Julius von Bismarck, Punishment #3, 2011, Inkjet Print, 50 x 75 cm
In January 2012 the alexander levy gallery, formerly LEVY BERLIN, will open under a new name after extensive renovations. Launched in September 2009 as a branch of the Hamburg gallery, the program has mainly focused on the promotion of young and experimental art. After two years, Alexander Levy will now expand this emphasis and the new alexander levy gallery will concentrate solely on the presentation of young artistic positions.
A first example of this updated approach can be seen on 27 January 2012 with a solo exhibition by Julius von Bismarck. Punishment I shows new works by the young progressive artist in the refurbished space. The title of the exhibition points to a pre-Christian legend that says that the Achaemenid King and Egyptian Pharaoh Xerxes had the strait at Hellespont punished with 300 lashes, after bridges that had been built on his order were destroyed by a storm shortly after construction.
Julius von Bismarck took up this anger allegorically for his new series of works. From October to December 2011 he went on a journey through Switzerland, South America and the United States armed with a whip. At impressive locations he plays with the rhetorical power of this traditional retaliation, whipping nature, defying its power, until he is exhausted. In a contemporary context, he thus rebels against socialization and, as a modern Sisyphus, questions value patterns which are conveyed to people today by societal constructs and authorities. The resulting evidence of these equally martial and meditative actions are collected in form of film footage, photographs and the whips in the context of Punishment I.
Julius von Bismarck, * 1983, has studied since 2009 with Olafur Eliasson at the Institut für Raumexperimente. In 2008 he won the Golden Nica of the Prix Ars Electronica with his work "Image Fulgurator". Following numerous exhibitions at internationally renowned locations, he became the first artist to receive the Prix Ars Electronica from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).