Calla Henkel und Max Pitegoff, Film-Still, Paradise, Episode 2, 2021

Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff, nominees for this year’s Preis der Nationalgalerie, run a bar called TV Bar. Here they write on something, no good drink can do without: ice.

The Ice Man has been one of our central characters for nearly a decade, interrupting evenings with two plastic bags slung over his shoulder and a wet receipt between his fingers. While running New Theater back in 2013, the Ice Man, who needed a generous time window for delivery, often entered during performances, the audience’s heads all turning to take in the lumbering figure at the door frame, so we began to write him in. Our actors knew what to say: »About time.«

»Three cubes in a glass are a clock. A calendar. A unit of measurement.«

And it is about time. Ice is rife with the anxiety of the contemporary. When staring down the barrel of a cocktail glass one is confronted with tiny glaciers, a handheld model of our destabilising climate for which your warmth alone is responsible. Three cubes in a glass are a clock. A calendar. A unit of measurement.

Our current ice supplier at TV Bar was once an artist, and we have talked with him about the absurd yet sculptural ›transformation‹ of ice, as he is keenly aware he’s selling us tap water for eighteen euros a bag. For the most recent episode of ›Paradise‹, the series we shoot in TV Bar, we decided to take a trip to our ice supplier in the high heat of August. We filmed the men in winter coats as they scooped cubes and loaded bags. The green energy bill is over four thousand euros a month. There is a new demand for flawless skinny ice rectangles at eighty cents a piece. In summer, they always run out.

While TV Bar is open, we only show the episodes of ›Paradise‹ on small TVs in other bars or alternative spaces, and because it is silent, the ambient noise of these spaces fill in the soundtrack.

Preis der Nationalgalerie 2021. Lamin Fofana. Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff. Sandra Mujinga. Sung Tieu
16 SEP 2021—27 FEB 2022
Preview as part of Berlin Art Week on 15 SEP from 8pm with pre-booked time slot ticket.