Discarded clothes horses, abandoned fridges, and other materials precharged with history: Art collective Pegasus.Product has a unique take on embracing the messiness of the surrounding world through upcycling materials to create art with a story.
A Berlin-based shared artistic collective, Pegasus.Product was founded by creatives Dargelos Kersten, Anton Peitersen, and Gernot Seeliger, although they have no singular narrative as to how they formed. Rather, they describe it as an organic occurrence after years of existing in the same creative orbit. “Over the course of several exhibitions, we learned to form a system of ideas from which we get inspiration rather than protecting ideas and authorship in artistic solitude,” says Gernot on the collective’s conception.
An eclectic bunch, their beginnings in the creative realm range from graphic design and carpentry, to photography and curating exhibitions. United by a common desire to devise evocative, raw spectacles and create installations simultaneously linked to the present and imbued with history, their process as a collective is sinuous. “There is a constant bubbling soup that is being added to through ideas or observations that we share,” Dargelos explains. “It is about making ourselves free from artistic cramps.”
They make use of what they find—quite literally scavenging furniture and household items from waste bins and rubbish piles to give them a fresh narrative. For Pegasus.Product it’s important for objects to have a story, to hold onto their history so that they may become more valuable and less disposable. He shares how their interest in “contemporary archeology” revealed a link between the discarded furniture pieces in Berlin streets and the imagery of “the last moments of a lost civilization”, using the findings of Pompeii as an example as to the integrity and history abandoned artefacts can carry. Upcycling materials takes on a new purpose when the collective discuss their approach: creating installations starting from a perspective that is emotional, alongside practical and conscientious.
In 2021 they produced the Pegasus Mythical Garden installment, an exploration of civilizational grime permeated with mythological symbolism. Forsaken, derelict, neglected furniture found during their explorations of the city were collected to ripen under the sun and represent a form of aestheticism beyond beauty. “The broken off edge can be seen as a very honest and open visual form,” Gernot notes in regards to this installment. “Is it possible to implement what is usually hidden away to create new aesthetics?”
Their interest in embracing the hidden and broken suits a collective based in Berlin—and they don’t shy away from the bleakness that the city comes with. But they also acknowledge the characteristics of Berlin which cater to their practice—the rich tapestry of human stories on display, primed to be shared and utilized. During the pandemic, sourcing exhibition spaces in Berlin was challenging, but also allowed for creating art in outside areas—adding what Dargelos calls “further decay” to their work. The mingling of “poverty and anonymity” in Berlin provides the gritty contemporary landscape that the collective are so intrigued by.
Nowadays, few objects or spaces on earth have been untainted by human activity. Luckily, this is what Pegasus.Product revels in. They’re embracing the spirit and volatility of a world which has been polluted. On the importance of art and nature existing in harmony, the founders are philosophically diplomatic: “Today hardly any aspect of life on earth is unaffected by human action. So it is not about saving nature in order to be able to enjoy its beauty and feel good, but to prevent human suffering.”
The nature of the pandemic took a predictable hit to the plans they had drawn pre-2020. Instead of this quashing their artistic spirit, they gamely rose to the challenge of producing work that could be appreciated in a locked-down society. In 2021, they hosted five exhibitions tailored to restricted life, including the Over Garden show in Munich, and an exhibition in the form of a false flag at the Bode Museum. There’s a quiet tenacity present within the collective, and a clear sense that any changes in the world can be carefully considered, examined, and adapted to with aplomb.
Pegasus.Product have established that they create environments “in conjunction with action or performance”, and they look to a continuation of this in their future work, alongside upcycling products and utensils found from contemporary archeology. They will be opening during Gelatin Weekend in Berlin during the weekend of April the 29th at Showroom Galerie Georg Nothelfer to produce their next installation. They consider restaurants to be a “sweet spot” for displaying their art–an environment where people are drawn organically, and a piece can be absorbed peripherally or with purpose.
The collective’s ventures in embracing the messiness of the world and the raw materials we have at our fingertips act as an example of how we can begin to reaffirm how we appraise art–and how we relate to beauty and aesthetics in our daily lives.
Pegasus.Product is a Berlin-based art collective founded by creatives Dargelos Kersten, Anton Peitersen, and Gernot Seeliger.
The collective produces installations and creations in an extended scene, often in conjunction with action or performance. Pegasus.Product will be opening at Showroom Galerie George Nothelfer during the weekend of April the 29th to produce their next installation.
Text: Ellen McBride
Photography: Gernot Seeliger