Die Zimmer der Nomaden (The rooms of the nomads)


Stefan Alber, Marcin Cienski, Sid Gastl, Andreas Koch, Pauline Kraneis, Nanne Meyer, Øyvind Renberg, Sabine Schirdewahn, Miho Shimizu

Opening: Fri, 13. Mar, 19:00
Kunstverein Tiegarten
Turmstraße 75 EG
10551 Berlin
Fon (030) 90 18 33 – 453

In an age of increased mobility, global networking and worldwide migration movements, it may at first seem outdated to question the subject of interiors in contemporary art. But if we take a look at the numerous works of present-day artists who focus on the interior, we gain an entirely different impression. This exhibition presents eight artistic positions from Berlin, Frankfurt, Oslo, Tokyo and Warsaw conveyed in the media of drawing, painting, photography, installation, video and performance, and reveals a multifaceted picture of current artistic perception.

Whilst the interior is principally defined by its boundaries with the exterior, Sid Gastl repeatedly removes them. His large-format paintings depict interiors of the modern day that open up towards the outside through expansive windows, and the light allows the interior and the exterior to merge. However, the sombre atmosphere, which is occasionally reminiscent of Böcklin, contrast starkly with the modern idea of openness and transparency. The sparsely furnished rooms offer no retreat or refuge, because the exterior invades the interior. Andreas Koch’s video work takes a different approach to the relationship between interior and exterior. He zooms in on the window in an apartment. This window not only provides the view of a tree bending back and forth in a storm; it also provides a portrayal of the tree itself. As time passes, the light conditions change, and the window becomes a mirror. The zoom reverses and shows what was previously seen from a new perspective. The video loop of the permanently repeated short film sequence rises in intensity to an almost claustrophobic effect. The works of the Polish artist Marcin Cienski are oppressive in terms of atmosphere rather than space. The night-time scene transforms the seemingly familiar into the mysterious, and the dramatic composition of light creates a plot that remains enigmatic. Cienski’s interiors are fearful visions of parting and loss.
But rooms can also be memory spaces. For many years Sabine Schirdewahn has traced the memories of people who preserve the houses of deceased family members. The intense photographs and interview fragments want to acknowledge the dead individuals through stories and items from their environment, and thus prevent them from falling into oblivion. In the exhibition, Nanne Meyer bases her work on images that already bear memories: postcards and pictures from books. Whilst drawing, she liberates the rooms from their spatial coordinates, and addresses the question of loss through omission. As a result, her works display fragments of furniture, pictures or heaters, but she still preserves the arrangement defined by the model.
For his installation Stefan Alber has taken an antique table and transformed it into an empty-faced clock. Here, as if in an exhibition showcase, the passage of time forms the subject, whilst simultaneously being conserved. The round table, otherwise a place of communication and participation, is decisively redefined, because we can only read the time from a single standpoint. Similarly, the large format wall piece by Pauline Kraneis does not depict an interior, but captures the carpet as an element of the room. As in the work by Stefan Alber, the time dimension is inherent, here in the movement of the eye following the pattern. Through a shift in perspective and scale, as well as omissions in the pattern, the carpet becomes a map that dissolves spatial boundaries and differentiates between paths and islands.
The two artists, Japanese Miho Shimizu and Norwegian Øyvind Renberg are a veritable nomadic duo represented in the exhibition. Inspired by the rococo garden of a Norwegian manor house they developed a reduced vocabulary of form and transposed it into drawn interiors, into a performance and onto a picture scroll. In so doing, the migrating forms generate link references to the most diverse cultural contexts.

Curated by Claudia Beelitz
Begleitende Veranstaltungen:

Thu, 19. Mar 2015, 19.30
“Das fotografische Interieur in der Gegenwartskunst” (“The photographic interior in contemporary art”)
Lecture by Dr. Lars Spengler

Thu, 26. Mar 2015, 17.30
Guided tour by artists
Moderated by Dr. Claudia Beelitz

Thu, 16. Apr 2015, 17.30
Guided tour by artists
Moderated by Dr. Claudia Beelitz

Supported by faco iMedia group.