March 23, 2021
A scene inside König Galerie's virtual show on Decentraland.
Expanding the possibilities of the real in a digital exhibition: Berlin’s König Galerie presents the international group exhibition THE ARTIST IS ONLINE. In the gallery around 70 works are shown by 50 young artists who recalibrate “traditional” artistic forms to today’s technomediated attention economy, where personalities are brands and “likes” are the yardstick of success. THE ARTIST IS ONLINE also includes a series of Instagram live talks with experts in net art, post-internet art and digital art, and artists involved in the exhibition series. Different from other cultural institutions, the director Johann König explains that KÖNIG GALERIE is better described as a media house. König Galerie tries to adapt great programming to different generations. “Online exhibitions and events will keep happening after the pandemic. But only the high-quality ones that set a new standard will survive because they are enjoyable experiences”, the dierctor Johann König explained.
KÖNIG GALERIE. Courtesy of KÖNIG GALERIE
And what about art that exists in a world that is digital? To address that question, the gallery is hosting a second, complementary exhibition in Decentraland, a virtual world on the blockchain, where computer-savvy users can explore—via avatar—an ones and zeros version of König. There, more than 30 digital works can be purchased as NFTs. The “land” on which the gallery sits in the blockchain platform was loaned by a collector named Shahin Tabassi.
Chloe Wise, Rachel, Floridian boy-scout, after bibimbap (2020). Courtesy of KÖNIG GALERIE.
THE ARTIST IS ONLINE is the first example of any gallery setting up shop on the popular blockchain platform. In the media of painting and sculpture, they react to the mechanisms of the attention economy and to technological innovations. They digitize painting, visualize data sets and reflect the mobility of images.
The Artist is online, installtion view, DECORAZON Gallery, Berlin, Germany 2021. Courtesy of KÖNIG GALERIE.
KÖNIG GALERIE’s focus is on interdisciplinary, concept-oriented and space-based approaches in a variety of media including sculpture, video, sound, painting, printmaking, photography and performance. The gallery was founded by Johann König in 2002, and currently represents 41 international, emerging and established artists.
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