24. 10. – 04. 11. 2022


Mario Pfeifer

PYLON is pleased to present the online screening of BLACK/WHITE/GREY (2020) by Mario Pfeifer, starting on October 24, 2022.

Mario Pfeifer's work explores representational structures and conventions in the medium of film, in locations ranging from Mumbai to California to the Western Sahara. Conceiving each project out of a specific cultural situation, he researches social-political backgrounds and weaves further cross-cultural art historical, filmic and political references into a richly layered practice, ranging from film and video installations to photographs and text installations.

Often, Pfeifer collaborates on publications that reconsider these projects, offering research materials and critical investigations by writers and thinkers of related fields, concerning issues suggested in his projects for a wider social-political discussion.

After his studies in Leipzig (HGB) and Berlin (UDK), Pfeifer graduates from Willem de Rooij's class at Städelschule Frankfurt in 2008. He is a Fulbright fellow in Los Angeles (California Institute of the Arts) in 2008/09.

Pfeifer participated in the 4th Mediterranean Biennale in Sakhnin Valley (2021), the 2020 Innsbruck International – Bienale of the Arts, the 10th Berlin Biennale (2018), the 11th Bienal do Mercosul (2017), the 3rd Montevideo Bienal (2016) as well as the 4th Marrakesh Biennal (2012).

He has had solo exhibitions at The Power Plant, Toronto; Berlinische Galerie | Museum of Modern Art; Museum Folkwang, Essen; Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, Oldenburg; Fotomuseum Winterthur; Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz; Weserburg – Museum of Modern Art, Bremen; Ludlow38, New York; Khoj, New Dehli; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago de Chile; Beursschouw- burg, Brussels; Project 88, Mumbai; Circa Projects, Newcastle; and KOW, Berlin. Group exhibitions took place at MMK Museum für Moderned Kunst Frankfurt am Main; MUDAM | Le Musée d’Art Contemporain du Luxembourg, LACMA | Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Pinakothek der Moderne, München; Halle für Kunst und Medien, Graz; Neuer Berliner Kunstverein; Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden; MAAT | Museum of Art and Technology, Lisbon; CAC | Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Quito; Kunsthalle Düsseldorf; CCA | Center of Contemporary Art, Lagos; Städelmuseum, Frankfurt am Main; Mönchehaus Museum Goslar and Frankfurter Kunstverein, among many other institutions.

Pfeifer’s films have been screened at international film festivals in Amsterdam, Auckland, Berlin, Hof, Leipzig, Madrid, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Seattle, Seoul, Toronto, and Washington DC.

His film AGAIN (co-produced by arte) was nominated for the PRIX EUROPA for Best TV Documentary in 2019.

Monographs were published by Mousse Publishing, Sternberg Press, Spector Books, and Fotohof edition. Numerous press reviews appeared in Artforum, Frieze, Kunstforum, The New York Times, Al Jazeera, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, FAZ, taz, The Guardian, Kaleidoscope, Artsy, Senses of Cinema, The Brooklyn Rail, ArtReview, Camera Austria, Monopol among many others. He has lectured in Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Germany, India, Mexico, Poland, the U.K. and in the US.

Pfeifer lives in Berlin and Dresden and is represented by KOW.

The exhibition is kindly supported by Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen.

Gefördert durch die Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen. Diese Maßnahme wird mitfinanziert durch Steuermittel auf der Grundlage des vom Sächsischen Landtag beschlossenen Haushaltes.


The video BLACK/WHITE/GREY (2020) investigates the relationship between hacking as political tool and the energy producing and distributing sector. During his research Pfeifer discussed different scenarios and situations with digital forensics, cyber-range instructors and in-the-field operators. Based on these conversations and site visits Pfeifer scripted a monologue for the German actress Sandra Borgmann to be performed in a virtual space that looks into different global key examples of hacking into critical infrastructure such as electricity grid operators, power plants, refineries or multinationals’ websites. While the performer engages virtually with the audience on basic questions of data security, a digital forensic and hacker shares details on paradigm changing hacking attacks commonly known as industroyer, stuxnet or trisis. BLACK/WHITE/GREY points out that such worm attacks indicate new territories of geopolitical conflict fought in cyberspace. The artist raises the question if blackouts as a form of strategic political attacks have become a realistic thread to societies and nations today.

4K-video, 16min, colour, stereo

Cast: Sandra Borgmann

Animation: Jonas Dahl

Score: Kamran Sadeghi

© 2020

Funded by innogy foundation for energy and society