Cyrill Lachauer, Cockaigne - I am not sea, I am not land, 2020, (Filmstill: Justin), © the artist, Courtesy Sammlung Goetz, Medienkunst, München

Cyrill Lachauer. I am not sea, I am not land – Sammlung Goetz in Haus der Kunst

Exhibition, from

Exhibition overview

Cyrill Lachauer (b. 1979 in Rosenheim, lives and works in Berlin and Los Angeles) develops his extensive projects on long journeys, and delves deeply into the local cultures of the places he visits. For the exhibition by the Sammlung Goetz in the former air-raid shelter of Haus der Kunst, Lachauer has created a new multi-part installation, which includes films, videos, photographs and texts, as a dystopian development to the utopian spaces depicted in his last film “Dodging Raindrops – A Separate Reality.” The artist deals with the idea of land in various forms. Land can signify home and provide roots, or refer to a nourishing piece of earth. It can also, however, lead to inclusion or exclusion when it represents the idea of nationhood. Land can be owned or lived with. It can be taken away, destroyed, and made inaccessible to others. 

In “I am not sea, I am not land,” we encounter a US American who has fled to Berlin to escape a long prison sentence, three diamond seekers in South Africa, a gay park worker in Yosemite National Park and people performing demonic Twelfth Night rituals in the alpine region. Lachauer does not assume the role of the distanced observer hidden behind the camera, but rather questions his own position by exploring socio-political issues concerning gender, identity, social class and nationhood.

Lachauer refers to the 1567 painting “The Land of Cockaigne” by Peter Brueghel the Elder. In the painting, Breughel depicts a land of milk and honey (English Cockaigne) as an ironic utopian counterpart to the everyday harshness of peasant life.

Curated by Cornelia Gockel and Susanne Touw