Frank Balve’s extremely multi-layered work revolves around often uncomfortable topics of social and ethical relevance. In elaborate spatial installations he combines abstract painting, video installations, paper sculptures, poetry and sound collages into multimedia concepts of museum dimensions. He often refers to works of classical panel painting or literature and plays confidently with traditional generic terms. Surveillance, voyeurism, media consumption, institutionalized violence: “120” is based on the novel fragment “The Hundred and Twenty Days of Sodom or the School of Dissipation” by Marquis de Sade (1785), which is one of the most controversial works of world literature because of its cool depiction of sexual perversion. Balve, on the other hand, focuses his attention on the mostly overlooked socio-critical dimension of the text, which denounces the institutionalized control and discipline of the “others” by those in power. While the first exhibition space is designed as a representative Baroque interior with the classical visual arts of painting and sculpture, a darkened and tiled back room evokes associations of a slaughterhouse or prison. Three video projections of naked, crouching bodies with black hoods can be seen in the corners – a pose that evokes images stored in collective memory of torture victims from prison camps. To the sounds of a deconstructed Chopin PrÈlude, the life-size body projections, reproduced in extreme slow motion, unfold a disturbing and at the same time captivating effect that snatches the viewer away from his or her daily routine flooded with stimuli and forces him or her to meditative calm.