with works by Benedikte Bjerre, Anne-Lise Coste, Slawomir Elsner, Jonathan Monk, Andreas Slominski and Sandra Vásquez de la Horra
The title of the group show When the facts change, I change my mind could not be more topical: We live in challenging times that require great flexibility. The quote for the exhibition title is attributed to the English economic theorist and politician John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946).
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In response to our request for a work, the English conceptual artist Jonathan Monk (*1969 in Leicester, lives in Berlin) replied that he would like to contribute a work that reflects his mood towards the confusion of Brexit. The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union under Article 50 would have fallen exactly on the opening date of the exhibition, but Theresa May was able to postpone it until 12 April 2019. Monk’s sculpture is a humorous and clear allusion to Alberto Giacometti’s work La main (1947) and to a 2006 variation by Valentin Carron. The lean arm of Monk’s sculpture after Giacometti shows an obscene gesture with index and middle finger, an inverted Victory sign that means nothing other than F*** Off. Monk’s disappointment at the UK’s imminent withdrawal from the EU resonates. Monk’s sculpture in the first room is complemented by two pictures from the ongoing series of Holiday Paintings, which refers to the British longing for the European South and its year-round invasion.
Andreas Slominski (*1959 Meppen, lives in Werder, near Berlin) emerged in 1987 with a solo exhibition of works mimicking traps. He has remained true to the ideas of the mind during his important artistic career. At our request, he sent a Wieselwippbrettfalle (Weasel- Board-Trap) for the exhibition. With these objects, the question always arises as to whether they are found, real existing traps, or whether they were invented by Slominski and built by himself. Next to the trap hangs the work Lightning Rod from the Summer House of Albert Einstein in Caputh. This is Slominski’s tracing on plastic of the lightning rod at the house Einstein helped to design near Lake Templin and the city of Potsdam, but also near of Slominski’s current place of residence and work in Werder, where fox and weasel say good night to each other. From his studio Slominski cycled with a roll of plastic to Albert Einstein’s summer house and copied part of the lightning rod on it. For the framing of the work, a wood was chosen that takes up the colours of the North American Douglas fir (Oregon Pine), which was used for the exterior cladding of the wooden house made of local pine. Two pencil drawings of cunning trappers complete the group.
The Chilean artist Sandra Vásquez de la Horra (*1967 Viña Del Mar, lives in Berlin) built a house with drawings for the exhibition. Since 2014 sculptures emerge in her work created with drawings on paper dipped in beeswax. These houses have a symbolic content: they are often portals that represent a transition from one state to another. The house Fata Morgana gives impressions of journeys to foreign countries – of metamorphoses of existence. Women’s figures merge with Egyptian pyramids, sailing ships cross a narrow strait and line drawings condense into female figures lying in the landscape. Vásquez de la Horra added to the house a group of four pencil drawings dipped in beeswax, in which the line is specially accentuated.
Anne-Lise Coste (*1973 Marseille, lives in Orthoux) art works and her person captivates through their authenticity. She makes no compromises. In the exhibition we show one of her characteristic word and sign images sprayed with the airbrush technique. In Jazz and Popo Coste uses bright colours to capture the name of the film star Jean Seberg, who sold the Herald Tribune newspaper in the early film by Jean-Luc Godard A bout de souffle (1960), and jazz singers Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. There is also the name of the most famous whistle-blower Edward Snowden and the terms police and power. It is astonishing with what great ease Coste mixes the names of her heroes and heroines with the terms of the forces of order and connects them into a colourful picture structure.
After Donald Trump became president of the United States and surpassed the worst fears with his way of governing, Benedikte Bjerre (*1987 Copenhagen, lives in Copenhagen) decided to subscribe to the printed version of the New York Times. Bjerre notes that “it is fantastic to read on paper and it creates this other relation to time. You see the stacks of paper that piles up after a week. All the images are mixing in another way. They are not in one scrolling flow but more off an overlap between everything. They generally have two types of image advertisements in the printed edition: jewellery and exclusive watches.” The images of watches stood out for Bjerre because they represent time. The most exclusive thing we have today. “There is also something about watches in general which feels funny to me. Like time stopped. Online it feels like nothing ever stop but also like it isn’t going anywhere really. Like a swap. We can’t turn the page. So each of the images has one of the wristwatch advertisement from that day included.” Thus, these collages illustrate that we live in changing times and assure us that at some point Trump’s time will have expired.
When we asked Slawomir Elsner (*1976 Wodzisław, Poland lives in Berlin) for a contribution to the exhibition, his choice fell without hesitation on the view from midtown towards downtown and therefore towards the World Trade Center. The terrorist attack of 11 September 2001 changed the world. The work Sky over Downtown refers to this date and is a supplement to his eleven-part series of large-format coloured pencil drawings made between 2008 and 2010, which shows the view in and from the Windows on the World nightclub on the top floor of one of the Twin Towers.Courtesy of the artists and Lullin + Ferrari, Zürich