until 19.08. | #3941ARTatBerlin | 68 projects shows from 29. June 2023 the exhibition “BUSCHFUNK” of the artist Fritz Bornstück.
Expeditions into trash romance
By Larissa Kikol
You think you know them, these places, these compositions of old things, of rubbish, of idyllic vegetation. You don’t discover them by strolling, rarely by walking. To get here, you have to roam around, follow an urban explorer’s instinct, leave paths, look for hiding places. Children and young people are best at this, but so are homeless people or graffiti sprayers. And then they appear, the traces of the heavy objects, the technical legacies from past decades. Like a whispering bag from the 1920s, musical instruments, fire extinguishers, drawers full of stuff, a vendor’s tray from the cinema or a Converse Chuck shoe. Ambitiously piled high, romantically dropped down or burning warmth in a fireplace. Together they act like fertilizer, through them weeds blossom paradisiacally.
After a few moments of contemplation, it finally becomes clear that Fritz Bornstück’s pictures do not show real places, they only seem that way at first glance. They are un-places, exposed in hidden places and relocated in a fictitious map of the world.
Bornstück paints compositions from an anachronistic consumer world, antique symbols of status and cultural pleasure, which he does not conceptually exhibit as ready-made, but translates into figurative painting. This makes one think of a “dirty” Leipzig School or of wild Impressionism. In keeping with the pictorial motif, a patina also seems to have settled over the painting. At close range, the painterly details that dissolve abstractly are of interest here. Paint is not applied thinly, but impasto. In some places it is pressed on and off again or scratched off and then painted over again. Gestures and roughness can also only be recognized by looking the canvas directly in the eye. A more chaotic brushstroke is reflected in small strokes, but without disturbing the figurative representational premise that makes up the painting as a whole.
The paintings are all connected without belonging to concrete series of works. Fritz Bornstück paints a world that continues to expand. The individual paintings join together as a loose network to form a landscape that is the epitome of quiet expansion. While the instruments fall silent, one hears the rustling of birds and mice. Painting functions as an expedition, without timpani, but in the spirit of a trash romanticism in light melancholy. “This expedition can begin in Berlin-Neukölln, get lost in the most remote places, lead to steppes and jungles or wherever the associations take you, to a ’Wasteland’ impressions wander with the gaze through the picturesquely condensed scenes of everyday grist, nature and consumer and late-night goods. A personal film runs in front of the inner eye and then leads back to the here and now and to the surface of the pictures and their being painted: Color, surface, traces”, is how Fritz Bornstück describes his expedition painting.
Roughly speaking, the places in his paintings can be divided into three categories: The dense, garden-like settings, the vast nighttime backdrops and the spaces in between, interiors lit by light bulbs, walls and niches overgrown by the natural. In a nocturnal wasteland, a cinema bench for two is set up. It is empty. In front of it, objects blaze in red-yellow-violet-green flames. An oriole is present – an omniscient inhabitant who surely experienced what was here, who was here, and who disappeared from the picture again. But he is silent, stares into the fire and will soon leave again, into the next painting.
There is often smoke, sometimes from a sousaphone, fire extinguishers are ready, but they will do nothing. Bornstück’s ceramic objects, like the fire extinguisher, the cigarette butts or the ghetto blaster, are like an homage. They deny the former use and present the object as a memory trigger of youth cultures, sounds, smells, emotionally connected moments and haptic experiences.
The absence of people in Fritz Bornstück’s worlds is relaxing. If they were there, if they reached for the objects again, tried to intervene, the pleasant calm would be gone. Whether they are just somewhere else or whether these are places of an ‘aftermath’, after the people are gone, remains open.
Fritz Bornstück (*1982 in Weilburg/Lahn) lives and works in Berlin and Neuhardenberg. After studying mathematics in Mainz, he switched to fine arts and studied first in Mainz with Friedemann Hahn, then at the UDK in Berlin with Leiko Ikemura, Björn Dahlem, Felix Schramm and Tillmann Küntzel. In 2009 he finished his studies as a master student of Thomas Zipp and subsequently received the renowned scholarship at ‘De Ateliers’ in Amsterdam. His works have been exhibited in Copenhagen, Paris, Zurich, Stockholm, Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin. Works by Fritz Bornstück can be found in the Argen Museum in Copenhagen and in numerous private collections.
Opening: Thursday, 29. June 2023, 6 pm until 9 pm
Exhibition dates: Thursday, 29. June 2023 until Saturday, 19. August 2023To the Gallery
Image caption: Fritz Bornstück © 68 projects
Exhibition Fritz Bornstück – 68 projects | Zeitgenössische Kunst Berlin Galerien | Contemporary Art | Ausstellungen Berlin Galerien | ART at Berlin