until 21.03. | #2686ARTatBerlin | drj art projects presents from 13th February 2020 the exhibition lesen with works by the artists Daniela Comani and Carlo Battisti.
lesen is the title of the first exhibition of the new decade at drj art projects. On display is a juxtaposition of new works by the two Italian artists Carlo Battisti and Daniela Comani. In their own unique way both of them collage content that they have gathered over a long period of time, to create new and condensed compositions.
The Beginning, The End is the title of the central contribution by Daniela Comani [*1965 in Bologna], which was completed for this exhibition. It is a collection of selected quotations from classical fiction and B-fiction, which she has compiled over many years and incorporated into a new work, consisting of two parts. The artist follows several conceptual approaches and revision processes.
Comani uses the quotations systematically: it is always the first and last sentence of the selected book. From these first sentences of her quotations, which were initially noted down on index cards in several languages, she then arranges in The Beginning a new story of her own. A very conscious process of artistic appropriation. In order to underline this process, she uses a technique already established in her internationally acclaimed work It was me: where in the original texts the third person or proper names are used, she replaces them with the first person.
In the second part, The End, Comani generates a random collage from the last sentences of the selected books. This collage is thus entirely random and yet determined by the previously established order of the first sentences. The result is a book made up of two completely different parts. In order to emphasize the symmetrical basic idea of first sentence / last sentence once again and to make it tangible, the layout of the book is designed so that it can be read from two sides, i.e. both from the beginning and, starting the other way round, from the end. The two parts finally meet in the middle.
In the exhibition, the two resulting texts The Beginning and The End can be read next to each other as wall works and also in a paperback edition that can be read from the beginning or the end, as one pleases.
In his work cycle The Library of Babel, based on an essay by Jorge Luis Borges, Carlo Battisti [*1945 in Viareggio] has focused on the book as a medium and thus on reading itself for many years. drj art projects has displayed his paper sculptures based on this concept very successfully in several exhibitions and fair appearances over the past years. Recent examples therefore also part of the current presentation.
Beyond this, however, he surprises us with his photographic works: in his studio, he has taken pictures of stage-like miniatures with a large-format plate camera. For these he arranges found objects, especially from the estate of the clown Polidor, and additionally uses mirrors as integral elements of these compositions of objects. This opens up surprising views on things and widens the perspectives regarding his motifs. To decipher the arrangements by looking closely at them and to absorb the interaction of the individual components as a process is again very similar to reading. In addition, handwritten text fragments, quotations from books or particular words can also be found within the photographs. They refer to Battisti’s strong preference for the written word per se.
In lesen, both artists make some very personal references to literature and art works that are important to them. These become sources as well as they experience new appreciation. For the programme of drj these artworks and their contents are important elements. They illustrate that works can be created from a conceptual artistic attitude and both implement complex ideas as well as convince aesthetically. They thus provide exemplary answers to fundamental questions that can be asked of contemporary conceptual and minimal art today.
Vernissage: Thursday, 13th February 2020, 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Exhibition period: Thursday, 13th February to Saturday, 21st March 2020Zu drj art projects
Image caption: Courtesy of drj art projects
Exhibition Daniela Comani + Carlo Battisti – drj art projects | Zeitgenössische Kunst Berlin Contemporary Art Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin