How I forgot about the skin of the places 2
Curated by Stephanie Kloss and Peter Welz
Supported by NEUSTARTplus Plattformen der Bildenden Kunst
The skin of a place is much more than how it may appear to us.
It tells about the people who have called it home and the memories that have been carved into its texture over time, the experiences that have shaped its history and the impact these have had on its soul. “How I forgot about the skin of the places 1” has brought together works by six artists who explore the theme of architecture and the remembrance manifested in it, or question the relationship of the inhabitant as a body in a space, in combination with the personal history of it.
Their art unveils stories that have been left behind the walls, such as that of writer Curzio Malaparte in Architectural device [curved wall | casa malaparte] by Peter Welz, a video-sculptural portrait shot on the top of his villa in Capri, or that of writer Arnold Zweig, whose doors of his former studio are accessible again in Bastian Gehbauer’s Phantasma prints. Time is written on the original negatives, bringing us back to the house built by Harry Rosenthal in 1931, soon expropriated by the Nazis.
Our imagination is pushed towards memories of places we have never been, such as the real room in which an empty u r 10 Kaffeezimmer (coffee room) is staged by Gregor Schneider and shown as various handcoloured photos that create an unreal, artificial atmosphere. Or places that never existed, such as the failed monument to Mussolini by Albert Speer, captured in Travertinsäulen, Recyclingpark Neckartal series by Annette Kelm, now swallowed up by a postmodern industrial complex.
The dislocation effect continues in Isle and Forelle 2 by Manfred Pernice, which manifest a similar fragmentation of reality, standing like anachronistic found objects, yet imposing their unexpressed power on the space. Along with Stef Heidhues’ Mantra on hold neon sign and Flag, made of bycicle chains, these ambiguous sculptures challenge our perception of objects and mark the place as location, shedding light to the exposed raw concrete surface of it.
The entire installation intervention has generated a spontaneous reaction to the spatial conditions: the GDR prefab store that Die Möglichkeit einer Insel once was, has became not only a space for the exhibition, but a part of it. And just as places are shaped by history, the exhibition space itself seems to evolve along with the art, changing its skin in the midst of its lifetime.
This is what leads to “How I forgot about the skin of the places 2”, the second chapter of the exhibition, which is enriched by artworks of four more artists: a photograph of the Practice space of the Pripyat Conservatory by Elena Costelian, who wonders about the last piece of music rehearsed in that room before the nuclear disaster of Černobyl’; Gloria Zein’s Hear now, the new dawn, a somehow metaphysical sculpture of a foot-shaped character standing on a de Chirico-like architecture; the hybrid/android figure Urban Flower created by Thomas Kratz with remnants from the city, brought back into the interior space, reminiscent of Picasso’s saddles or Duchamp’s bycicle wheel; the wallpainting Karge Illusion by Friederike Feldmann, who reveals to us the traces of an imaginary second surface, a sparce trompe-l’oeil.
Through cracks in reality, fragments of other locations, stratification and alienation of elements – the artists’ contribution establishes a further relationship with the previous work and suggests a different way of questioning the true skin of things. The result is a living, breathing experience that mutates with the passage of time. It is “the possibility of an island” and, through its windows, we are invited to remember about the skin of the places.