The five students from the Weißensee Art School (Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee) who won the Mart Stam Förderpreis 2011 are now exhibiting in Bethanien under the curatorial directions of Prof. Dr. Kornelia von Berswordt-Wallrabe. Their works, various and refreshingly well made, seem to have been thoroughly thought out during the making process, an element that is often missing in many contemporary art exhibitions.
The work, diverse in media and aesthetics, deal with subject matters such as man’s age old desire to fly, the transformation of materials, the employability of people with disabilities, Japanese calligraphy and the physicality of space. All of these seen under each person’s scope and through multidisciplinary practices.
Upon entering the space one is surrounded by Meike Kuhnert’s drawings that create a repetitive colourful pattern on the walls. The rest of Kuhnert’s work, in the far left room on the other hand is much more subtle, quiet almost. A synthesis of three paintings that make their way into three dimensions. Discreet black and blue lines create a dark and imposing background for a coloured cotton surface, an unframed canvas playing with the materiality of transformation. On the other side of the room a small colourful canvas creates a playfuly balances the large and austere synthesis.
Isabelle Dechamps (born in 1984) focuses on social issues and through her practice and the project “able” she brings to light the difficulties people with mental and physical disabilities face in becoming employed. Her work comprises of a large work surface with some of the outcomes of this programme among tools and notes used by the creators. One the side, the actual products that made it to the market, and images of their creators holding them. The accompanying monitors and projection give the viewer a small taste of the making procedure by presenting some of the participants while at work. The people involved comment on the project and expose their own view on what it is they do.
Kazuki Nakahara (born in 1980) draws from Japanese culture and the way his father and grandfather (both calligraphers) have shaped his understanding of the creative process. He transforms calligraphy and Haiku poetry into strict and beautiful installations and decides to exhibit them side by side with meticulously created drawings.
Anna Herms (born in 1979) creates a large scale installation using readymades and video and in a way invites the audience to experience her work by walking on it. Herms uses thread to shape the space and create a specific flow in the room her works occupy. She thus makes the viewer, who wants to see some of her works from up close, cross the room through an artificial narrow passage while walking on a foam mattress that is laid down and whose form is in harmony with the shapes the threads create.
Andrés Galeano (born in 1980) uses video, a collection of images of unknown photographers as well as photography and a video documentation of a performance of his. The artist is fascinated by birds and mythologies of flying people. He researches this topic through an interdisciplinary approach and produces an audiovisual effect which transports the viewer to an urbanised and conceptualised “translation” of those mythologies.
A larger body of work from these five artists is beautifully presented in five booklets that give valuable insight to their works and artistic practice.
“Presume” – Isabelle Deschamps (product design), Andrés Galeano (sculpture), Anna Herms (sculpture), Meike Kuhnert (painting), Kazuki Nakahara (painting)
Exhibition: May 5 – May 20, 2012
Mariannenplatz 2 (click here for map)
Blog entry and photos by Anna Smith in Berlin; Saturday, May 12, 2012.