until 23.09. | #0192ARTatBerlin | WHITECONCEPTS gallery is pleased to present the first Berlin solo mixed-media exhibition of Canadian/Trinidadian artist KARMA from 11th September 2015.
The show will feature new paintings/sculpture, digital art/video that explore the universal themes of life/death, disintegration/ re-incarnation, the mundane/ the transcendent in the artist‟s highly expressive, personal, idiosyncratic way.
“I have not only always felt myself to be a „stranger in a strange land‟ *, but in actuality an alien on a strange planet. I am somehow OTHER. I have always existed in the in-between, never really joining, but open to all and to every influence.” Karma
*”Stranger in a Strange Land” is a 1961 science fiction novel by American author Robert A. Heinlein.
The exhibition title, KARMAWERK is a ‟made up,‟/ (compound) German word, composed of the concept of Karma + work. Though the notion of Karma is often defined in Western popular culture as fate/destiny or action/reaction, work is also another of its multitudinous definitions. Philosophically, work functions as a key socio-cultural political and religious component in German culture. More playfully, the made-up word, KARMAWERK refers to of one on the artist‟s favorite German innovators of electronic music, KRAFTWERK. Metaphorically and esoterically, work can also refer to a mystical, alchemical „work‟ that ultimately mirrors the simplest definition of art – a manipulation of materials to produce a transformation.
KARMA‟s art, is not only informed by her attempts to understand the meaning of her culturally and spiritually complex name, but also by the need to investigate the enigmatic questions that result from doing so. The artist‟s personal obsessions combined with this quest create her own personal mythos. These varied preoccupations range from such dichotomies, as high vs. subculture, identity/culture, east/west, spirituality/mysticism, mythology/reality, alchemy/science, philosophy/
psychology, nature/space, to the past/future.
Inherently, the exhibition KARMAWERK explores the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk. Each artwork acts as part of the whole. Aesthetically the „WERK‟ pays homage to various art historical movements ranging from Modernism, Surrealism, German Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Conceptualism, to Video Art and Performance. Ultimately, by utilizing seemingly conflicting colours, materials, styles, and techniques, the artist seeks to create work that she thinks of as „hybrid.‟ These are works that suggest the interstices and junctions that occur when opposites collide.
Born in Trinidad and Tobago, (of mixed East Indian, Scottish, and North African heritage) to a father who was a poet and part of the black power movement, and Brahmin student of linguistics, KARMA left a southern colony to move to a northern one, Canada. True to her chameleon nature and practice, the artist trained at a young age formally at a performing and visual arts middle- high school as a ballet and modern dancer, and in music, and drama, before making the decision in her last year of her studies to become a Visual Arts major. She received the Visual Art graduation prize. Upon returning to Toronto, the artist co-founded her own artists collective, SYNDICATE.
Later, at Concordia University in Montreal, she studied with the titans of Canadian Abstract Expressionism, and Minimalism. During her studies she won the Ruth Louise Scholarship for Excellence in Visual Art, and graduated with distinction winning the Graduating Prize for Painting and Drawing. Since then, KARMA has shown her work internationally at museums, galleries, and screenings in Canada, USA, India, Brazil, South Africa, the Caribbean, UK, France, the Netherlands, Austria, and Germany, including shows at art institutions like the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, the Museum for Contemporary Art /TO, The Art Gallery of Ontario, CANADA Gallery and D.U.M.B.O./NYC, Roberts and Tilton/LA, TAO Gallery/Mumbai, as well as the ARTFORUM Berlin. KARMA has been featured in numerous art magazines and catalogues as well as newspapers. Her work has been collected by museums, universities, curators, and internationally respected designers.
True to her nomadic blood she has lived in Jamaica, Saskatchewan, Toronto, and Montreal. KARMA has also been active as an art curator, organizer, and educator. She writes poems, songs and short stories. KARMA now lives and works in Berlin and at the Baltic Coast.
Vernissage: Friday, 11th September 2015, 6 to 10 pm Uhr (Performance 8.30 pm: The Fall by Karma, Vera Schrankl (vc), Yatziv Caspi (tbl) and Max Pela (dr))
Exhibition period: Friday, 11th September to Wednesday, 23rd September 2015
Opening hours during Berlin Art Week: Monday – Sunday 1 – 8pmZu WHITECONCEPTS
Image Caption: THE SHOCK OF THE NEW, 150 x 120 cm, acrylic and spray paint on canvas
KARMA – WHITECONCEPTS – Art in Berlin ART@Berlin