The art-collective MAIK Alles Gute presented a real-time sauna experience in Heit Berlin, that brings you closer to the realm of the service industry.
Artist(s) MAIK Alles Gute
Venue Heit Berlin
Text Matthias Planitzer
MAIK Alles Gute comprises Marie Jeschke, Raik Zimmermann and the budgie Bubi S., who the group describes as a “birdish position” that is continuously in flow. With the help of an industrial dehumidifier, MAIK Alles Gute accesses multiple areas of service industry, including a mobile phone repair shop, a hairdresser’s, a kindergarten and a home assistance service, drawing out their essence in watery form.
At Heit, MAIK Alles Gute presents a total of 10 different service contexts; 350 cubic metres filter through, totalling 50 litres per day. Each extract has been arduously refined, homeopathically potentiated and neatly bottled. The result: two litres of takeaway fumes from a Chinese restaurant, 200 millilitres of kindergarten concentrate, and no more than a sip of ciggy-seller-concentrate. Their content is of a subtle rather than material nature – the waters are nearly odourless.
Under the supervision of Mrs. G. Gehrke, a qualified specialist for sauna and swimming pools, the distillates will be evaporated again in the sauna over a period of three weeks. Visitors are invited to participate by taking a sauna within the installation “postsocialist realism by MAIK Alles Gute (in remembrance of W. Tübke)” simultaneously inhaling each infusion.
The exhibition title is a re-appropriation of MAIK Alles Gute’s socialisation in the GDR, which forms the catchword “postsocial realism”. They leave behind the pathos of social realism in order to gain a more pragmatic and clearer perspective in a contemporary context of service industry. Where working people might sweat through their labour, these fleeting moments can caught, distilled and made tangible as each infusion is poured over hot stones. The artists thus see their work as a holistic fresco; not plaster and painting, but skin, sweat and steam are combined to form a participatory painting that is taken in by the idle sauna-goers. The towels absorb the sweat both of their owners and the workers from service contexts. These towelremnants will gradually build into an installation in the ‘public’ area of the exhibition.
Out of these towels, a growing installation will be build in the public part of the exhibition, as they form a second sweat lodge on the scaffold of three Streetbuddys. The archetype of the modern sauna is widespread. It often takes the form of a sukkah: a scaffold made from willow branches and covered with cloth. Within this enclosure, health would be strengthened or the community would be stabilised as part of shamanic rituals.
To accompany the exhibition, MAIK Alles Gute and Heit present a sauna-infusion limited edition.