Bettina Pousttchi, Installation view, Buchmann Galerie, 2023
Bettina Pousttchi / In Transit
Sep 2 – Oct 28, 2023
Buchmann Galerie
Berlin, Germany

The Buchmann Galerie is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition In Transit by Bettina Pousttchi.

Bettina Pousttchi’s multifaceted oeuvre, which includes sculpture, photography, installation and site-specific façade works, has been expanded in recent years by the series titled Vertical Highways. The artist developed these anthropomorphic- looking, dance-like sculptures formed from crash barriers as part of her exploration of physical objects that control, regulate and order public space.

The exhibition In Transit now open at the Buchmann Galerie presents new works that expand and complement the formal language of the Vertical Highways series. The Progressions series works sculpturally with the phenomenon of sequence and its direct associations with movement and time. The distorted crash barriers, arranged in ascending order, thereby set in motion a dialogue between the ascending elements and the rhythmic-serial character of the sequence. In the exploration of the sequential and ordering in sequence of the pictorial, reference can be made to moving images such as film and video and the beginnings of these media, for example, the chronophotography of Eadweard Muybridge. The association with these early photographs in series, the first to show people, horses and other living beings in various stages of motion, is central to the moment of movement and fluidity seen in the artist’s work.

Alongside Vertical Highways – Progression 01, an almost four-metre-wide, 230-centimetre-high sculpture, Bettina Pousttchi is also showing new works in the exhibition in which she experiments with both colours and formats. In contrast to the previous works in the Vertical Highways series, which were in traffic-light colours, the new works expand the colour palette with sandy earth tones. No longer life-size, the height of the works gives them a new gestalt with which the artist continues her investigation into the plastic qualities of the material and its relation to the human body.

The artist creates the sculptures using an elaborate process in which she deforms the industrial prefabricated parts of the crash barriers being used under high pressure, erects them vertically, and then assembles them into new figurations before applying colour. The vertical orientation of the crash barriers, in subverting their normal horizontal use, breaks with their usual spatial arrangement and provides the sculptures with an architectural reference. The sequential use of the source material both ties in with the concepts of Minimal art and demonstrates their connection to Marcel Duchamp’s Readymades.

Bettina Pousttchi recently inaugurated the largest sculpture in the Vertical Highways series to date at Berlin Central Station. This sculpture, which was designed specifically for the location on Washingtonplatz and is six metres high, underlines Bettina Pousttchi’s interest in the complex notion of the public realm.

The street objects the artist employs in her sculptures, such as crowd barriers, bollards, bike racks and crash barriers, are typically used to structure public space and regulate the possibilities of movement in it. Yet, often going unnoticed, the artist brings these objects back into focus and perception through her sculptures, thereby raising the question of the societal interplay between control and freedom, so central to civil society.

  • Marco Zanella: #02 Dispacci – Argini
    Publication
    Cesura
    International

    Between May 16 and 17, 2023, devastating floodings engulfed the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, provocating 15 victims, leaving more than 36,000 thousand homeless, and resulting in about a thousand landslides, hundreds of streets interrupted, and collapsed bridges. Nearly two dozen rivers overflew between the Appenine Mountains and the Adriatic Coast, inundating the fields and many cities in Romagna, including the Emilian city of Bologna and its metropolitan area. (more…)

  • James Barnor: Studio of Life
    Oct 27, 2023 – Mar 10, 2024
    FOMU
    Antwerp, Belgium

    James Barnor: Studio of Life offers an overview of James Barnor’s (b. Ghana, 1929) remarkable career. His multifaceted and powerful images made him a photography pioneer. This exhibition not only showcases Barnor’s rich and diverse body of work but also examines the cultural connections between Accra, London and Antwerp. In 1949, Barnor launched his photography studio Ever Young in the Ghanaian capital of Accra. It grew into a pivotal meeting place for young Ghanaians who longed for freedom from British colonial rule. (more…)

  • Grey Crawford. Chroma, 1978–85, Vol 1
    Publication
    Beam Editions
    International

    In 1978 Grey Crawford created a body of colour photographic work that was so radical in its aesthetic and technique that few people to this day understand how it was made. Chroma documents late 70s Los Angeles in a period of radical urban transformation. Scenes of vernacular architecture, demolition sites and everyday places are contrasted with graphic forms that float on the surface and sit within the image. (more…)