Guy de Lancey, in collaboration with world-renowned artists Broomberg and Chanarin, Brian O Doherty, designer Pablo Dornhege, and sound designer Shervin Saremi, have created a virtual reality environment forensically examining the World Press Photo Award of 2017 (by Burhan Ozbilici) about the assassination of Andre Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey. 



Press Release: 

Synthesis Gallery is thrilled to premiere the first VR work by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin in collaboration with the legendary Brian O'Doherty, Guy de Lancey, Pablo Dornhege,  and Shervin Saremi. 'WOE FROM WIT' is curated by George Vitale and is part of Transmediale/ Vorspiel.

“Inside the white cube we don't speak in a normal voice, one does not laugh, one does not eat, drink, lie down, or sleep, one does not get ill, go mad, sing, dance, or make love...Unshadowed, white, clean, artificial, the space is devoted to the technology of aesthetics. Art exists in a kind of eternity. While eyes and minds are welcome, space occupying bodies are not. Emotions are turned into a consumer product” - Brian O’Doherty, Inside the White Cube.

On the 19th December 2017 an act of violence unfolded in the Contemporary Art Museum in Ankara that shocked the world. Andre Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey was fatally wounded by a Syrian assassin while giving the opening speech at a photography exhibition. Documentary footage reveals that Karlov was approached by his own bodyguard, Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, who pulled out a pistol, shouted “Don’t forget Syria, don’t forget Aleppo” and fatally shot the ambassador. The assembled audience cowered in terror. The speech, the murder and the subsequent minutes of horror were captured by an AP photographer, Burhan Ozbilici. One of the several images he took went on to win the World Press Photo Award of 2017.

In Broomberg and Chanarin’s analysis of these events visitors enter a virtual model of the museum using a VR headset. Here none of the laws that govern our daily lives apply: gravity, morality, bodily, functions, geographic space or chronological time. The disorientating experience is narrated by Brian O’Doherty author of the seminal “Inside the White Cube”. Through O’Doherty's narration we are invited to consider our own consumption of such images of violence but also the architecture of the white cube itself; and by extension the moral, political and economic codes embedded in virtual reality itself.

ADAM BROOMBERG (b. 1970, Johannesburg, ZA) and OLIVER CHANARIN (b. 1971, London, UK) are artists living and working between London and Berlin. They are professors of photography at the Hochschule für bildende Künste (HFBK) in Hamburg and teach on the MA Photography & Society programme at The Royal Academy of Art (KABK), The Hague which they co-designed. Together they have had numerous solo exhibitions most recently at The Centre Georges Pompidou (2018) and the Hasselblad Center (2017). Their participation in international group shows include the Yokohama Trienniale (2017), Documenta, Kassel (2017), The British Art Show 8 (2015-2017), Conflict, Time, Photography at Tate Modern (2015); Shanghai Biennale (2014); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2014); Tate Britain (2014), and the Gwanju Biennale (2012).

Opening Reception: January 31st 2019, 6pm-9pm;
Exhibition: January 31st - February 3rd 2019, 12am-8pm;
Press Accreditation: Email to register, +49 176 325 10217;
Admission Donation: €4 throughout the exhibition;
Reuterstraße 62 - 12047 Berlin, Germany