• 02 October – 07 November
Pınar Öğrenci

Awaiting the Onset of the Sense of Life

Window installation by Pınar Öğrenci
HD video, 3.20 min., 2013

“Mourning: not a crushing oppression, a jamming (which would suppose a ‘refill’), but a painful availability: I am vigilant, expectant, awaiting the onset of the ‘sense of life’. 8 December” Roland Barthes, Mourning Diary.

“The union of soul and body is not an amalgamation between two mutually external terms… We connect with other beings only and only through our body.” Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The Phenomenology of Perception

In one of her first artistic works, Öğrenci explores the use of electricity and sensor technology in public and private spaces and questions their relationship to body and space. The video Awaiting the onset of the sense of life shows the bathroom of a bar in Munich. In the video artist body moves in the tiny, claustrophobic bathroom. The position of the body makes the electricity and the space visible, while activating its components at the same time. The electricity and the light in the videos become part of the body and an extension of our hands.

The elements of anxiety, repetition, light and darkness reflect the artist’s state of mind in her “dark” days—that mourning and “waiting” period just after her father death. For the artist, the beginning of her artistic production evokes the idea of electricity, something like a lightning. In her words, “I felt like a cloud full of electricity on a cloudy day—somber and ready to explode!”

This window installation is the last window display of the series “The Burdensome Richness. – Independent female and queer artists in Berlin in the 1980s and today”. For decades, Berlin has symbolised the promise of an independent life marked by artistic ambition.

Since the late 1970s, there has been a large number of independent feminist artists in both West and East Berlin who have successfully pursued their work and established themselves – some in the midst of the art scene, others on its fringes. Some were able to successfully establish themselves internationally, while others distinguished themselves by permanently locating themselves in the subculture.

In 2021, Berlin remains a place of longing for artists from countries where creative and critical expression is hardly possible, or only possible to a limited extent, and where there are hardly any prospects for alternative life plans.

Since May 2021 Galerie Auslage has explored these two, temporally separate movements with its program. In a series of exhibitions artists who have recently arrived in Berlin meet artists who began their artistic careers here in the 1970s/1980s. The (re)visualization of this special side of Berlin’s (sub)culture is intended to be a stimulus and inspiration – and by no means only to radiate from then to now. Galerie Auslage will continue to pursue this exploration and continue to forster connections between different generations of independent female and queer artists in Berlin.


Berlin based artist Pınar Öğrenci has a background in architecture, which informs her poetic and experiential video-based work and installations that accumulate traces of 'material culture' related to forced displacement across geographies. Her works are decolonial and feminist readings from the intersections of social, political and anthropological research, everyday practices, and human stories that follow agents of migration such as war, state violence, collective movements, as well as industrial and urban development projects. She is the founder and director of MARSistanbul an art initiative launched in 2010. She used to work as guest lecturer at Luneburg University (2017-8) and University of the Arts Bremen (HFK, 2019) and currently teaches at Raum Strategies Kunsthochschule Weißensee Berlin. Öğrenci directed her first documentary film 'Gurbet is a home now' in Berlin in 2020 that puts under critical review the urban planning principles in 1980s Berlin and centers around the personal experiences and solidarity amongst the women migrants and guest workers living in Kreuzberg.