Enter the fair, walk straight to Armory Presents, and park yourself before Pfeifer’s two-channel video installation, #blacktivist (2015), at Berlin Gallery KOW. (You can thank me later.) The German artist is known for producing projects that are culturally relevant to their locales, and following an invitation to an artist’s residency with MINI/Goethe-Institut, he approached local Brooklyn rap group Flatbush ZOMBIES to collaborate on a music video. Expect scenes from outer space, floating heads, gold-front grills, and Obama. The video quickly received over two million views when it was released on YouTube. And at the fair, it is juxtaposed with documentation of an open-sourced 3D-printed gun workshop in Austin, Texas. “You see different perspectives inside of America; Brooklyn versus Texas” says the gallery’s Nikolaus Oberhuber of the work, priced at $15,000 in an edition of 10, one of which had quickly sold to a private collection in Europe. “You have this company in Texas that argues for more freedom under the second amendment,” he adds, but meanwhile, the #blacktivist video, with all the conventions of a traditional music video, is a startling exploration of police brutality and the right to self defense.
B. 1988 in Bogotá, Colombia.