Musical Chairs – Reise nach Jerusalem (Voyage to Jerusalem)
installation, wood, metal
variable dimensions (9 psc)

A series of installations – objects titled Reise nach Jerusalem was created as one of the two site-specific works Karsten exhibited at the 53rd October Salon (GOOD LIFE – Physical Narratives and Spatial Imaginations, 2012). The main material he used for both works, Reise nach Jerusalem and Rialto Belgrade, was demolished furniture or pieces of furniture from different periods, which he found in the Geozavod Building, where the Salon was held. For the Rialto Belgrade Installation, he received the Cultural Centre of Belgrade’s Award at the 53rd October Salon.

Unfortunately, the mentioned installation was removed next time the Geozavod space was used by new temporary users, although the author had donated it to the October Salon Collection.

Karsten Konrad’s art is based on the physical and narrative recycling of objects that he shapes into abstract sculptures, transforming spaces and creating new architectural models. The title of the work was inspired by the name of the game of chairs, which in German is called Reise nach Jerusalem. This game is also called “Musical Chairs” and there is always one fewer chair than players. During the exhibition, chairs were arranged in groups of 3 inside the building of Geozavod. Transforming physical objects, disassembling and reassembling them, Konrad constructs new narratives and meanings, and the authenticity of the material remains visible even after the modifications were made.

© Cultural Centre of Belgrade, October Salon Collection and the artist
Gift Contract: III-15-241/26.11.2012.
Inventory No. 1370
Photo: Milan Kralj, installation view 53rd October Salon, Ana Kostić

Selected Bibliography:
53rd October Salon, Good Life: Physical Narratives and Spatial Imaginations. Cultural Centre of Belgrade, 2012

o.T. (Ohne Tito)
installation, plywood, plastic, metal, wood, cardboard, lights
165 cm x 150 cm x 60 cm
edition: 1

The work o.T. (Ohne Tito) is one of four works created for the international exhibition SITUATED SELF: Confused, Compassionate and Conflictual, held at the Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade and the Helsinki Art Museum in 2005. The works are the result of Karsten’s research conducted for the exhibition. During his first visit to Belgrade, he researched in the history of the city and Serbian architecture in the 20th and early 21st centuries. The sculpture – model o.T. (Ohne Tito) represents the interior of the main hall of the building of the Federal Executive Council (today the Palace of Serbia) reconstructed on the bases of photographs of two opposite walls of the salon. As the artist points out, he found these photographs in two different sources, a book from the 1970s, illustrated with colour photographs of the capitals of Europe, and an article about the cultural potential of Belgrade in the Swedish magazine for design Wallpaper, from 2005, where the Main Salon of the Federal Executive Council Building is listed as one of the benchmarks of Yugoslav modernist design. Using cheap materials and scraps, Karsten tried to capture the charm of this, as he called it, ‘modern-baroque-feudal-socialist room/gallery’. The artist’s sense of humour is manifested in the play with materials, meanings, aesthetics and words. The title o.T. (Ohne Tito) is a play on words – in German, o.T. is an abbreviation for the term ‘Untitled (Ohne Titel)’ while the second part in parentheses translates as ‘Without Tito (Ohne Tito)’, which raises questions about the position, importance, preservation, treatment and attitude towards Yugoslav architectural heritage, which reflects the general climate of socialist modernism from today’s perspective of a failed utopian idea.

The work was exhibited in 2019 at the artist’s solo exhibition Submarines & Turbotowers at the Podroom Gallery, together with his new works inspired by the history and urban development of Belgrade and the concept of turbo architecture, very present in Serbia during the 1990s and early 2000s.

© Cultural Centre of Belgrade, the October Salon Collection and the artist
Gift Contract: III-5-96/11.3.2020.
Inventory No. 1670
Photo:  Courtesy the artist

Selected Bibliography:
SITUATED SELF: Confused, Compassionate and Conflictual. Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art, February – March 2005. Mika Hannula, Branislav Dimitrijević Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade, and Art Museum Tennis Palace, Helsinki, 2005


Karsten Konrad (1962, Würzburg, Germany) graduated in sculpture from the University of the Arts in Berlin and continued his education at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. From 2010 to 2013, he was a Visiting Professor at the Sculpture Department of the University of the Arts in Berlin and the China Academy of Arts in Hangzhou. In 2012 he received the Cultural Centre of Belgrade’s Award. He makes objects and installations from materials found at dumps and flea markets, emphasizing sculptural transformations of architecture. His works have been presented at numerous solo and group exhibitions across Europe, North America and Asia. Since 2016, he has been a full professor at the Sculpture Department of the University of the Arts in Berlin. Based in Berlin. More information at