To mark the first issue of the magazine Synchron, eight artists were invited to present their works at Trauma Bar und Kino as an extension of their published contributions to the magazine. Both media—the magazine and the exhibition—mutually complement one another. Mysticism, magic, individual interpretation, and spirituality are the binding links between all contributors. That is why the first issue of the magazine and the exhibition share the same title: Liminal Bridges.
The works on display fluctuate between different media, connected by the element of liminality, which each artist has interpreted for themselves. To provide some direction, Synchron’s request to the artists included the following terms: mysticism, occultism, rituals with or without religious contexts, otherworldly scenarios, and magic.
Alicia Gladston transforms an entire room into a metallic arrangement inspired by the Rosicrucian gardens of the king and queen of Bohemia, while other rooms host installations by Ben Sang, Kay Yoon, and Adam Varab. Johannes Farsing juxtaposes lacquered wooden reliefs with references to the traditional cult of Carnival from the valleys of southern Switzerland while Sal Salandra embroidery explores BDSM practices blended with cultural symbolism, inviting the audience to indulge in another world.
Claire Barrow’s painting explore the subconscious by depicting fantastical realms. Chiu Laozhi’s sculpture, crafted using ancient Chinese techniques, illuminates the transcendence of the dragon symbol and related Daoist thoughts for the viewer.
The term liminality was first coined in the early twentieth century by the French ethnologist Arnold van Gennep and later picked up as a subject of deeper research by the anthropologist Victor Turner:
Another potential layer of interpretation is added to the title by the fact that Liminal Bridges is based on an actual book that can be read by players of Bethesda Studio’s milestone video game Skyrim. The book details a certain magical procedure to open the gate to Oblivion and a rite to create a magical stone that stores arcane power. According to the curator liminality refers to a state of transformation that the artists enter during the process of creating their work. The event at Trauma Bar und Kino functions as a bridge to their metaphysical worlds beyond.
February 19 – March 19, ’22
Trauma Bar und Kino
Heidestraße 50, 10557 Berlin
Claire Barrow, Johannes Farfsing, Alicia Gladston, Chiu Laozhi, Sal Salandra, Ben Sang, Adam Varab,
Text by Lea Kloepel
The exhibition is curated by Synchron magazine