12.09. - 25.10.2014
Claas Gutsche (*1982) makes linocut prints, a traditional graphic technique that is recently experiencing a revival. His oft large-format works on Japanese paper explore the reinterpretation of media-related images.
With Changing Truth Gutsche investigates his heritage further, exclusively exploring former East-German (GDR) architecture and remains. How does architecture influence our memory of a specific time and how do images, particularly photographs, retrospectively alter these impressions?
In these deserted scenes Gutsche refers to the fact that architecture is always associated with its historical context. The original photographs sourced by Gutsche once salvaged this history. Through the characteristic high-contrast black and white look of the lino print they are now reduced to light and shadow – to visibility or erasure.
The “Kunst am Bau”, like exterior wall paintings is a German public art scheme that continues to engage public appeal. Similarly a tapestry shrouds the themes and symbolism of the facade’s figures – and hence the actual building’s function.
The work „Der neue Mensch" (The new men) highlights a typical sidewall, often presented as an exterior painting or mosaic and here as the former “Magnet” department store in Eisenhüttenstadt. Walther Womacka’s painting “Produktion im Frieden” (peacetime production) is emblazoned on a building like an advertising banner and although it was once a political declaration, today it is still publically visible and yet hard to decipher. With the fall of the GDR the meanings of the large-scale wall paintings and mosaics have lost their prominence. When the buildings are destroyed, the notions gleaned via the original photographs will be what remain.
"Concrete" illustrates façade elements that are so strongly associated with GDR architectural history, although they can no longer be assigned to any one particular building or function. The adornment is a discreet and yet very “concrete” symbol. Seemingly banal exterior and interior aspects conceal dozens of images that only GDR residents will recognize and associate with memories related to occurrences, encounters or historical moments.
In this respect Gutsche’s lino prints are clearly grounded within a historical context and are characterised by a multi-faceted subject matter, which reveals itself to the viewer over time.
Artist Talk with Sven Drühl: Thursday, Oct 9 at 7 pm
A new catalogue will be presented during the talk
Thursday, 16 October 2014, at 10 pm, immediately after the official
opening of the MdF at the Martin-Gropius-Bau.
Erwin Olaf will be present and sign his new catalogue.
Erwin Olaf’s works depict the unspoken. His stylized and skilfully quoted visual worlds address taboos, social conflicts, and middle-class narrow-mindedness – themes that he disguises aesthetically in order to unsettle the viewer.
Bar Barbette showcases the series Fall (2008), which presents adolescent portraits separated by austerely composed still lifes set in pale gold-coloured interiors of the late 1950s. Posed before curtains and wallpaper reminiscent of the living rooms of the post-war generation, the adolescents seem out of place. They confront the viewer with contradictory emotions and their as yet undefined corporality, as though they felt entirely unobserved. Coolness and physical strength are just as much on display as vulnerability and apathy; subtle and unbridled eroticism radiates from their flawless young bodies. With a similar atmosphere, the film Le Dernier Cri (2006) slowly progresses towards a discomforting climax that reveals the terror concealed beneath the veil of the bourgeoisie.
Daily at Bar Babette from 18 h. An exhibition project by WAGNER + PARTNER with Month of Photography.
Erwin Olaf - EUROPÄISCHER MONAT DER PHOTOGRAPHIE
New Catalogue out now!
ERWIN OLAF - VOLUME II
The catalogue will be presented at the Reception evening and signed by the artist!