November 11 – December 9, 2018
Opening Sunday, November 11, 4-6 PM
Curated by Hanna Schaich and Lena Marie Emrich
Artists: Terry Berkowitz, Janet Biggs, Ben Ross Davis, Lena Marie Emrich, Claresse Hill, Rose Nestler and Hanna Schaich
Going Beyond compiles the work of seven emerging and established artists from Berlin and New York. Life in both of these cultural and economical metropolises drives each artist to search for a “beyond.” What does it mean to “go beyond?” Each piece in this exhibition offers a unique answer while drawing the viewers into an open-ended dialogue—going beyond and asking for more.
The exhibition visitors are carried on a poetic journey into the timeless space of intellectual freedom through the different artistic practices of a multicultural, cross-generational terrain. From Terry Berkowitz, New York, who has been active since 1970, to Clareese Hill, born in Brooklyn of Afro-Caribbean heritage, to Hanna Schaich, born in Bregenz in1986, the curation emphasizes how power of merging diverse perspectives can help us to look beyond daily rhythms and reach through politically unstable and emotionally fragile times. The pieces together may lead to an exit sign, a crossroad, a blank space for the mind; they will give you a glimpse over the edge, confront you and extend your thoughts—surprise mixed with constructive ambiguity.
Terry Berkowitz's piece Dancing Slippers for a New World Order was created in response to a speech by George Bush in front of Congress on March 6, 1991. What the speech created in the world is quite different than what the words say: “What is at stake is more than one small country; it is a big idea: a new world order, where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind…” The work continues to be relevant today.
Janet Biggs’s video Can’t Find My Way Home takes us on a meandering journey, meditating on the challenges of maintaining a sense of self in the face of extreme physical and emotional conditions. The piece juxtaposes footage shot in the crystal caverns below the German Merkers salt mine with documentation of neurological research conducted in laboratories in New York and Houston. In doing so, Biggs draws visual connections between the structure of these crystals and the proteins that determine the biochemical conditions of a hyper-excited brain, such as one afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. Biggs investigates the diseased brain of her grandfather, tracing fading memories and making astonishing discoveries as she herself experiences the disorientation and confusion that come with loss of identity.
Claresse Hill shows us how fragile identity is through using silk to print her poem Translation Out of My Body. Her writing plays with the viewers’ sense of time; Her simple but strong language explores how to feel in multilayered ways and her playful gaps make the written and spoken word feel like a sculpture that we can explore from bottom to top, frisking its carefully chosen surface.
Rose Nestler’s sculpture Control Top: Beauty out of her Strange Business Series is made up of an enlarged “control top,” or the area of pantyhose intended to conceal, contain and smooth a woman's pelvic area. The control top has a leather crotch, adding an erotic or kinky appeal. She uses this form to illuminate the ways in which items of clothing denote power, gender and profession, enlarging it to contrast the purpose of the control top—her characters are out of control, taking up space, awkwardly and unabashedly powerful. The sculpture represents awkward power and attraction, revealing her approach to societal norms and gender stereotypes.
Ben Ross Davis’s KMG Series attempts to queer historical figures, monuments, and statues, such as George Washington’s statue at Federal Hall on Wall Street (KMG 7 of 20). Davis specifically touches on influential moments in American history and inserts a queer perspective as commentary on sexuality, acceptance and lifestyle within the states. The series particularly stands out as it directly addresses American identity in a time where it is especially important to remember and to cherish that the world is a place of many backgrounds, ethnicities, lifestyles and sexual identities, many of which America is home to.
In Hanna Schaich’s video Room No 504 we embark on a journey into rooms equipped with golden couches, Jacuzzis and showers “to wash potential life away.” Her piece invites the viewer to imagine that the era of objectification is over, and to celebrate female sensuality given and enjoyed by oneself for the sake of itself. The piece is offering hope and pleasure in an otherwise dark episode of mankind—transforming it into “womankind.”
Lena Marie Emrich’s video Infinity Drift brakes with a view on a male dominated car-tuning scene. A rumbling sound seems to move from one side to the other drawing a sculpture in our heads. Slowly a drone is distancing from the observer and the concrete ground, challenging the viewers’ perception of physical relation to time. Are we just above or even beyond?
Address: Kunstraum LLC, 20 Grand Ave, Space 509, Brooklyn, NY 11205 Hrs: Thu - Sat 12-6 PM by appointment only – please contact us first! Contact: Nadja Marcin, 646.924.9656, firstname.lastname@example.org
Image: Ben Ross Davis, KMG 7 of 20, 2013, Color darkroom print, 8 x 12 in