Local Talent
July 4 – August 22, 2020

Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Blue Rose Aldi Tüte, 2020

The exhibition Local Talent curated by Thomas Demand features more than twenty Berlin based artists, from several generations, diverse nationalities and backgrounds. Their works have either been created in the last few months, or they constitute past concepts for future works that resonate with this unprecedented time.

“They all live in Berlin, still a city of artists, and the selected works all point indirectly at the repercussions of our current situation.” –Thomas Demand

 

Anri Sala, Voladores, 2020,Black and white photograph on baryte paper, mounted on dibond, 2 parts

Anri Sala

The nesting pigeons of Anri Sala’s Voladores (Flyers) (2020) are shown in their adopted home of the zoo in the artist’s native Tirana, where the birds settled after the site was abandoned. The pigeons have purposefully moved into a new form of captivity, their loss of mobility perhaps reflective of our current predicament. Within the current context the notion of a self-governing migration of species gets a very poignant twist, considering the origin of the virus.

 

Ceal Floyer, Untitled (Remainder), 2020 / Polythene, metal hooks, acrylic cover

Ceal Floyer

Ceal Floyer’s Untitled (Remainder), 2020, presents a small wedge of plastic, the vestige of a stack of plastic bags, typically found in shops for fresh produce, that have all been torn off and used. The viewer seems to have arrived late: there are no sacks left, perhaps as a result of the panic buying that took place at the start of the pandemic, leaving only a sense of emptiness and vulnerability.

 

Gerwald Rockenschaub, Acrylic glass in MDF frame, varnished, 2020

Gerwald Rockenschaub

The faint abstract engravings of Gerwald Rockenshaub’s untitled works (2020) may refer to studies of nature, while also asserting themselves autonomously as prototypes for unrealized work. Depicting what might be a mountain or a wave, their monochrome surfaces glow from the brightness of their pink frame and support, conveying at once a sense of promise and emptiness.

 

Haris Epaminonda, Untitled #02 a/j, 2020 / Box with brass gilding on wood, lid with brass gilding on wood and black ink on chalk base, black patinated old bronze vase, brass cricket and framed found book page

Haris Epaminonda, Untitled #02 a/j, 2020 / Box with brass gilding on wood, lid with brass gilding on wood and black ink on chalk base, black patinated old bronze vase, brass cricket and framed found book page

Haris Epaminonda

Starting with funerary customs in ancient Egypt, Haris Epaminonda’s gilded brass objects and assemblages Untitled #01 a/j and Untitled #02 a/j (both 2020) make reference to an entry to a burial chamber and a reliquary or sarcophagus respectively. Reminding the viewer of the fragility of their own existence, small objects such as a locust and an adjacent portrait refer further to the ancient civilization, offering a literal and metaphorical portal into the afterlife. In that context, she emphasizes the absolute dimension of the crisis, the mortal thread it inevitably poses.

 

Henrik Olesen, Auflosung I, 2020 / Silicone on board

Henrik Olesen, Auflosung I, 2020 / Silicone on board

Henrik Olesen

During our period of isolation, the computer has been an important means of communicating with colleagues, friends and family. Cast in silicon by Henrik Olesen, these three keyboards, titled Auflösung I, II & III (Dissolution I, II & II), 2020, convey a tactility that evokes the fragility of the human body, further emphasized by the frayed edges that seem to be in a state of decay.

 

Jason Dodge

Jason Dodge

Jason Dodge’s installation, comprised of various small objects, glass jars, bottles of cosmetic products and general dust and detritus, concerns itself with the violence of mass production and consumption. Referring throughout to what goes into, onto and is shed by the body, the glass receptacles could read the product of hoarding or as canopic jars (used by the Egyptians for the preservation of viscera). With a morbid sense of loss pervading the work, the artist left it purposefully untitled.

 

Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Hujar’s hand on Motherhood, 2020

Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Pink Anthurium Pharynx, 2020

Ketuta Alexi-Meshkhishvili

Ketuta Alexi-Meshkhishvili’s photographic prints Hujar’s hand on Motherhood, Blue Rose Aldi Tüte, andPink Anthurium Pharynx, (2020) bring a certain mysticism to the artifacts of everyday life. With each object and print triggering a range of poetic associations, enhanced by the use of transparent layers that lend the whole composition a certain dream-like aesthetic, they evoke an elegiac mood.

 

Manfred Pernice, Strandgut III, 2019 / Wood, paint, electrics, metal

Manfred Pernice

Spread across three locations in the exhibition, Manfred Pernice’s Strandgut III (Flotsam III), 1999 – 2020, makes use of seemingly discarded pieces of material – old cupboard doors and pieces of board, scraps of metal, a still-functioning lightbulb – to interrogate and repurpose the individual histories of each fragment. More meticulously crafted barrel-like structures resemble furniture or containers for something unspecified, alluding further to an unpredictable future. Pernice’s proposition to the current situation is to re-evaluate the existing inventory as sufficient and settle with the existing in changing constellations: the sculpture has been shown twice before, but in fundamentally different configurations.

 

Marieta Chirulescu, untitled, 2020 / Inkjet print, gesso, gouache on canvas

Marieta Chirulescu, untitled, 2020 / Acrylic, UV-print on canvas

Marieta Chirulescu

Marieta Chirulescu’s two untitled paintings (2020) are the result of a complex process of copying and reproducing during which controlled experiments, chance operations, and even errors generate abstract forms, all of which are documented as ink prints on canvas overpainted by hand. While one image hints at an architectural form and the other a portrait, both images are subtle, multifaceted reproductions.

 

Omer Fast, Cluster #5, 2020 / Cherry pits, styrofoam, wood

Omer Fast, Beckmann’s Rope, 2020 / Video on mobile phone

Omer Fast

Presented on a mobile phone left on the floor, Beckmann’s Rope, 2020, by Omer Fast makes reference to a diptych by Max Beckmann that depicts a number of figures in the same predicament. They are tied to each other top to tail with rope, in their own isolation union, Originally conceived as a performance for a since cancelled exhibition, the work shows a rehearsal and takes on a different life as a video work presented in this format.

 

Thea Djordjadze, Why Hold on to That?, 2020

Thea Djordjadze

The reflective aluminum sidings of Thea Djordjadze’s Why Hold on to That?, 2020, recall both domestic furniture such as room dividers and a wider vocabulary of industrial architecture. Stretching to nearly five meters high, they function as a near-mirrored surface that engages with the rest of the exhibition. The reflects the moment of reconsideration regarding our habitual inventory which has been a common reaction to the solitude of the crisis: Why Hold on to That?

 

Thea Djordjadze, Untitled, 2020 / Wood, plaster, paint

Furthermore, for some ‘lockdown’ has meant more time with family, which might impinge upon our work, Thea Djordjadze has suggested the opposite with an untitled painting on plaster (2020) created in collaboration with her young daughter. Recalling the exuberance of early twentieth-century modernist experiments in painting, there is a childish, unhinged element to the daubs of color.

 

Thomas Demand, blackcap, 2020 / Framed pigment print

Thomas Demand

As a continuation of Thomas Demand’s Model Studies series, blackcap, 2020, depicts a pattern in the studio of the late couturier Azzedine Alaïa. As a photograph of a drawing, the work is closely concerned with line and shade, depicted well over life-size. Demand’s exacting work methods dictate that the pigment print is produced only at a specialist printers in America he got to know whilst living in the US – a global process that has become increasingly difficult in the current situation.

 

Thomas Struth, Orientalischer Mohn (Papaver orientale) 1, Feldberger Seenlandschaft 2020, inkjet print

Thomas Struth

In these photographs of slightly flattened, dead and decaying poppies, Thomas Struth muses on the history of vanitas painting. Titled Orientalischer Mohn (Papaver Orientale), Feldberger Seenlandschaft 1 and 2 (2020), the flowers here are an invasive species. In their forlorn state, the poppies might lose some of their typical references to war or opiates, yet still convey a shock of red against the dark ground. With these images, Struth is insisting on practicing even if the artist is bereft of his modes of working.

Artists

Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Miriam Böhm, Marieta Chirulescu, Tacita Dean, Thomas Demand, Thea Djordjadze, Jason Dodge, Sam Durant, Olafur Eliasson, Haris Epaminonda, Omer Fast, Ceal Floyer, Mathew Hale, Mathew Hale / Eddie Ruscha, Oliver Laric, Henrik Olesen, Manfred Pernice, Gerwald Rockenschaub, Anri Sala, Thomas Scheibitz, Andreas Slominski, Thomas Struth, Akinori Tao, Rosemarie Trockel, Corinne Wasmuht

 

Local Talent
July 4 – August 22, 2020 / Sprüth Magers
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