5.2. – 18.4.2022
Zentrum für Aktuelle Kunst, Gallery Ground Floor
The exhibition Fragile Formations brings together new, space-related works by the Berlin artists Eva Berendes, Heike Gallmeier and Gloria Zein. They deal with ephemeral and fragile pictorial settings in confrontation with the exhibition venue.
The citadel was built in the High Renaissance to protect the Berlin royal residence. It served as a boundary, defence of territorial claims and fortification. Although today it is used exclusively for cultural purposes, its massive presence still embodies its original purpose.
The three artists juxtapose the architectural complex of ideas of political and material permanence with concepts of provisional lightness, changeability and movement. They create changing, permeable screens, multi-part, colourful pictorial spaces and temporary constellations of sculptural elements.
Rosi Braidotti’s concepts of nomadic subjectivity (*1954 in Latisana/Italy) form a common point of reference for the exhibition. In her publication “Nomadic Subjectivity” (2011), the Italian philosopher and feminist theorist opposes the idea of “(…) dominant formations of identity, memory and identification (…)” and instead seeks a “(…) multiform process of transformation and a play of complexity that expresses the principle of not-one. Nomadic subjectivity (…) is thus defined in the unfinished, in the in-between, in the contradictory.”
Accordingly, the artists’ objects and spatial interventions are questioning, explorative arrangements that develop a meandering course through the strict linearity of the exhibition spaces in the 19th-century Old Barracks. They open up flowing transitions and new (mental) spaces.
Originally coming from a painting practice, Eva Berendes today understands the screen, the permeable, two-dimensional setting in space as her visual subject. As grids, screens, barriers, stage elements or curtains, they negotiate the relationship between autonomous form and everyday functional design. Her new series of freestanding portals or gates are simultaneous invitations to observe and walk through, to contemplate and use.
Heike Gallmeier works at the interface between image and space in her installations.
She combines elements of sculpture, painting and photography to create installations from which photographs are taken. These are, in turn, shown in installation contexts. This creates duplications and intermediate states between image, object and space. In another work, traces of the working process become fragile images with which Heike Gallmeier transfers elements of the studio into the exhibition spaces.
In her primarily three-dimensional works, Gloria Zein combines various materials with fragments of earlier sculptures and develops an aesthetic of the simple, sometimes the archaic. Her objects not only allow formal aspects to clash harshly but also play with the social implications of materiality. As a result, the ephemeral and the light often become the counterpart of the heavy and the solid.