The second exhibition in the series "Emerging Lines" was held at the end of April at the art space "Kunstraum Potsdamer Straße", presenting artworks of young artists from Paris, Berlin, Wroclaw, and Riga.
Deep bass bounces off grey concrete walls. Shapes wander about in the dark. Yet, it is not a secret rave that is taking place in what used to be car park in a Potsdamer Straße backyard; it is the vernissage of the exhibition "Emerging Lines". After the first exhibition, which took place at the beginning of the year in Paris, eight artists have come together in Berlin and conceptualized a unique cluster of installations. Hailing from Paris, Berlin, Wroclaw, and Riga, the artists involved are Jonas Büssecker, Jingjing Du, Sandra Strele, Laura Vela, Charles Cadic, Joon Yoo, Pawel Basnik, and Alija Patanowska. The upcoming exhibitions in the series are set to take place in October 2019 and in February 2020, in Wroclaw and Riga, respectively.
Reflections serve as a central theme around which the entire exhibition seems to have been constructed, be they physical in the visual effect of a water installation, or metaphorical in the mirror images of the self held up to the spectators. Alija Patanowska works with porcelain in three different phases — liquid, pulverised, and in solid form as tableware. By placing dead mice and sparrows in her artwork, she demonstrates the environmental impact of consumerism.
Sandra Strele's installation illustrates the ways nature retrieves deserted wastelands. She discovered an abandoned church in a forest in Latvia, and in her piece, she foregrounds its surrounding nature. In her artwork, the footage of this process is projected onto a screen surrounded by branches from the Latvian forest, as well as by large-scale paintings that mirror this composition. Having lost its previous function, the former underground car park becomes the perfect place for exhibiting this art piece. Through Strele's installation, the art space is reclaimed by nature.
Parisian Charles Cadic presented a short film, shot at a wide stretch of beach. The film involves a box, which, at first glance, looks like a cinema auditorium. The mirror in it is a physical one, crystallised in the box's apparent screen. "You see all your life in one minute and at the end, you're in the dark", he says. In cinematic terms, his concept is based on the out-of-frame, that is, on the unseen world outside what is depicted on-screen. He thereby eventually dismisses the film medium altogether. He compares it with overlapping memories that blend into one when we try to recall them all at once.
Jingjing Du's installation offers a new urban perspective. The architecture student from Berlin transformed 84 polystyrene foam sheets into the high-rise buildings and streets around Potsdamer Platz, with a scale of 1:100. Hanging headlong from the ceiling, they reflect in the subjacent water pool. In her live performance, Joon Yoo seems to be almost suspended in the air as well. With her eyes shut, she leads a fine thread placed on her head through the car park.
"I'm avoiding to be scientific. My art is really personal and about the search of my own identity and how it forms", says Laura Vela about her art. A video installation by the Latvian-born artist is on display, as well as sculptures and paintings. For her, art is about experimentation. She proclaims that she does not like to limit herself in one art form. Her art carries a deep melancholy and forlornness of thought within itself, which transfers over to its onlookers. Seeing their stories in her paintings is the only thing that matters for Vela.
Pawel Basnik has developed an extraordinary painting technique. For his apocalyptic canvases, the Polish artist proceeds with painting the background using acrylic, followed by oil paint for the details. As soon as the picture is completed, he coats it with a layer of black acrylic paint, which he then scrapes off almost completely. His images are thereby vested with a rustic look, in sharp contrast to the future technologies they portray.
The installations by Jonas Büssecker are not any less thought-provoking. The seemingly endless constructions made of wire, ropes, metal frame, cloth, and concrete blocks resemble a labyrinth that cannot be understood unless observed from all sides. For Büssecker, they represent what he calls "the increased complexity of something simple, which is nonetheless comprehensible at the same time." The diverse materials are contained within each other, pressing and pulling. He aimed not only to depict these tensions, but also to confront his audience with them. He explains that, time and again, he has had to face those moments when the self is in the midst of unresolved tension between personal emotions and external circumstances, be they social, political, or interpersonal. In such cases, art becomes an outlet. "It is extremely satisfying when I can just turn around and leave such a moment behind me," he concludes.
Sandra Strele, photo: Daniela Kummle
Joon Yoo, photo: Daniela Kummle
Charles Cadic, photo: Daniela Kummle
Jingjing Du, photo: Daniela Kummle
Jonas Büssecker, photo: Daniela Kummle
Pawel Basnik, photo: Daniela Kummle
Laura Vela, photo: Daniela Kummle