17 January 2018

Who are the people behind the record label Public Possession? The Schirn Mag talks with Valentino Betz and Marvin Schuhmann about the particular role that art plays for them, before the DJ team will play at SATURDAY BEFORE CLOSING at the SCHIRN on January 20.

By Julia Schmitz
Your DJ sets are a wild mix of electro, hip hop and jazz elements which, despite all their differences, you blend into a homogeneous Gesamtkunstwerk. How would you describe your own style?

It’s true that our musical tastes are very broad. When we play in a club though, it’s not quite that eclectic. Hip hop and jazz, for example, are more of a rarity; we mainly listen to these at home. Nevertheless, we don’t generally stick to one particular style, otherwise it would quickly become boring, so the things we play range from old disco and house to new electronic productions.

Public Possession was set up in 2012. How did you find one another as a team, and what was the idea behind it all?

We have known each other since high school and at some point we started DJing together. Valentino was at the Academy of Art in Munich and Marvin studied philosophy in Vienna. At a certain point it became clear: We wanted to do something together, and that’s how Public Possession came about. It’s an umbrella under which we were able to combine all our different interests, with a focus on music.

Valentino Betz und Marvin Schuhmann © Public Possession
Time and again, you have been part of actions in galleries and project spaces – what role does visual art play for you?

When we started out with Public Possession, we already knew that it wouldn’t just be about music, but also about the visual side and working with text. Following on from that, our work is presented in various different environments.

You joined forces with artist Olaf Nicolai to record “In The Woods There Is A Bird” as part of documenta 14. How might one describe this collaboration?

Valentino studied under Olaf, and they remained in close contact afterwards. When it became clear that he would be contributing an audio piece for documenta 14, he asked us whether we wanted to publish it through our label. Of course we jumped at the chance!

Valentino Betz und Marvin Schuhmann © Public Possession
As part of SATURDAY BEFORE CLOSING , on Saturday you’ll be DJing at the SCHIRN. What makes this an evening not to be missed?

It’s the final evening of the Diorama exhibition, there’s food and drink from Badias and music from P.P. That’s all you need to know!

How do you get people onto the dance floor – do you have an “icebreaker” on your playlist?

That always depends on the situation and on a number of factors, but generally we manage it!

Thank you!

Recordlabel and Shop Public Possession, image via: publicpossession.com