until 18.04. | #2683ARTatBerlin | EFREMIDIS GALLERY shows from 8th February 2020 the exhibition SQUISH with works by the artists Carlotta Bailly-Borg, Christiane Blattmann, Lindsay Lawson, Teresa Solar und Jens Kothe. At the same time, in the [ERP Project] of the Efremidis Gallery, the artist Hannah Sophie Dunkelberg will present the exhibition E.X.P.O. (sub sole).
‘Squish’ is an aromantic crush, a deep desire for friendship, mental and physical closeness without the touching, desire without sex. ‘Squish’ also refers to a sound; a squelching when walking on mud for instance, and the action of putting intense pressure on a soft surface. Uncanny but pleasurable, a hint of disgust you wish to participate in again. The works featured in SQUISH deal with sensual variations of ambiguity and the uncanny in either material choice or pictorial presentation.
On view are three paintings from Carlotta Bailly-Borg (*1984, France), which make up her CHITCHAT series featuring fluid humanoid creatures, their nebulous sensual bodies flowing together. A number of her ceramics are also shown; these ancient Greek/Roman amphorae inspired works were dropped on a hard surface when still unfired and the subsequent new forms have been given identities by Bailly-Borg by scratching faces into the whitewashed clay. The expressions are open to interpretation; are they an expression of the violence done to the original shape of the vase? We can see an open-mouthed scream, an annoyed glance. But does the mouth inhale or exhale, in pain or petite mort?
Birds, foxes, masks, holding, containing and seeping through; Christiane Blattmann’s (*1983, Germany) sculptural wall hangings morph between the natural and alien. Using utilitarian basket weaving techniques, Blattmann creates structures that appear familiar at first but then take on an eerie portent. Inspired by a variety of literary sources ranging from Aristophanes’ The Birds (414 BC) to Monique Wittig’s Les Guérillères (1969) Blattmann entwines separate strands of mythology, literature, science, and architecture which form uncanny objects seemingly existing on this plane and another, otherworldly one.
‘Everything is OK’, is OK, OK, OK, OK, OK, OK, a seemingly endless repetition of the gesture for ‘OK’, a 3D representation of the word. Formed by Teresa Solar (*1985, Spain) as she creates the OK hand gesture with her hands and keeps this shape as the potter’s wheel turns. The glossy pink finish appears slick, wet, glistening. Slip in and out, deeper and through. The shapes hint at the human body, intestines and skin folds. Interspersed between the impaled ceramics are shapes reminiscent of molds leaning on metal poles, they appear ready to be filled or to enclose.
Lindsay Lawson’s (*1982, USA) ‘Still Lives’ prints feature enticingly lit banal objects grouped together in a slightly absurd manner. The lighting is reminiscent of a dark nightclub and shadows obscure our vision. Her fountain work ‘Interior Sphinx’ slinks towards us, a cigarette absurdly gurgling water. Lawson’s objects are often activated by water, obtaining a personality and specifically emoting disdain or an air of aloofness.
Pulled tight, stretched over a seemingly more supple material; folded, creased and at times hairy, Jens Kothe’s (*1985, Germany) ‘wall objects’ and sculptural work evokes the human body. The domestic sphere is often referenced directly, like in the title of his sculptural work, ‘O.T. bench III’. Other times the bulging shapes squeezed between concrete or wood remind us of a tufted sofa or pillows. The body as our domicile. While the materials used by Kothe beg to be experienced haptically, they are also disconcerting, seemingly naked without flesh.
At ERP Project: E.X.P.O. (sub sole), a solo exhibition by Hannah Sophie Dunkelberg
Hannah Sophie Dunkelberg (*1987, Bonn) graduated as a Meisterschülerin from the UdK in Berlin in the class of Manfred Pernice last year after studying at the HFBK in Hamburg. For E.X.P.O. (sub sole) she is working within the concepts of showing and displaying an array of techniques and innovations. She plays with the idea of the exhibition and what it means to display something.
Working within a range of mediums, Dunkelberg works with materials that she says convey an optimism towards the aesthetics of production. Though the use of new and digital technologies should not overshadow the work itself. Dunkelberg sees this method as a way to look upon known motives with new eyes. Her work is heavily inspired by painting and the act of painting. Drawing takes up an important part of her practice. The brushstroke, the built-up of paint on a canvas is a starting point for her imagery. Using for instance woodcuts as a base she utilizes this traditional method to create startlingly new wall objects. Other times wood finds its way back into the work, in the shape of inlaid intarsia, creating a sensation of depth where there is none.
The wall of ERP-Projekt is partially covered with a custom-made wallpaper featuring a screenshot of Matisse’s painting ‘Bonheur de Vivre’ (1905/06). This colorful work plays with the rules of composition and scale. A pattern is created with the repetition of the screenshot, which allows Dunkelberg to question the staging of a painting. The independent imagery in the work comes together to form a complete composition. Dunkelberg’s work playfully uses scale and reality. The oversized decoupaged leaf sculptures lying near the cobblestones of ERP-Projekt feature images of the outside, streets, piles of leaves and close-ups of raindrops.
They are positioned on custom-made elaborate see-through stands, which perch the objects above the ground, almost floating. E.X.P.O (sub sole) plays with the concepts of inside vs. outside and blurs the lines between these two normally separated spheres. In front of the wallpaper, a traditionally ‘inside’ feature, a park bench is positioned surrounded by leaf objects. The bench is reduced to its silhouettes and digitally transformed into an object that floats between functional and untouchable. This interplay between nature and the human presence or consciousness and the dream world allows Dunkelberg to examine ideas on creation, reality, and morality.
Vernissage: Saturday, 8. February 2020, 18:00 bis 21:00 Uhr
Exhibition period: Saturday, 8. February – Saturday, 18. April 2020Zur EFREMIDIS GALLERY
Exhibition SQUISH – EFREMIDIS GALLERY | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin