Tim Plamper + Sophia Pompéry
Der Raum der Worte ist nicht der Raum der Bilder
6/19/2015 – 8/1/2015
Artist Talk with Dr. Anke Hervol (Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Berlin), July 2nd at 7 pm
In the double exhibition gallery WAGNER + PARTNER is featuring two young Berlin based artists who use a range of media – installations, drawings, video – to examine perception in a manner that is both phenomenal and irritating, engaging with the differences and interferences between the communication systems of word and image in a highly unconventional way. It is the first time that Sophia Pompéry is presented in an exhibition at the gallery. She studied with Karin Sanders, was a participant at Olafur Eliasson’s Institut für Raumexperimente (Institute for Spatial Experiments) and has been awarded with several prizes and scholarships.
The separation between the different communication systems of word and image alluded to in the exhibition’s title plays with their interconnectedness and emphasises both the linguisticality of images and the imagery of our language. At the same time, Tim Plamper and Sophia Pompéry inquire into the functioning and comprehensibility of metaphors in word and image, symbols and signs. Each of their works has a double bottom, as it were, concealing a further metaphorical level. At the same time Plamper and Pompéry are able to create simple and subtle works, engaging with their materiality in a strikingly poetic and assured manner.
As the exhibition’s starting point, each artist is showing an installation dealing with one or several classics of German literature: Tim Plamper’s HK-MK transforms the sentence structure of Heinrich von Kleist’s novella Michael Kohlhaas into a sculptural work made of long wooden poles. It is surprisingly easy to recognise the translation of the centered type into a three-dimensional form, even though the installation is at the same time somewhat reminiscent of Morse code expressed in spatial terms, or of the protein sequence in DNA. Sophia Pompéry’s work Und Punkt (Full Stop) uses a microscope to enlarge the final periods of the first editions of 15 German love stories from three centuries. These full stops disintegrate into fibrous structures, creating a melancholic link between the ends of stories in terms of both their form and their content.
These two key works are accompanied by other works by the two artists that deal with the topic of communication: Plamper’s small-format series of digital prints Chiffren für zehn Dispositionen (Ciphers for Ten Dispositions), which takes an industrially manufactured garden chair as its subject, is complemented by small pencil signs in which the movement of the pen imitates the chair’s lines, its gestures, so to speak. These signs are reminiscent of illegible writing, produced by a shaky hand. The drawn lines preserve and render visible the gestures of the writing hand, turning the chair into a sign without a seating function. Besides these works, the exhibition also includes the video Which direction, which seems like an absurd black and white film that simply strings objects together, but actually uses ambiguous English phrases to tell a story.
Pompéry states that she “doesn’t do language“, and in her works we are able to follow how she wrestles with the confusion that is created by and inherent in language. She is exhibiting a series of works using mirrors that she has engraved with statements such as: I can see a real future for us or Don’t worry, I’ll find you a new problem. Here, she plays ironically with the change in perspective that results from reading out the words and seeing oneself in the mirror at the same time, asking: who is actually speaking to me? For the Video Eratnac Imetaishal (Lasciatemi Cantare) Pompéry is singing one of the most catchy Italian popsongs just to then flip it back and mirrow it.
Pompéry thematises the language of gestures in the photographic series Rhetorische Übung (Rhetorical Practise) in which glass hands re-enact familiar gestures of politicians. Gestural communication as a means of demonstrating power is contrasted with the virulent topic of the transparency of power relations. In a virtuosic sensual and at the same time controlled manner, Plamper draws in Körper und Gedächtnis #01 + #02 (Body and Memory #01 + #02) cinematic-looking transitions of gesturing hands, so the boundary between still image drawing and moving image is shifted.
Tim Plamper (*1982 in Bergisch-Gladbach) likes to work across a range of media, but his main artistic focus lies on drawings. He studied at the Stuttgart Academy of Art and Design with Prof. Alexander Roob. He has taken part in exhibitions in the Nassauischer Kunstverein, the Kunstverein Eislingen and the Künstlerhaus Bethanien.
Sophia Pompéry (*1984 in Berlin) studied sculpture with Karin Sander und Eran Schaerf at the Kunsthochschule Weissensee in Berlin, where she was a master student. Subsequently she took part in Olafur Eliasson’s Institut für Raumexperimente at the Berlin University of the Arts. In 2015 she was awarded the Jaqueline Diffring Prize and took part in exhibitions in the Stedelijk Museum, 's Hertogenbosch / NL, MARTa Herford, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, the Kunstverein Kassel and the Nassauischer Kunstverein in Wiesbaden, among others. Her works feature in the collections of the Kunstmuseum Bonn, the René Block und ARTER Space for Art, and the Vehbi Koç Foundation, Istanbul.