with a special intervention by


27.04. - 08.06.2013
Opening: 26.04.2013, 6-9 pm

click the picture to launch gallery


»Falsch« sind diejenigen, die dem Individuum durch partikuläre gesellschaftliche Mächte, die an seiner Unterdrückung interessiert sind, auferlegt werden: diejenigen Bedürfnisse, die harte Arbeit, Aggressivität, Elend und Ungerechtigkeit verewigen. (Herbert Marcuse)


When Michael Krome invited us to create an exhibition in Berlin he asked us to read or re-read „Die falschen Bedürfnisse“ by Herbert Marcuse. Our own reading habits in relation to the intellectual offspring of Heidegger had previously focused on Hannah Arendt and above all her book „The Human Condition“. We had followed her argumentation about work versus labour, had recognised ourselves in the archetype of ‘homo faber‘ versus that of ‘animal laborans‘ which may well be an equivalent of Marcuse’s ‘one dimensional man’. Arendt provides us with a theoretical model to help analyse the events and circumstances that we have been witnessing and experiencing since the 1980s. To be an artist in Glasgow then was a way to resist the ineluctable situation of post industrial capitalism by being anomalous to it. 

The title of the exhibition, ‘Bursting at the Seams Boiling Point of Dreams‘ is a lyric from one of Mark Sadler’s songs and refers to an aspiration that isn’t tied up in raw socio-economic terms but is a longing to release meaning from life through the pursuit of desire in the face of death; desire being the vector along which we shuttle between eros and thanatos.

In recent years Sadler has used songs as an alternative to the standard requirements of describing his paintings via lengthy analysis. The solitary silent contemplation of a painting is coupled to the song whose role within the Celtic tradition is as a vector for the transmission of history and memory, political and personal dreaming aspirations and an invitation to solidarity. Our thinking has always been based on a poetic approach, most certainly the kind of “plumpen denken” that Hannah Arendt recalls Adorno berating Walter Benjamin for. We create holding structures of heterogeneity made up of strands of experience. We produce work in reaction to the lived world, to the encounter much in the spirit of Freud’s ‘Chance as a worthy decider of fate’.

The selection of work in the show draws on themes of desire as a personal narrative which operates in parallel with symbolic and political/historical structures. Mark Sadler’s ‘Seneca’ based on a Roman sculpture of Seneca portraying the philosopher giving his final speech before death, re-opens historical events pulling them into the present in a mysterious way; while in ‘Uptan Shadiki Rasam’ and ‘Breakers’, desire effuses via saturated light and heavy substances into contemporary spaces. ‘Luxury Sweeper‘ presents a worler as an energetic scrawl disrupting the serenity of an invitingly luxurious chaise longue. 50 drawings form a collection of pathways through repressed passion, playful subversion of the rules, musings and confessional word play related to encounter through travel and experience of religion. 

Elín Jakobsdóttir presents the Berlin premiere of her 16mm film ‘Horsebox’ (originally shown at Stills Gallery in Edinburgh) as well as a sculptural intervention - Wooden Horsebox. The film presents itself first as a purposeful instruction film on how to construct the box; it steadily degrades into an irrational zone of mental projection and physical play verging on the burlesque as the box transforms from use-object to coffin, kinderwagen and conjuror’s disappearing box.


Mark Sadler is a painter and musician based in Glasgow and Berlin. He is also a contributor to Frieze magazine. Elín Jakobsdóttir is a painter and film maker based in Berlin and Glasgow. Jakobsdóttir and Sadler are cofounders of Fiction House Project space and in October 2013 will present the exhibition “Symbolic Ecstatic“ at Fiction House Berlin.