until 19.05. | #2032ARTatBerlin | EIGEN + ART Lab currently shows the exhibition CONDITION: UNCANNY with artworks of the class Birgit Brenner: Antonia Christl, Laura Fröhlich, Suah Im and Jakob Tyroller.
“The miracles are many, but the greatest is man.” 1
Many attempts have been made to translate the lines quoted above from Sophocles’ Antigone. According to some translations, this means: There are many miracles, none is greater than man. At the same time, however, it can also be interpreted as follows: There are many miracles, none is more miraculous than humans. The word “miracle” seems to have a certain ambiguity in its different implications. Especially in the course of various translations into German, the passage from Antigone has undergone a fundamental change of meaning. So Hölderlin chose in his German interpretation of 1804 the word “monster”. In his introduction to metaphysics (1953), Heidegger in turn decided that it was “uncanny” (English: “uncanny”): “Manifoldly the uncanny, nothing more / beyond man beyond eerie.”
According to Freud, the uncanny is the psychological experience of feeling something familiar and foreign at the same time. Unlike something that is merely mysterious, the uncanny refers to a state in which an event or object that is familiar to you is perceived in an eerie or disturbing situation. As well as words that do not have a specific meaning, things that we encounter in our environment can be ambiguous and opaque. Nevertheless, every culture is based on distinctions: we differentiate between nature and culture, man and God, life and death, good and evil. The human brain tends to decipher, categorize, and organize the perceived. What does not fall into one of the preconceived categories – that which can not be differentiated – is “uncanny” or “uncanny”.
The selected works in CONDITION: UNCANNY of the four students of the class Brenner, Art Academy Stuttgart, Antonia Christl, Laura Fröhlich, Suah Im and Jakob Tyroller create a familiarity, which turns out gradually to be deceptive. Playing with the viewing habits, the work creates a feeling of cosiness at first glance. For example, one notices the immaculate, tropical beach landscapes in Tyrollers Land of Dreams (2016), Fröhlich’s widely used sterile turnstile entitled Personenschleuse (2015) or Christls Punctum saliens (2017-2018), made up of audio recordings of their surroundings and the nostalgic use of gramophones. Finally, one is confronted with Ims’ use of and reference to everyday objects that encounter her work (2018) and plug me in (2017) seem to determine. Some aspects of these works are immediately attributable and give the impression of obviousness.
But this familiarity soon becomes a strong feeling of insecurity. Tyroller’s landscapes are unmistakably similar to the oversaturated images of commercials. At the same time, the panoramas begin to dissipate, the distortions transform the “Land of Dreams” into a simulated, dystopian holiday destination. Fröhlich’s turnstile – assuming it can be used – does not lead people anywhere, but directs them back to their starting point. Christl’s use of the familiar yet frightening sound of a heartbeat drowns out the rest of the footage and confronts listeners with their own mortality. Ims curtains just seem to exist, with no concrete intention. Her use of and reference to everyday life makes the deformed images that she creates through her sculptures seem truly grotesque.
Ambiguous and strange: what unites the selected works of art is a condition that can be described as sinister – diverse and wondrously human.
Text by Anna Siebold
1 From the English: Sophocles. The Antigone of Sophocles. Edited with introduction and notes by Sir Richard Jebb. Sir Richard Jebb. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. 1891
Opening: Wednesday, 25th April 2018, 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Exhibition period: Wednesday, 25th April to Saturday, 19th May 2018Zum EIGEN + ART Lab
Image caption: CONDITION: UNCANNY, Ausstellungsansicht, 2018, Antonia Christl, EIGEN + ART Lab, Foto: Otto Felber, Berlin
Exhibition CONDITION: UNCANNY – EIGEN + ART Lab | Zeitgenössische Kunst – Contemporary Art – Kunst in Berlin – Galerien Berlin – ART at Berlin