Behind the Scenes with Kwadrat

"I wanted to stay in Berlin-Kreuzberg and so I had to intensify my search a bit. Along the way, I accidentally came upon this courtyard shed. The room was now in disuse: it had previously been used by the building custodian, but now it was filled to the ceiling with rubbish”, Martin Kwade describes how he found the new exhibition space of Galerie Kwadrat. With the exhibition Tunnelblick by the artist Tobias Dostal he is one of this year’s nominees for the VBKI-Preis Berliner Galerien. "I try to get the artists to use the entire space. The room here is very long and narrow. I’m interested in how spaces change. That can be a challenge. This might set me apart from other gallerists.”


"Little Illusions"

Tobias Dostal immediately knew how he would use Kwadrat’s location for his solo show. “It’s about the illusion of infinity, the eternal bar or the crystal-like tunnel. The glasses are an emblem for the endless bar that is here in the background, to be walked through. I have etched drawings onto the glasses themselves. Unlike paper, they are drawings on something round, and in so doing a movement is created because the drawings permanently change. These small animated illusions can be discovered by the beholder. I wanted to animate drawings, to return life to the objects


The artist Tobias Dostal is also a magician. Not only does he make weekend appearances performing as a magician, but also invents magic tricks that colleagues can purchase. What do the two realms have in common? “Between magic and art, a wonderful combination has emerged. But I also realized what art can do and what only magic can do. Art can do much more, in the sense of the illusion that I really want to show. Although in art you can see the apparatuses, and notice how it all works, people ultimately value the illusion, they allow themselves to be tricked. But when it comes to my magic tricks, as soon as a make the tiniest mistake, the illusion is immediately destroyed. With magic in art, it’s possible to create larger images.” His gallerist Martin Kwade adds: “Tobias’ work is magical, but also creates a magic moment because one doesn’t really know now far the space reaches. It’s a never-ending bar. And a bar and art, that’s a good match.”


Editor-in-Chief: Nella Beljan
Photo: Mirjam Wählen
Video: Katharina Tress
Production Management Assistant: Ludwig Schaible