#WHICH SIDE UP
Group exhibition in KUNSTRAUM Potsdamer Straße and KUNSTRAUM digital
curated by Hannah Blumas, Abie Franklin and Asta von Mandelsloh
"We are living in times in which up and down, inside and outside, analogue and digital and us and them are indiscernible. But must we differentiate between these? How would our understanding of space and time change if we were to loosen our expectation of stability in private and public spaces? There are various versions of reality. They are sustained by systems of spatial and moral coordinates that presuppose a linear development. By not only looking forward but also looking around, we begin to gather individual non-linear orientations.
Volo Bevza, Hannah Blumas, Abie Franklin, Daniel Hölzl, Victoria Pidust, Ximena Ferrer Pizarro, Robin Rapp, Jochen Andres Wiese
We wish to tear down constructed stabilisers and glimpse beyond conventional coordinates. In doing so, we use artistic positions to undermine personal, societal and spatial hierarchies. By dissolving spatial anchors, experiential knowledge spaces are opened up in which the artistic positions seek new possibilities for re-locating content. They let go of junctions that on the one hand give us security, but at the same time feign it. While the shipping label This Side Up points to the fragility of the content, Which Side Up is meant to highlight the fragility of orientation through its inversion."
(Statement by the curators)
Volo Bevza's (1993 in Kyiv, Ukraine) oil paintings are created in digital and analogue interplay. The starting point is figurative or representational and thus clearly recognisable motifs, which Bevza eventually drives into the depths of abstraction. The triptych from the work series Metamorphosis finds its beginning in a self-portrait of the artist, further developed on the computer, the abstracted forms take influence on the events on the canvas. In the repetition of this process, the forms move back and forth between canvas and software. The bodies and objects that are created in the process generate new spatialities that grow long beyond a 3-dimensionality. A physical presence emerges with vivid abstractions that can create a euphoric disorientation if we let ourselves get carried away.
Abie Franklin (b. 1995 in Jerusalem, Israel) formulates an interpretation of landscape painting with his installation that subverts the hierarchical relationships between viewer, work, subject and object. The individual sculptures and paintings are observations and imaginings of spaces and materialities that humans only partially perceive, overlook or consider empty: like water, the depth of the ocean and microscopic organisms. Franklin visualises their structures and transfers them into the exhibition space. To emphasise the agency of these non-human actors, he foregrounds their material properties. The reassignment of agency requires a visual reorientation of spatial positioning. The works undermine a linear understanding of space by creating speculative cartographies and a structural shift in perception.
Daniel Hölzl's (b.1994 in Schwaz, Austria) site-specific installations refer to the processuality of architectural building elements and materials from everyday life; his fragile sculptures exist for a brief period of time. According to the artist, their remains and the "potential" are transfered into new works. parcel no. three mimics architectural elements of the art space. The sculpture made of recycled bio-plastic intervenes playfully with the linear orientation of space. In parcel no. one and parcel no. two, Hölzl also uses plant materials that dissolve when exposed to moisture. Hölzl uses modular forms to reconstruct surfaces, volumes and spaces, expanding them before letting them collapse again, as in the melting wax work parcel no. four. inoperative no. one and two capture volumes of energy in wax on recycled carbon fibre. These works also have no final form: their fragile materiality exposes the cyclical change that underlies everything.
Victoria Pidust (b.1992 in Nikopol, Ukraine) processes representational subjects in her works, which she photographs and then frees from their structure in a digital editing process. Pidust breaks down forms into fragments, distorts and reassembles them. In the process, the software's algorithms add faulty elements in the modelling of the photographs. In this way, the original objects are transformed into new hybrids. Digital and analogue spaces overlap and merge into a multi-layered reality. Printed, the digital images have a painterly effect. Pidust's new realities show how selective and subjective understandings of truth and aesthetic perceptions are - and how easily they can be deconstructed and manipulated.
Ximena Ferrer Pizarro
In Ximena Ferrer-Pizarro's (born 1994 in Lima, Peru) works, the tragicomedy of a migration process plays out on the latitudes of auto-fiction. Sometimes, in fearless exaggeration, they flirt with traits of a soap opera. In her paintings, the conflict-ridden interplay between her Latin American and European education becomes apparent. In I had a stalker, Selfdestruction or boredom? and Sweep the floor with your hair, the crown is a recurring motif and takes up the Latina as Queen or Princess. In her telenovela-like portrayals, Ferrer-Pizarro plays with culturally shaped moral concepts, bringing wit to the tragic and self-empowerment to moments of weakness: relentless, quirky and funny.
With Ringboy and Wokuhl, Robin Rapp (born 1991 in Bouaké, Ivory Coast) confronts the viewer in an often white-framed gaze. What and who do we see, do we want to see and why? It is a late summer day, but the rain clouds are already threatening storms. A subtextual level creeps through the pictures that is not necessarily perceptible at first glance. Some people feel it all the more intensely. The initially playful and seemingly innocent subjects are permeated by a threatening tension that tirelessly scratches the smooth surface. In one and the same situation, a spectrum of felt, experienced and imagined safety and danger emerges for different bodies.
Jochen Andres Wiese
For years, Jochen Andres Wiese (born 1993 in Lima, Peru) has been collecting objects that intuitively appeal to him. In his graduation thesis, he explored the question of what prompted him to accumulate what is now a collection of over 1000 objects. Digitally processing and locating them led him into the complex depths of an indiscriminate yet meticulous archive; the previously dormant chaos was now an oppressive collection; the shapes and details magnified and became independent into abstract images of themselves. In order to maintain access, Wiese began to translate the objects back into the analogue with 2D prints. As Wiese's archive had become an integral part of his daily life, finding order meant a constant reassessment and reorganisation of each of its components. Similarly, Wiese lives in and with spaces when creating his installations. He designs spatial order more as an option than a prerequisite.
The sound installation Silent Biases deals with structural discrimination in public space. Anonymous perspectives tempt us to critically question our own position and orientation. The audio collage is divided into four chapters and addresses observed, experienced and self-produced discrimination. Luffa sponge plants, used in dried form for body cleansing, envelop the voices and protect them from the naked public. The act of scrubbing away accumulated dirt is an analogy to uncovering the structures of discrimination hidden beneath the surface. A socio-archaeological approach that scrubs the seemingly clean surface. The aggressive colouring underlines the contamination of the seemingly natural plants. Caught in different positions and connected in the wiry web, they interact with and separate from each other. From the one body, only silence can be extracted, giving a physical presence to those voices that cannot be heard in our spatial and social system of order.
Installation: Hannah Blumas & Abie Franklin
Audios: Hannah Blumas, Franziska Pothou, Leonard Schulz & Anna Theobaldt
A project by
studierendenWERK Berlin - Büro für Kultur & Internationales
Head of unit
Mariona Solé Aixás (vertreten durch Nathalie Nicol)
Project management + Exhibition management
Hannah Blumas, Abie Franklin, Asta von Mandelsloh
Social Media + Public relations