Jenny Brockmann

In Irreversible Moment (2014 – ongoing), Jenny Brockmann addresses the causes of fundamental changes in structures, spaces, political and personal scenarios as well as the sociopolitical significance of moments that lead to something never being the same again. When and how do social, ecological and economically irreversible turning points occur? And is it possible to find new ways to meet them?

In her several years of artistic research on this topic, which resulted from collaboration with interdisciplinary experts in the fields of chemistry, physics, dance, and music, Brockmann seeks to visualize this point of no return from divergent perspectives in the humanities and natural sciences in three works. Chance as the moment that changes the world in an unpredictable way plays a special role in this project. In a physical experiment Brockmann attempts to track it down. For Irreversible Moment 20-14-220-9, she poured wax into water and recorded the process of casting and creating with photography and film. What factors play a role in how the wax takes shape? How are the surfaces, the angles, the elevations created? When does the “irreversible moment” of formation occur? What is coincidence here and what is pure physics?

Nothing less than the origin of life and death are the focus of two more works by Brockmann. An impressive experimental laboratory with glass cylinders, tubes and all kinds of technical equipment is a reenactment of the Miller-Urey experiment, first carried out in 1953 by Stanley Miller and Harold Clayton Urey at the University of Chicago. The experiment simulates a hypothetical early Earth's atmosphere exposed to electrical discharges that resemble lightning during a thunderstorm. After a certain period of time, organic molecules are formed, as they are found in living organisms today. The Miller-Urey experiment confirms the hypothesis that the formation of life is possible under the conditions of a postulated primordial atmosphere.

The theoretical physicist Dr. Valerij G. Kiselev from the University of Freiburg talks about the moment of death in a video interview. However, his thoughts on how death would be represented in a computed tomography (CT scan) using body fluids are purely hypothetical. Countless irreversible moments in the history of mankind and the earth, and ultimately in the entire universe determine the life of every individual, from the daily big bangs ’til the last gasp.

Countless irreversible moments in the history of mankind and the earth, and ultimately in the entire universe determine the life of every individual, from the daily big bangs ’til the last gasp.

Jenny Brockmann: Untitled, 2016
Sketch of the Miller-Urey Experiment,Test tubes, piston, spark,
Exhibition view at Ziegrastrasse 1, Berlin, photo: Özgür Erkök Moroder, © Jenny Brockmann

Jenny Brockmann: ‘Irreversible Moment’ 20-14-220-9, 2014
Plexiglas bowl, wax, water
Exhibition view at Ziegrastrasse 1, photo: Özgür Erkök Moroder, © Jenny Brockmann

Jenny Brockmann: Interview with Dr. Valerij G. Kiselev, 2016
HD video, 11:03 min.
Exhibition view at Ziegrastrasse 1, photo: Özgür Erkök Moroder, © Jenny Brockmann