PLACEText: Kristy Kagari Sakai

Since opening in October 2001, this shop has seen over 1000 “product sculptures” on these shelves. Part of the concept of the installation is that the shop should finance itself through the sales of these “products”. In order to facilitate that, H.N.Semjon has set up a system of hire purchase. By spreading the cost over up to 20 months, the art becomes accessible to young people and first time buyers. At this point, around 25 have taken part in the system and as products are bought, the shelves are replenished with new goods, complete with product line changes and label alterations. Whilst we sometimes forget how advertising and packaging can come to represent an era, these “product sculptures” capture the zeitgeist and preserve it eternally.

And when he’s not stocking up the shop, H.N.Semjon has been busy curating exhibitions by various artists held within the shop space. These exhibitions, named “Intervention”, began last year with the sculptures and drawings of a young Japanese artist, Takayuki Daikoku. His sculptures made of poplar and Japanese paper brought warmth to the bright white shop space, whilst at the same time bringing out a certain creepiness from the whole space. The current show, “Intervention VII”, is an installation by German artist Dorothee Berkenheger, consisting of two metal rings attached to the ceiling and floor, between which white string has been suspended in their thousands, creating a column-like effect. The columns come in various shapes, and looking through them, the products seem even more faraway across all the white layers.

H.N.Semjon considers KioskShop Berlin as a work in progress. He’d like to add more product lines and gradually fill the still-empty shelves. So far three years have passed, and I hope that the shop will be questioning and at the same time recording the times for many more years to come.

KioskShop berlin
Address: 1 Schröderstr., 10115 Berlin-Mitte
Tel: +49 (0)30 784 1291

Text: Kristy Kagari Sakai
Photos: Kristy Kagari Sakai

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