OJ Presents; Paul Barsch’s first solo show in Istanbul, ‘Oil Soaked Flannel’

There is no statement. Just a possibility of what might happen with the given potential; bad entertainment, precarious labor, deadlocked power structures, medial construction of reality, cheap envy. Loosely connected artifacts meeting in a space, engaged in their own work that comes with great ease. There is no pecking order but always a director who sits while others run. Screens gazing at their own reflection. Blue, the key color to fantasies of recreational bliss. There is someone connecting the cables under the embracing flannel and making sure that all is recorded.

Paul Barsch’s first solo show in Istanbul; ‘Oil Soaked Flannel’ meets us in a setting of artificial objects building a scene. The somewhat close but mostly loose relations of these objects, with their assigned tasks by the artist, form a conceptual space that will eventually transform into an enhanced exhibition through documentation.

19 JAN * 2 FEB 2018



We have a chair. A directors chair.

A lightweight chair that folds side-to-side with a scissors action.

The chair for film-making. Blue screen effects. Medial constructions of reality.

We have blue pigment. Ultramarine. Lapis lazuli.

Yves Klein used it to create his International Klein Blue monocrome paintings.

They make a perfect blue screen.

We have flannel shirts. Workers clothing. Heavy Cotton.

You use old shirts to wipe off oil. Oil and industrial labour. Brown oil covers oceans.

The craving for colour requires workforce to scrape out the mines. (Or to run laboratories …)

A need for distraction craves for colourful creation. (A vicious circle …)

Then we have the myth of the 3 chairs used by Walt Disney to foster his creativity.

The Dreamer-chair, the Critic-chair and the Realist-chair. (For (self-)optimization …)

We have the screens. To display the drama.

BLUE versus BLUE.

A director’s chair’s seat and back are made of canvas.

The director sits, while others run.

The canvas works fine for painting too.

So, what we have is vague connections. Close and loose relations of pigment and power structures, precarious labour, entertainment and medial construction techniques.

It is BLUE, the key colour for fantasies of recreational bliss.

The BLUE Lagoon. The BLUE sky. A BLUE moon.

The blue screen of death.

There is always someone who connects the cables and ensures that everything is recorded.

(And gets it screened back to you …)

Working with culturally charged materials across media and context, Paul Barsch studied fine art and painting at Dresden Art Academy. In 2010 he co-founded the artist-run space ‘S T O R E’ in Dresden where he also curates and organizes exhibitions. Together with Tilman Hornig, he founded the project New Scenario in 2015; a dynamic platform for conceptual, post-cube, online exhibitions. He was one of the initiators of ‘PIZZA PAVILION’ at the 56th Venice Biennale. The artist lives and works between Berlin and Dresden.