2 years ago I left Berlin and moved to Cully, a small village at Lac Leman, between Lausanne and Montreux. I renovated a small, very old house in the centre of the village.
The work is not yet done, but I established my atelier and a small gallery.
And of course I started working.
ANCESTRY AT AU TOPSI POHL
The last exhibition in Berlin before Covid and moving to Switzerland took place in the wonderful Jazz-club Au Topsi Pohl. Unfortunately the club now is closed: The „Au Topsi” spirit left its body and floats around as potential, now and again visible like snow through a lamppost in a park in Denmark a century ago. Many thanks to the team for great concerts and nights and the support for the exhibition.
The work Ancestry comprises 50 collages on early 20th century photographies in contemporary frames. It is actually conceptualized as a 3 m x 5 m wall installation
ANCESTRY: THE BOOK
During Covid we transformed Ancestry into a book. Besides the images of the 50 collages, the book contains an introduction written by myself and a synergy text by D. Holland-Moritz. Both texts in german and english. It was designed and partially made by hand by Alexine Chanel. Photographies by Petrov Ahner. There is an edition of 50 numbered copies. Thanks to Frank Benno Junghanns for the help.
installs, performs and manipulates audible activity in public and private
environments, observing, confronting and questioning the habits of hearing in
both routine and extraordinary contexts. He realizes installations, essayistic
projects/field trips, as well as situational sound actions and concerts in
various groups, duos and solo.
Evgenija Wassilew’s work
comprises installations and objects, performative sound recordings as well as
sound and text based records. In doing so, the respective recording,
translating and compositional methods touch limits and possibilities of
communication, in which different worlds of perception encounter.
About working with flowers
The flowers used provide a wide range of color, reaching from white to deep purple. These colors change with the process of drying and pressing, whereby the blossoms of one plant, depending on the moment of „harvesting“ and the state of wilting undergo different changes. The results of this process are not exactly predictable. The pressed blossoms are not homogenous; each blossom is intricately different from the next, with varying shapes, color patterns, and veining creating diversity among the material.
Another important feature of the organic material is their transparency. Working with the color and intensity of the pigment in the process of overlaying the flowers, the levels of transparency create a necessity to find balance among the varying blossoms.
The individual pieces in the body of work “Organic Shapes“ are constituted of 200 – 300 blossoms, although 400 – 500 blossoms are pressed to realize each work. A limited, heterogeneous (s.a.) stock is available, embedded in constellations of ongoing change. Through the inspection of the available material and the definition of the shape, diverse combinations can be formed from gradients of color and transparency.
From this point on, the work evolves through the interaction of the artist with the blossoms.
The trajectory of making is substituted by a process of mediated growth that is induced by the singular qualities of each blossom. The work grows with and from the material.
The process of growth, thought to be in contrast to the process of making, is the starting point in the material and realization of the artistic process united in one.
Tim Ingold describes this way of production in an encompassing reflection of worldcreation as follows:
“The maker´s ambitions, in this understanding, are altogether more humble than those implied with the hylomorphic model. Far from standing aloof, imposing his designs on a world that is ready and waiting to receive them, the most he can do is to intervene in the worldly processes that are already going on, and which give rise to the forms of the living world that we see all around us – in plants and animals, in waves of water, snow and sand, in rocks and clouds – adding his own impetus to the forces and energies in play.“
The aesthetic direction of these pieces, which is briefly described here, has developed since 2016. It was realized with “Usambara (Hybrids)“ and “Organic Contamination“. With the most recent works, “Organic Shapes“ it has fully unfolded.
The pieces of the Organic Shape / egg-shaped series integrate aspects of similitude and mimikry into the morphogenetic process.
inter-port, Berlin November 2018 Jelena Bolevich, Vanessa Farfán, Jörg Hasheider
The exhibition shows three
artistic positions that place a special emphasis on the processes that are
fundamental to and continually inscribe themselves in the creation of the
works. This continuous inscription takes place in an interaction between the
artist and the material/medium. This interaction presupposes a special
attention to the qualities inherent in the material, the medium.
Jelena Bolevich’s medium is primarily drawing. She performs laborious and manually repetitive processes of mark-making, whose constant deviations and mutations bring focus to the physical body moving through time. The pictorial process is both the form and content of the works, as they accumulate into a story of their own formation, while providing a record of the artist’s lived time. Her work thus considers the human as an organism engaged in constant processes of mark making, as it interacts with materials that surround it.
The creation process of
Vanessa Farfan’s works of art is determined by artistic experiments. She finds
her source material during extensive expeditions through urban structures. The
subjective impressions gained are combined with knowledge of the analogous and
virtual processes of our everyday lives. Mistakes, accidents and undetermined
factors and their aesthetic potential belong to the artistic process.
Using paper and graphite as the main materials,
Farfan creates structures that she subjects to processing by folding,
embossing, and overpainting, the results of which she then partially
superimposes and sets to music in a further step. In the resulting image objects, subjective and
objective aspects, aesthetic and accidental interventions are linked to
analogies of our living spaces, the conditions of our existence.
Jörg Hasheider works with
pressed flowers. The non-homogenized material, the uniqueness of each flower in
color, form and transparency requires a correspondence between artist and
material. The process of making is replaced by a process of moderated growth.
The work grows out of and with the material. The process of growth, thought as
opposed to the process of making, is at the same time the starting point in the
material and the realization of the artistic program.
Berlin based artist Jörg Hasheider has been working with pressed flowers for many years. After he explored their symbolic values in collages and material paintings, he recently switched his focus towards the immanent qualities of the flowers — shape, colour, transparency —. For “Baustelle eins”, Hasheider created “Organic Contamination”, a wall piece constituted of 64 A4 sheets of tracing paper and 20 floral blotches. In this work he explores the tension between conceptual shaping and organic growth. To achieve this, he scrutinizes two aspects of the process of contamination. Initially, the concept to contaminate a geometric, standardised raster with floral blotches directs our attention to the differences between industrial and organic shapes and patterns.
On another level one can witness
the process of the “making” of the blotches from grown organic matter — always
unique flowers. This takes place in a modulating process of ongoing mutual
influence between the artist and the flowers: The “maker” is contaminated by
his material. This interaction alters the classical understanding of “making” —
shape dominates material — towards a “making“ that intertwines shape and
material in a common flow of energy.
Baustelle eins (Building Site
one), whose name refers to ongoing, uncompleted processes, integrates the organic
contamination in its concept. The tracing paper sheets merge with the wall and
the floral blotches interact with the surrounding glass, stone and metal.
„one hour at the beach“, 8 photographies 75 X 50 cm, 2 photographies 180 x 120 cm„privatized“, 8 photographies 75 X 50 cm, 2 photographies 180 x 120 cm„targets“, 8 photographies 75 X 50 cm, 2 photographies 180 x 120 cm
The exhibition comprises 3 series of 10 photographies that are dealing with social and political phenomena of Israel today. His themes are: the decay of the utopian vision of the first settlers, the way to treat ethnical and religious minorities and the neccessary absurdity of the israelian military. Ilan Nachum is dealing with these intricate, deeply ideologicaly and religiously rooted issues with great intelligence and ease, completely undogmatic and without any pathos. He virtously plays with the possibilties of documentary photography. Always keeping the necessary distance, his deep envolement in – and commitment to the photographed subject, life in israel, its problems, absurdities and beauty, is strongly perceptible.
„… Kibbutz is an experiment that did not fail.“ Martin Buber In 2009 the Kibbutz movement celebrated its 100th anniversary. The long lasting and influentual utopian, socialist experiment started with the foundation of the first Kibbutz, Degania, in 1909. Over time it evolved and underwent changes, but its primary idea, the equality of all members, remaind, more or less, untouched. „From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.“ In the 1980s, with the privatization of the kibbutzim – different levels of income and private ownership – this primary quality begins to vanish. The loosening of the communal bonds in the Kibbutzim seems to go hand in hand with a change in the collective thinking of the Israeli society. In 2009 Ilan Nachum started a series of photographs, that, at first glance, document the typical housing of Kibbutzim. Underlyning the documentary appeal of the photographs is his use of similar angles and light situations, following the idea of the well-known german photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher: to define a type by the slight differences that become obvious when the objects are isolated and than aggregated in a sequence. Looking at the differences between the work of the Bechers and Ilan Nachum we find the core of his work „privatized.“ The Bechers document landmarks of a declining industry – connected with specific forms of technology and societies – that were often dismantled soon after they were photographed. Due to these circumstances the photographic representations become monuments of the photographed objects. Referent and sign fall in one. Ilan Nachum´s work is transcendent in a different way. His objects will remain. He is documenting a declining idea. He turns the usual iconography of the representation of life in a kibbutz – groups of children playing together, groups of people working together- upside down. The dwellings he photographs seem to be abandoned. The inhabitants that appear in a few of the pictures seem isolated and ghostlike in the bright light. In a strange but factual way the dwellings change their meaning from being representations and symbols of an egalitarian utopia to images of a classical suburban lifestyle.
One hour at the beach
This sequence shows the most crucial point of israeli social life: the coexistence of diffrent religious groups. The beach is a surrounding, where the social interactions of groups and individuals can be perfectly surveyed. It offers an almost neutral and empty space, in which the choice, where to settle yourself is determined by the relation towards others. The groups represented in the photogaphs are secular israelis and arabic muslims, easily identified by their divergent dress codes. Even when together, it is obvious, that there is no interaction between them. The art of Ilan Nachum shows people in an overwhelming and elementary set-up of beach, ocean and sunset. The chosen time – the sun has set and darkness sets in – is augmenting the existential expression of the work. The sheer beauty and intensity of the scenery integrates the various attitudes and shows people as they are: human beings enjoying and understanding life in respect to the elements of nature. Ideas of social or religious segregation seem vain.
This series is the most recent work of Ilan Nachum and it still is a work in progress. He has access to a restricted army district inside the Negev Desert, where he found constellations, that at first sight are reminiscent of landart pieces : strange constructions mounted on top of artifical hills, weird objects and circular arrangements. Placed within the wide and empty desert landscape they create a surrealistic impression, similar to the paintings of Dali or Tanguy. Looking closer at the objects an additional aspect comes into play: the objects are composed of scrap – military residue as well as refrigirators, metal bedframes, car parts, old barrels, etc. The objects are used as targets for the Israeli Air Force. They, in an almost touching way, are mimicking radar stations or rocket launches. The camera, as a documenting tool, is preserving a utilitarian fake, a manipulated reality. Layers of „The Real“ and the imaginary melt under the relentless desert sky.
Silvia Beck, Laurence Egloff, Marco Goldenstein, Elke Graalfs, Anett Lau, Peter Nansen Scherfig, Veronika Schumacher, Wolf von Waldow, Dana Widawski
The ornament is back, back as wallpapers in fancy lofts, as filigree blinds in architecture and also back in the discourse of contemporary art. In the current art-production, two relations are particularly obvious: 1. Working with ornaments in their baroque function as space structuring elements relating architecture and art/design. 2.The deconstruction of ornamental structures that are looked upon as symbolic for opressive systems. In-between these formal and contentual, associative reference points – and beyond – there are almost endless possibilities to access „The Ornament“ and its long history. For thousands of years, ornaments were defining the appearence and the spiritual message of buildings and objects of everyday and ritual use. They integrated the progress of philosophical, religious and geometrical-mathematical thinking into more and more complex structures and gave them visual presence. The formal means of rhythmics and recursion – used since the Stone Age – establish a connection of being human – pulse, birth, death – and cosmic processes. In the 20th century, the concept of structuring surfaces and intertwining them with ordinal systems finds a new surface in the observation of corporative production and organisation.The ornament is less regarded as communicating stability and knowledge, but as a form incorporating force and power. Nowadays the ordinal system „Ornament“, formally and motivicly fractionalized, becomes the stage for the clash of systemic and individualistic thinking. Adopting the transcending concept of the ornament, while simultaneously transforming it subjectively, contemporary artists reestablish the ornament as an unconcerned, descretionary media. A media that makes it possible to connect images and tokens in new ways and structure walls and spaces. Silvia Beck, Veronika Schumacher, Wolf von Waldow Dana Widawski, Elke Graalfs, Marco Goldenstein Peter Nansen Scherfig, Dana Widawski
Dicionário de Dúvida, 2015 HD-video / screen, 02.32‘ Edition 1 + 3 by courtesy of Hafemann Internatiional
Wiederholen ist gestohlen, 2016 312 x 280 cm each by courtesy of Galerie Schwarz Contemporary
Das ist die Wahrheit, 2014 -16 drawings on paper
Nr. 1, 2000, acrylic on canvas, 120 x 240 cm, Nr. 2 Perlmutt, 2000, acrylic on canvas, 120 x 150 cm
»Gekreuch«, 2014, Collage on wallpaper, 150 cm x 140cm
constructio, 2016, stencil print on wallpaper, Installation, 3 x 3 m
Peter Nansen Scherfig
Asseln, 2016, 9 prints on paper, 80 x 80 cm each
construction is bliss, 2016, mural
Wolf von Waldow
Völkerkunde, 2008, Giclé, refugee camp, 2010, digital print
Geh doch, 2016, tile-painting, 31,5 x 318,5 cm, Marco Goldenstein on the right
Self Made, Putin mit seinem Beichtvater, Kill Animals, Diebische Elster,
all works 2008/9, stencil prints, 280 x 90 x 5 cm, acrylic on canvas,
Photographies by Michael Jungblut, Veronika Schumacher and Dana Widawski
Many thanks to Frank Benno Junghanns and Wolfgang Siano
On the 8th of April 2016, an extraordinary art event, True Mirror, takes place in Paris. The event is collectively organised by artists Laurence Egloff, Alexine Chanel, Alexandra Noat, Raphaël Renaud, Katharina Ziemke, Damien Cadiot as well as Mickaël Faure,curator and director of Versailles Art School. The whole group appeared as a snowball. An artist invited another one to contribute his or her work to the group collection. Altogether, a group of 58 artists from all over the world who were going to participate in the event was created.
The 58 works were shown to the artists so that each of them could choose one and then copy it. The choice of the medium was free, yet the initial format had to be followed.
The works that were copied, interpreted, and reflected on were presented to the artists without giving away the identity of the works. No information about the artists’ creative and academic background was revealed either. The works were completely decontextualised.
The related images were hung on the longitudinal walls one in front of the other in a symmetrical way in the exhibition hall.
That creates an effect of a mirror, but not in its physically reflecting sense.
2500 years ago, the Etruscans perceived the mirror as an instrument of philosophical and religious cognition of the unknown world whose phenomena they might not always explain. They regarded it namely as a gate to the unknown universe, so they engraved mythological scenes on the bronze surface placing them in an intricate order, which showed how fascinatingly impressive natural phenomena and they themselves were as perceived through the spiritual prism of their own eyes. Hence, the mirror was regarded as a mystical dimension in those days.
Since the Renaissance, the perception of physical phenomena has changed. Due to scientific progress mirrors started to be seen merely as optical instruments. Within the context of that period in the history of arts, as the human being started to be perceived as the centre of science and many of the secrets about the world were unveiled, the mirror was more and more often perceived as a scientific device.
As experiments with mirrors continued, Claude Lorrain (1600 – 1682) developed a mirror which was slightly convex. That mirror helped him to create his idealistic landscapes. Subsequently, at the height of the Enlightenment, it became popular with aristocracy who roamed around the outskirts of their estates in search of picturesque views.
Returning to our exhibition, through the opposition between the original and the copy, True Mirror, exposes another vision of the world, creates another kind of mirror by contrasting the Etruscan mirror conception with the materialistapproach that coincide in form of quotation-based and, consequently, epistemological postmodern culture.
Even a copy, being close to the original in terms of the structure and material, needs a soul and physical acquisition, a spiritual flow of an artist who produces the copy. Consequently, the works copied by the artists appeared to the surface of the world as a form of its contemplation and search of forms depicting its reality perceived subjectively.
True Mirror reflects the reflection of the reflection.
The surfaces are the horizons of soul penetration and the formal realisation. The visitor travels from wall to wall between the horizons.
Through the effect of doubling creative processes while determining the image, the work is transformed into another one of a similar type. That makes the visitor experience the complexity and diversity of the artist’s creativity and impressions.
The Etruscan mirrors of our age are particle accelerators and space-telescopes. The reflections appearing there reproduce the empirical knowledge about the unexplained as yet physical space.
The exhibition True Mirror reveals epistemological possibilities and borders through the reflection in imagination.
Jörg Hasheider, english translation: Cyril Gulevsky-Obolonski