Review: Almost Tension

The Almost Tension vernissage was abuzz with intense performances and sekt. Intrigued visitors flowed through the space. First greeted by the warm yellow of Maria Kubysh’s ‘Sun‘, the lively topography of this exhibition pulls the viewer in deeper. As pieces obscure the view and create pathways, one can get lost in the space. As a result, navigating through Almost Tension is akin to moving through the city of Leipzig itself.

Sarah Bild’s hypnotic and impulsive performance piece Tracks captured onlookers at the Alte Handelsschule. As her body struggled and interacted with metal objects, the tension was palpable. While metal coiled around her figure, viewers questioned whether she would escape it. Almost being consumed, Bild then emerged and regained control; A literal and metaphorical triumph of the self over past odds and obstacles. Sharing time and breath with the vernissage audience, Sarah’s performance also altered the exhibition space and the relationship between her, and the works she performed alongside.

A ‘Zusammengehörigkeitsgefühl’ at the Alte Handelsschule

Denise Holland’sZusammen’ also promotes interaction with the audience. The work acts as a frame through which the viewer sees the exhibition. Language and human interaction are Holland’s key focus. The work further hints at her own linguistic struggles here in Germany. Complete understanding and comprehension is thwarted by the fractured placement of wooden stelae in the space. With the words fragmented and separated, a tension concerning the reaches of language emerges. Direct translation is clearly not enough. Human interaction is therefore needed to fill the what is lost in translation. This discourse plays out literally in how the audience interacts with Holland’s work.

Despite such variation in style, process and medium, many pieces work together harmoniously in the space. A great example of these dialogues is how the winding rope from Margo Van Rooyen’sPalette, Wheels and Rope‘ mirrors the folding latex of Audrey Newton’sThe Darkness and the Moss Between the Cracks of the Pavement’, as if intentional. In such small moments, there is a calm to an otherwise vibrant and active exhibition.

Almost Tension is an exhibition of light and bright moments, as well works that are heavier and initially puzzling. These ups and downs help build and release tension, something curator Jazmin claims the cycle of art to be. For those who missed the Almost Tension vernissage, the exhibition will also be open from 2-6PM Thursday 5 March with a duration performance by Sarah Bild between 5-6PM. It will also be open Friday 6 and Saturday 7 March from 2-6PM.

Don’t miss PILOTENKUECHE Round 42’s final exhibition, Hard Fluid Betrayal. It will be held at the PK studios from 21- 24 March.

Written by Rosie Shackleton

Almost Tension

duration performance by Sarah Bild
Thur 5 March

Thur 5 – Sat 7 Mar 

Geisserstr 7504229 Leipzig

International Artists:

Tomas Nuñez (AU)
Maria Kubysh (CA)
Audrey Newton (AU)
Jacqueline Huskisson (CA)
Austin Turley (US)
Margo van Rooyen (ZA)
Isobel Francisco (PH)
Ilana Pichon (CA, CH)
Sarah Bild (CA)
Denise Holland (CA)

Local Artists:

Shaima Dief (EG)
Philipp Orlowski (DE)

Jazmin Soria (US)


Maayan Moskona (IL)
Rosie Shackleton (UK)
Natacha Martins (PT)