Calla Henkel, *1988 in Minneapolis, US, Max Pitegoff, *1987 in Buffalo, US, live and work in Berlin
Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff work as artists, organizers, authors, and designers. Their photographs, installations, and settings express shifts in public and private spaces, as well as the underlying economies and reasoning. After running various venues, such as the Times Bar (with Lindsay Lawson), the New Theater, and the Schinkel Klause, they are currently working in a back room at Bierhaus Urban, a long-standing bar in Berlin-Kreuzberg.
Machine 1 (2017) references the photo essay “This Ain’t China” (1974) by Allan Sekula about a fast-food restaurant in California. With black-and-white images and interviews with the owners and employees, Sekula portrays a catering trade that protects its vested interests by means of cheap labor. Henkel & Pitegoff chose a restaurant in Berlin-Mitte known for its social and financial connections to the art scene. The photos presented there are integrated into a layout, which in turn fed through a continuous image/text machine, comparable to the conveyor-belt of a newspaper printing press. Depending on the viewers positioning, different parts of the story are legible. The machine thus becomes a force of social reproduction, representing the constant renegotiation of content, the continuation of artistic economies, and their numerous complexities.