until 09.08. | #2498ARTatBerlin | Migrant Bird Space shows from 22nd June 2019 the exhibition Winter kept us warm by the artist Michal Martychowiec.
Post-conceptualist Michal Martychowiec presents his second solo-exhibition at Migrant Bird Space, comprising his newest body of work from the series “The daily questions”, “Do you believe in art” as well as “Shadows and other signs of life”. On display will be neoninstallations and prints, accompanied by his infamous “Art Cage”, featuring conceptualised rabbits.
Despite its modest size and -at first sight- literality of elements, the exhibition offers a complexity of ciphered hermeneutic constructions. It combines references scattered not only within its own frame but most importantly within the complex practice of the artist and art history. The spectator is invited or perhaps challenged with the possibility of a reading. However, how should one approach the hero of this story – Josephine – a black and white rabbit who the artist draws as one who was spared the fate Beuys’s hare met in the process of art-making?
The exhibition space is clearly divided into two independent counter-parts: upper and lower. The upper part being dedicated to Josephine and the lower, in the basement, being a re-enactment of the installation enacted in 2016. Originally, Josephine was one of the rabbits hopping away in the gallery, as part of this work. It is crucial to consider the installation a different work to that from 2016. Even if its principle, construction and some of the elements are identical, the rabbits in it are different. None of them is or could be Josephine, but each of them offers a new story. For this reason, Josephine is not present physically, neither up- nor downstairs, but within various works at the upper floor.
Josephine is a work of art in the form of a living rabbit. ‘While alive, a work of art, and when dead, a part of art history’. In this sense, it is a re-enactment of art history and at the same time contingency of art history. In its form, it continuously questions the paradigm of art, which is redefined in the context of its own, and other works of art around it. Throughout Josephine’s life, various works have been made, within which the rabbit functions as an incorporated work of art and a symbol.
It is thus Josephine can never be fully contained within man-made systems: i.e. it is neither appropriate for the museum or the art space, nor the virtual realities, actual ones and the ones which could be considered as such metaphorically. For a virtual reality, a system (also called program) has to be created. To create such a system the [created] thing has to be within the scope of our complete understanding and prediction. This is why Josephine can never become contained within such context; because Josephine as a living being escapes all reason. Josephine is then, of course, on the very basic level, the symbol and embodiment of life, ever fleeing and never truly tangible. Words of Jodorowsky come to mind: “What is the meaning of life? Life has no meaning. Live! Live! Live!” But what is life worth, and is it actually worth living without constantly pursuing the meaning of it?
Michal Martychowiec, June 2019
born in 1987 in Lublin, Poland, based in Berlin & London
2011: Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design
2010- 2011: MA Fine Art (Distinction)
2009 – 2010: Postgraduate Certificate in Professsional Studies – Photography
2018: Everything about the contemporary is panda | Rodriguez Gallery | Warsaw (solo)
2018: Between the two worlds, the respite, in which we are not | Lianzhou Foto | Lianzhou (solo)
2018: Journey to the West | Signum Foundation Gallery | Łódź (solo)
2018: Tears of Iblis | Signum Foundation Gallery | Łódź (solo)
2018: The Nor’easter Blows | lithium gallery | Chicago (solo)
2018: Tears of Iblis | migrant bird space | Beijing (solo)
2018: Do you believe in art? | MMS2 | Berlin (solo)
2018: What do you desire? | Linde Contemporary Art | Qingdao (solo)
2018: Where does your heart belong? | Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst | Bremen
2018: Flowing books – Temporality | OCAT | Nanjing
2018: Big Workout | Art Museum of NUA | Nanjing
2017: Sous les pavés, la plage! | De Sarthe Gallery | Beijing (solo)
2017: What remains the poets provide | Art Museum of NUA | Nanjing (solo)
2016: Engel mit Sphinx Gesichten | MMS2 | Berlin (solo)
2016: Everything about the contemporary is panda | TagSta Gallery | Fukuoka (solo)
2016: Line | gift_lab GARAGE | Tokyo (solo)
Works in collections
Signum Foundation | Venice/Poznan
Videoinsight Foundation | Turin
OCAT | Nanjing
Galerie Denise René| Paris
British Artists’ Film & Video Study Collection | London
Cruz-Diez Foundation | Houston
Collection GM | Lodz
Bank PEKAO SA | Warsaw
Siena Art Institute | Siena
Vernissage: Friday, 21st June 2019, from 7 p.m.
Exhibition period: Saturday, 22nd June – Friday, 9th August 2019Zu Migrant Birds Space
Image caption: Courtesy of Migrant Bird Space Berlin, Michal Martychowiec
Exhibition Michal Martychowiec – Migrant Bird Space | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin