SomoS is pleased to present a solo exhibition of Brian Tennessee Claflin and Greta Frau. Brian Tennessee Claflin was a radical and fiery figure and a free spirit who worked on the intersecting fringes of Berlin’s art and nightlife scenes since he moved here in 2006 up until his tragic death in 2014 at the age of 33. He founded the notorious Sunday soirée PORK at Ficken3000, but also left behind a small but very powerful body of art. Working interdisciplinarily in the fields of writing, performance, video, photography, DJing, and painting, Claflin was himself a living work of art who managed to develop a cult following of friends and fans in a brief but intense period of frenetic activity.
Claflin’s friends’ desire to preserve and promote his oeuvre led to the creation of the Brian Tennessee Claflin Foundation shortly after his death in June of 2014. For his first posthumous exhibition, Somos is pleased to join forces with the Foundation in presenting ‘The Five Senses’, a heretofore unseen work that Claflin made in collaboration with the Italian artist Greta Frau in 2007.
The Five Senses assumes the hybrid form of a five-channel video installation crossed with (studio) performance, featuring a young Claflin, filmed against a bare white wall, invoking the five Aristotelian senses in five performances each lasting about five minutes: hearing, scent, touch, taste, and seeing. It is an evocative and moving foray into the very core of perception, the foundational agency upon all relations between self and world are built. Thus, ‘The Five Senses’ is also an apt launching pad for the first installment of Brian Tennessee Claflin’s legacy, told through his body, his art work, and his own unique language.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication, featuring stills from the videos as well as a work of object- oriented writing by Travis Jeppesen.
On Wednesday 2 December at 7pm Travis Jeppesen will read from these texts in front of the installation, being accompanied by a live improv session by the musician Snax.
Brian Tennessee Claflin was born in Boise, Idaho, in the United States of America, in 1980. He studied photography, studio art, and art history at Hunter College (City University of New York) and BTK in Berlin, where he resided from 2006 until his death in 2014. In addition to his work with Greta Frau, Claflin collaborated with multimedia artist Christophe Chemin, photographer & designer Mario Dzurila, musician Snax, painter Pietro Spirito, and art/porn filmmaker Bruce LaBruce, among others. His work has been performed and exhibited at HAU Theater, STYX Projects, Lucas Carrieri Gallery, and the Black Mold Gallery in Chicago. For seven years, Claflin curated the weekly avant-garde Sunday night performance and dance party PORK, as well as the transgressive poetry and spoken word anti-art salon and performance/installation night SLUM, both of which he initiated along with writer Travis Jeppesen.
Greta Frau (date of birth unknown, Sardinia, Italy) is presumably the pseudonym of a South-Italian painter whose work has appeared in numerous exhibitions between 1998 and 2009, among others at F.R.A.C. Corsica, France, Capitol Arte Contemporanea, Cagliari, Italy, RAID Projects, Los Angeles, USA, and a group show at the Sardinia Department of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Cagliari, Italy, curated by Mark Gisbourne and Giuliana Altea.
28 November – 20 December 2015
Wednesday – Saturday 2 – 7 pm
– Opening reception: Friday, 27 November 2015, 6–9 pm
– Reading/Improv Session with Travis Jeppesen & Snax: Wednesday, 2 December, 7pm RSVP: Facebook
– Brian Tenneessee Claflin’s film ‘Moths Around a Flame’ (2012), will be presented at the 2015 Berlin Art Film festival, on 12 December, 10:30 pm, at Kino Moviemento, Kottbusser Damm 22.
Installation views courtesy Pauline Alioua.