until 17.12. | #3697ARTatBerlin | Galerie Barbara Thumm presents the exhibition ” In Order of Appearance” by Anna K.E + group exhibition “The Greatest Source of My Longing” from 5 Semptember 2022 (Vernissage 04.11.),
Whispering is a voiceless type of phonation in which the vocal cords are worn down so that they do not vibrate; the air passes between the arytenoid cartilages and creates audible turbulence when speaking.
In Anna K.E.’s new exhibition “In Order of Appearance”, 33 works are hung in a grid. Each frame contains an oversized, painted picture frame with a small drawing in the middle. K.E. began the series in 2018 during a road trip from Los Angeles to New York and continued to work on it throughout her other travels. On pages torn out of a sketchbook, she drew portraits of people she met along the way. But these portraits are not realistic depictions: The faces are reduced to abstract forms, some appearing geometric and constructed, others spontaneous and ornamental. K.E. herself calls them avatars, as they bear no resemblance to the people portrayed, but are associative representations from her memory.
ANNA K.E. #22 (2021) Oil pastel on paper 21 x 16,5 cm
As we use computers and smartphones every day, we have become accustomed to seeing images in grids on websites like Instagram and Pinterest. Transposed into an exhibition space, this way of presenting images is in tension with the small, intimate oil pastel portraits. Both these portraits and the hand-painted mounts in which they are housed were made by hand.
This play of intimacy and subjectivity continues in the sound installation False Sequence. A shower cubicle is placed not in the corner but in the middle of the room, giving the fragile glass structure a paradoxical quality that makes it unusual. Two speakers are embedded in the glass, from which the sound of a soft whisper emanates. It is the voice of K.E. reading texts she has written herself, which, like the portraits, are abstract reflections and memories of her travels and previous exhibitions. The special acoustics force exhibition visitors to get very close to the speakers to simulate the intimacy of two human bodies pressed together. The soft whispering is also reminiscent of the ASMR videos that are so popular today on websites like YouTube. ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, which is a tingling sensation on the skin triggered by an acoustic or tactile stimulus that many people find pleasant and soothing.
ANNA K.E. #39 (2019) (Gallery archive no.:AK.-19-006) Oil pastel on paper 21 x 16,5 cm
The intimate way in which visitors are invited to engage with the installation speaks to the experience of a shower, which is normally a private, self-contained space in which to relax and cleanse one’s body. But in this case, the formal qualities of the freestanding glass structure serve to expose visitors to its fragility, so that they themselves become part of the exhibition. This creates a doubly voyeuristic situation in which we can seemingly hear the artist’s thoughts as we listen to her soft whispers, while at the same time other visitors can watch us.
This exhibition represents a new stage in the artistic work of Anna K.E.. Both installations were created in transitional situations and have their origins in fleeting moments that she documented subjectively rather than objectively.
The Greatest Source of My Longing
The works on display reflect contemporary themes of generation, social commentary and home. With a focus on figuration, the artworks evoke nostalgia and invite stories.
The viewers are invited as impartial onlookers of the domestic events. They are not directly part of it, but observe the visual dynamics and the painted relationships. Their place is to distinguish the experiences, the narrative, the space.
Azinge’s work looks at family histories and their British-Nigerian heritage. She focuses on the traditional “male” role in family life – both the pressures and the hidden emotions. Ajani offers a fervent triad of familial love that responds to the inner emotions triggered by a new family member. Erheriene-Essi’s work explores a familiar family scene observed by generations.
Each artist begins her work with a photograph. Azinge transfers photographs, Ajani creates from images, Erheriene-Essi explores archives. They are all “image makers”. The works are therefore shown in a powerful presentation following the solo exhibition of iconic photographer Carrie Mae Weems: Carrie Mae Weems, at the gallery
Vernissage: Friday, November 4 , 6.00 – 9.00 p.m.
Exhibition dates: Saturday, 5 November – Saturday, 17 December 2022Zur Galerie
Caption Title: ANNA K.E. #41 (2022) Oil pastel on paper 21 x 16,5 cm
Exhibition Anna K.E. + Group exhibition– Galerie Barbara Thumm | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galerien | ART at Berlin