Can Altay works with video, documentation and installation involving the viewer in the everyday life of the street. Hadassah Emmerich's works on paper, mural paintings and installations are immediately striking because of their distinctive colouration and large formats. Charlotte Schleiffert's coloured drawings and paintings reflect socially relevant topics such as power, oppression, poverty, displacement or prostitution. Hans-Joachim Schulze situates himself at the border-crossing between art, music, performance and theory.
Can Altay works with video, documentation and installation. His works take the viewer along on tours of the city, involving him in the everyday life of the street and making him aware of the life of certain people, who have made themselves a niche and developed existential structures within the urban environment. Altay documents everyday practices on the edge of urban society, unusual utilisations of urban space, and the existence of individually created freedoms in public space.
The installation "Setting a Setting / Forecasting a Broken Past" in Künstlerhaus Bethanien is a work in progress. Here, Can Altay presents the second issue of his continuing newspaper project "Ahali: a journal for setting a setting", a publication that concerns artistic and site-related practices in connection with various aspects of urban society. Visitors are given the opportunity to compile their own reading matter from individual sheets of the newspaper. Another work in the form of a slide presentation - which continues Can Altay’s series of works “exercises in sharing” – examines the animals and plants with which we cohabit in the city. A further component of the installation is a site-related sound collage. This reinterprets various songs from the 70s and 80s relating to Kreuzberg, its inhabitants and the Bethanien building.
Can Altay currently holds a three-month fellowship from the Künstlerhaus Bethanien GmbH in the context of our International Studio Programme.
Hadassah Emmerich’s works on paper, mural paintings and installations are immediately striking because of their distinctive colouration and large formats, which sometimes fill an entire room. She combines a wide range of materials and techniques; employing acrylic paints, ink, watercolours, charcoal and lino-printing, she creates different levels and layers that lend a characteristic, mysterious atmosphere to her works. The colourful ornamental paintings - which also include figurative references when the faces of island beauties or single human limbs appear out of thick vegetation - of tropical leaves and blossoms suggest the projection of exotic dreams. Emmerich’s more recent works usually depict intertwined floral motifs painted in lush colours. Figurative elements are connected by lines that wind around the rampant vegetation, merging into it. In Emmerich’s pictures, it is sometimes possible to find words or sentences – quotations from literary works – amidst the exuberant flora. But Hadassah Emmerich’s fantastic tableaux of a far-distant world do not offer anthropological interpretations of the exotic; it is approached as an intellectual construct.
Hadassah Emmerich holds a fellowship from the Fonds voor beeldende kunsten, vormgeving en bouwkunst, Amsterdam in the context of our International Studio Programme.
Charlotte Schleiffert’s highly-expressive coloured drawings and paintings reflect socially relevant topics such as power, oppression, poverty, displacement or prostitution. The artist, who lives in Holland and China, finds her motifs in newspaper reports and magazines from the countries in which she dwells. Characteristic colours, moods, patterns or typical materials of the place where she is staying also run into her works: she aims to ‘hold onto’ relevant themes with her drawings, before they can disappear in the daily media current of the global age. In Berlin, she has produced a series of small-format drawings based on current press reports e.g. on the situation in Darfur, discussion of youth violence, or the Palestinian exodus from Gaza. Schleiffert often relates the drawings to large-format portraits of women from glamorous magazines, which she monumentalises into provocative-expressive pin-ups with seemingly aggressive heroines and overpowering idols. The spatial installation of the drawings and collages heightens the images’ fascination and makes it difficult to evade their impact.
Charlotte Schleiffert holds a fellowship from the Stichting Centrum Beeldende Kunst Rotterdam in the context of our International Studio Programme.
People are always talking about Leipzig because of Neo Rauch and the “New Leipzig School”. But the Leipzig School of the 80s also formed roots in the field of alternative concepts, intermedia activities and an expressive – tending towards the abstract – formal language in painting. This is evidenced by events like the foundation of an intermedia workshop initiated by Hans-Joachim Schulze (1979), performances by Schulze’s “Gruppe 37,2” (as from 1982), or the “Leipzig Autumn Salon” (1984). The exhibition of Hans-Joachim Schulze’s current pictures aims to shed new light on this chapter of Leipzig tradition.
Schulze - who fulminated during his studies at the Leipzig College of Printed Graphic and Book Art against “conforming, colourless sods” and called for the permanent breaking of taboos and border-crossing between art, music, performance and theory - employed the seductive power of words to lecture for hours on work and freedom, or ownership and social flow, usually developing impressive schematic drawings to illustrate his points. In 1981, he completed the course with something that his professors did not wish to see appraised or made public: a workroom filled with more or less finished systematic drawings, pictures and photo documentation of his actionist practice. Political upheaval in 1989 marked the onset of an enduring artistic investigation into fundamental social questions, which he made into the subject of several large-scale work cycles.
The cycle “Goddesses and Gods” shows almost all the works that Hans-Joachim Schulze has painted on the subject since 1989, some produced in collaboration with other artists. They are portraits of real people, whose essence the artist has attempted to capture in the image. The exhibition seeks to create a cosmotheist viewpoint, in which the female and the male are seen alongside one another as opposing forces (“Yin” and “Yang”).
The INNENSASSINNEN INSOLVENZ ORCHESTER, a group of improvising musicians with fluctuating membership, will play at the opening on 21st February. In addition, CHRISTIAN SCHMIDT-CHEMNITZER plans to realise an ice-performance in the foyer of Bethanien between 7.30 and 8.30 pm.
Image: Can Altay
Christina Sickert tel +30 / 61 69 03-15, fax 030 /61 69 03-30 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening: Thursday, 21st February, from 7 pm
Mariannenplatz 2 - Berlin