Montag Modus
Ignition Cycle

with performances and installations by Nicholas Grafia & Mikołaj Sobczak, Constantin Hartenstein, Janne Nora Kummer & Anton Krause, Nguyễn + Transitory, Ania Nowak, Lilly Pfalzer

August 29, 2020; 6-10 pm

Alte Münze, courtyard and basement house 3, Molkenmarkt 2, 10179 Berlin

The performance-exhibition "Ignition Cycle" takes as its point of departure an energetic and repetitive point in time at which the body is forced to be in a continuous state of performing; balancing between lethargy and acceleration. The title is inspired by a chemical process which triggers the initial moment of ignition and the beginning of a cycle of combustion processes and explosions.

With productivity currently undergoing a global crisis and terms such as "productivity guilt" reflects social discourses, the artists of "Ignition Cycle" ask questions about the consequences of standstill in a post-digital scenario. The exhibition focuses on artistic strategies of refusal that can be read as ways out of productivity loops.

Based on their diverse working practices, the artists question the scope of the productivity crisis in reference to violence, alienation and a newfound trust. The works react to ongoing tendencies of social pressure of productivity and its physical and mental consequences. Alte Münze, a venue central to the city’s party culture, will be activated in the frame of the performance-exhibition.

In the performance "Milk Tooth", Nicholas Grafia & Mikołaj Sobczak re-contextualize events and personal narratives that have been erased from official history writing. Alluding to gothic fiction and referring to cross-culturally established mythologies, among other elements, they make use of narrative vehicles that navigate through past and present history of countercultural events as well as tales of marginalized subjects. The characters mediated through the performers refer to (psychological) colonizing mechanisms, global folklore as well as othering processes that lead to the creation of "strangers" and "deviants".

Constantin Hartenstein's perfomative sculpture "Suspend" illuminates the limiting fragility of protective measures and distance which determine current social interactions. Through making the required social distance visible with hybrid sculptural material, the performers, Maciek Sado, Djibril Sall and Yi-Wei Tien are put in a fragile state between careful proximity and non-negotiable stretch. "Suspend" is choreographed by Jos McKain with a soundtrack by Tommi Toivonen.

The multimedia installation "The Implicit Order" by Janne Nora Kummer and Anton Krause is an anti-anxiety VR experience that empowers its users to resist the triggers implanted in our lives by the capitalist leisure industry. The immersive VR-experience is connected to an online multiplayer world, in which you virtually can participate under 

Ania Nowak’s expanded choreographic practice approaches vulnerability and desire as ways towards reimagining what bodies and language can do. In the durational performance "Inflammations (pandemic edition)" together with Angela Alves they reflect on chronic pain, rest and crip time. The work looks for relief from pain and suffering by exploring possible infrastructures of care.

As part of the performance-exhibition the video UNTITLED 3 (Don't give advice!) by Ania Nowak & Aleksandra Osowicz will be shown.

With their installation "Topography of Vulnerabilities #2", consisting of sound, light and plant elements, the duo Nguyễn + Transitory questions the effects that the current and post-pandemic climate has on vulnerability, proximity and trust. Installed in a grim basement environment, they trace deeply intimate sensations that would otherwise be disturbed by the policing of intimacies that have become unquestionable and normalised.

Lilly Pfalzers work investigates the strengths and dangers of anonymity, communal bodies and collective identity. The performance-exhibition features the installation "From ethics to aesthetics" and a performance "Hold a ghost" in which Pfalzer together with Ronald Berger, Marie Carangi, Olivia Hyunsin Kim, Rebecca Korang and Billy Morgan explore the district of Friedrichstadt. Through a site-specific dramaturgy starting at Flaneurin* oder Spaßverderberin*?, an exhibition project by feldfünf e.V., and ending at the courtyard of Alte Münze, they address personal as well as collective stories and monuments in order to investigate imperialist and colonialist gestures manifested in urban architecture.

Detailed program and schedule

Program booklet

Ignition Cycle TIMESLOT 1

Ignition Cycle TIMESLOT 2

Curators: Léna Szirmay-Kalos and Alexander Wilmschen 

Producer: Ben Mohai

Technical team: Sanja Gergoric & Bátor Tóth

All visitors are asked to wear a mask inside the building and to stick to the 1,5m social distancing rule at all times. Hand sanitizer is provided at the entrance.

The courtyard is accessible without stairs. The basement does not have an elevator and is unfortunately not accessible with a wheelchair.


Under the overarching title, Ecology of Attention, the annual topic of the Montag Modus interdisciplinary series focuses on attention in the age of the digital and on strategies for resisting the attention economy. Montag Modus: Ecology of Attention is a project organized by the MMpraxis curatorial platform that unfolds in five events in 2020 and 2021. The project is funded by the Berlin Senate for Culture and Europe and the German-Czech Future Fond, and supported by Alte Münze (Berlin), Collegium Hungaricum Berlin, Divadlo X10 (Prague) Flutgraben e.V. (Berlin) and Studio Public in Private.