curated by Helene Romakin


Niklas Goldbach

Astrid Nippoldt


Opening: February 6, 2014, 6-9pm

Exhibition: Feb 7 – Mar 29, 2014

Artist Talk – Bagel Brunch: Sun, March 16, 2014, 12-2pm


Press Release

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ROCKELMANN& is pleased to announce “Sets, Structures, Relations. Referring to architectural non-places”, a juxtaposition of the artists Niklas Goldbach and Astrid Nippoldt, curated by Helene Romakin.

Related to Marc Augé’s observation and his idea of “non-places”, the exhibition discusses modern urban cityscapes generated by modified architectural structures and their consequence on social realities. By taking Marc Augé’s thoughts further, that places are defined by history and identity – and more abstractly by the relation of time and space – the exhibition investigates places that were de-contextualized from their usual environment.

In their works the Berlin-based artists Niklas Goldbach and Astrid Nippoldt analyze and interpret private and public architectural projects from the 20th century that until now have remained enigmatic drafts of unfulfilled utopias. In their videos, photographs and prints, both artists reflect emerging collective aesthetics that seem to be standardized, anonymized and following values such as functionality, mobility and an assumed artificial comfort. The exhibition questions the feeling of foreignness, nothingness and loneliness within the continuously expanding topographies of “non-places”.

With his works “Habitat C3B” (2008), “Zone C” (2008) and “My Barrio” (2005) Niklas Goldbach examines the appearance of public spaces in Paris and Berlin. The print series of fictitious buildings “Zone C” is based on images taken from public housing projects in the suburbs of Paris, while the video work “Habitat C3B” reveals a failed modernization project from the 1970s in the district of Front de Seine in Paris. The video work “My Barrio” shows a man walking through the former eastern part of Berlin. Following structures of aluminium and glass, he seems to be caught in the still existing “no man’s land”. All works are characterized by architectural disharmony, a disorientation that confronts the viewer with the utopias of his era.

“Cape Coral” (2011) by Astrid Nippoldt a multichannel video installation showing the architectural project “The Waterfront Wonderland” from 1950s era Florida. The videos illustrate life along 640 km of artificially constructed water canals that were built as an icon of social status – an embodiment of paradise for the middle class – that are now abandoned and left to their self-destruction. Nippoldt explores the former idealized world in its current condition of dissolution of space and time. “Cape Coral” appears as a set of ideals and illusions that never meant to get in touch with the outside world.

Niklas Goldbach, born in Witten, Germany, lives and works in Berlin. After studying photography and video at the University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld, he was awarded with a “Meisterschüler” degree at the University of the Arts Berlin in 2006, Niklas Goldbach received several scholarships (i.e. Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn 2010, Arbeitsstipendium Bildende Kunst des Berliner Senats 2013) and has presented his works in numerous solo shows, group exhibitions, and festivals in venues like the Reina Sofia National Museum Madrid, Mori-Art Museum Tokyo, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Galerie im Taxispalais Innsbruck, Centre Pompidou, Paris and the Short Film Festival Oberhausen. From 2012-2013 he worked as guest-professor for “Moving Image” at the University of the Arts (UdK) Berlin.

Astrid Nippoldt, 1973 born in Gießen, Germany, lives and works in Berlin. After studying Visual Arts at the University of the Arts, Bremen, she finished her postgraduate studies at Institut für Raumexperimente, class Olafur Eliasson. Nippoldt received several grants such as Villa Massimo, Rom and Jürgen Ponto-Stiftung, Frankfurt. Her works have been shown in numerous festivals and institutions such as Museum Kurhaus Kleve, Museum Folkwang Essen, Reykjavik Art Museum and Kunstverein Hannover. Since 2012 Nippoldt curates the Bremen Award for Video Art. Currently she works as a professor for moving image at Hochschule für Kunst, Design und Populäre Musik, Freiburg.

Helene Romakin, born in 1987, lives and works in Berlin. After studying Cultural Management at Zeppelin University she moved to Berlin where she currently studies in the Master’s Program in Cultural Studies and Art History at Humboldt University Berlin. She is the founder of the Berlin-based project LAIKA, which presents events in the field of audiovisual and digital arts. Currently Helene Romakin works as assistant for Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin.

Both artists will be present for the opening reception on Thursday, February 6, from 6-9pm. For questions or further information please contact Vanina Saracino at


*Press release available in German upon request