Julian Stalbohm, FICTION JEST DEBACLE, 10.04-23.05.2015 at Ginerva Gambino, Cologne © Julian Stalbohm, courtesy Ginerva Gambino, Cologne
Two weeks ago, news about the second royal hit all the headlines in England and put an end to the country's buzzing speculations about its name, its hair colour or the length of Kate's stay in the hospital. These so-called "Novelty Bets" – referring to a gambling system that allows betting on practically everything imaginable in the near or far future – are the central tool in the current show of conceptual artist Julian Stalbohm: Placed and documented throughout the last year, he approaches the subject of speculation and chance by juxtaposing magnified prints of betting slips that reveal both a handwritten bet and the respective, often absurd, odds. While all slips are presented on a grid behind the obscured window of Ginerva Gambino gallery, the artist built a small stage inside the space and placed three dough-based figures on the ground. Both the dough objects and the betting slips share one characteristic: their outcome is unpredictable.
Julian's show "Fiction Jest Debacle" negotiates the social process of constructing of truth – it speaks of the wish to participate in the fate of life and of chances. I spoke with the 1980-born artist, who studied in Malmö and now lives both in Sweden and in Berlin, about gambling, numbers of sex hotlines, false promises, and the persistent wish to be in control of things – to be a stockholder of the future.