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  • Noughties New York and big finance haunt Jenna Bliss’ solo show

Exhibition review

Noughties New York and big finance haunt Jenna Bliss’ solo show

In her solo show at Haus am Waldsee, American artist Jenna Bliss navigates moments of crisis in the recent history of her home nation.

Courtesy of the artists and Felix Gaudlitz.

The 9/11 attacks and the credit crunch of 2008 form the backdrop to an exhibition exploring collective memory and the distortions caused by the cultural and political clout of big finance. The video work ‘Professional witnesses’, consisting of eight parts, features a series of half-fictionalised accounts of 9/11 witnesses, shot in the style of a famous Apple campaign from the early noughties.

It’s deliberately irksome, provocative, unpleasant and off-key. For one witness, the impact of the plane hitting the first tower caused him to reflect on the price of gold. Taken collectively, they cause you to think back to your own experiences and the somewhat troubling sense that 9/11 is now history.

Jenna Bliss, Professional Witnesses. Installation view at Haus am Waldsee. Photo: Frank Sperling

Alongside opaque wall works connecting the Manhattan skyline with ghostly reflections, there’s the terrifically caustic film, ‘True Entertainment’ (2023). Anyone who has ever been in a gallery booth during an art fair can relate to its thrilling sordidness as it brilliantly satirises the interface where creative endeavour and extreme wealth meet. Set just before the financial crisis and filmed in the style of a reality TV show, it captures the fist-pumping gallerist, the “rich bitch” assistant and obsessive collectors in a constant cycle of hierarchical one-upmanship.


  • Haus am Waldsee, Argentinische Allee 30, Zehlendorf, through May 5, details.