipated subject - a phantasm of unfettered capitalism, as Rand constantly preached it - has its price: everyone is on his own. This paradox of being unbound is at the core of the exhibition "Alleinanspruch / Sole Claim" conceived by Arne Schmitt and Nico Joana Weber. In his photographic series and the film "Mit weniger mehr schaffen / Make more with less", (2016) addresses the practical side of modernism. Nico Joana Weber’s extensive installation featuring the new 3-channel video-projection "Land of Enchantment" is devoted to an area whose harsh climatic and geographic conditions defy human habitation, while encapsulating the history of mankind in a kind of time lapse.

Curator: Regina Barunke


Sole Claim / Respawn
Published by Temporary Gallery, Cologne
Texts by Regina Barunke, Baptist Ohrtmann
German / English

Nico Joana Weber. Painted Desert
Artist book
Text by Anna Brohm
Design by Tino Graß
German / English
Grass Publishers, 2017


4 March 2017
Exhibition tour with Arne Schmitt and Nico Joana Weber

22 April 2017
Nico Joana Weber and Angelika Stepken: Painted Desert

29 April 2017
Film im Erziehungssektor. Zu den Kinderfilmen von Harun Farocki und Hartmut Bitomsky aus den 70er Jahren
Screening Room



Funding and Support

Förderprogramm der Sparkasse KölnBonn, betreut durch die SK Stiftung Kultur
Kulturamt der Stadt Köln
Deltax contemporary, Wirtschafts- und Steuerberatungsgesellschaft mbH


1 — exhibition view
2 — Arne Schmitt: Make More with Less. The Timeless Science of Rationalisation, 2016
3 — Arne Schmitt: Basalt. Origin Usage Exaltation, 2017
4 — Nico Joanna Weber: Fairyland, 2016, Chama, 2016, Earth Study, 2017
5 — Nico Joana Weber: Land of Enchantment, 2017
Photo: Simon Vogel