Uwe Goldenstein Intelligent Contemporary Art from Berlin & Europe
Young European Landscape Lifestyle & Regression in East & West
The landscape genre, understood in a contemporary manner, can be understood as a metaphorical projection surface with a wide open horizon. The landscape as a formal-aesthetic basis for the localisation of the relationship between mankind to the environment is the locus of a fascinating study of contemporary problems and dilemmas. Idea and actuality lie on the same plane, and are both socially and historically constituted. Contrary to a haphazard rendering of the world, this exhibition proposes to stage a wide-ranging, both profoundly psychological and emotional landscape, in tune with different moods, emotional registers and desires, while at the same time inquiring into different definitions of and relations to nature, or addressing the crisis of social norms and orientation. In this understanding of landscape, the evocation of a primordial, original nature forms an accessible, universal backdrop, against which all too human doubts and self-questioning in an instable environment become tangible.
The focus of the exhibition is to unite positions developed by young artists in the particularly vibrant art scenes of Berlin and Budapest. Through an intelligent selection, this exhibition wants to provide new perspectives and reflections upon the lives and realities of young people today. The artists I envisage focus their work on human perception and self-reflection in the wake of a post-modern dissolution of all known boundaries. These works offer different insights and aesthetic manifestations of the latent, individual forces, energies and auto-suggestions that conspire to shape our age; exhibited together, they create a rich portrait of the present moment and its zeitgeist.
The works of West- and Central-European artists are to be viewed together with those of Eastern-European artists; for I feel that while the westernised, multi-national artistic community in Berlin very subtly captures the backgrounds and ultimate manifestations of contemporary lifestyles, artists with an Eastern-European background are often profoundly concerned with memory, limitation and indeed regression, which are at times evoked figuratively, at times very poetically. The combination of these different positions is to be read as a single European landscape, that postulates an aesthetic unity and intricate interdependency of east and west. The exhibition wants to shed light upon the contemporary European condition, a complex, post-modern mix of simultaneities; while at the same time drawing attention to its philosophical limitations. Furthermore, the exchange between western and eastern contemporary artists and their heterogeneous artistic strategies draws attention to the historical depth of today’s lived reality.
Content In this sense, the following can be seen as the central works and fields of interest upon which the exhibition is to be hinged: - Floating, consciously abandoning a central perspective, decentred personalities (see Deenesh Ghyczy, Geronimo, S. 6 ; Menno Aden, O.T./M.O., S. 7) - The loss of self, the immersion in past worlds or nostalgia as a contemporary mode of living (Natalie Pelosi, It Ain´t Me, Babe 11, S. 6; Adam Bota, Rast & Der Stammgast, S. 7) - Portraits, which shed light on perception as such and express a distant, alienated view of the self and its fragmentation (Attila Szücs, Red Room, S. 8; Deenesh Ghyczy, Ben 2, S. 12) - Representations of the contemporary human-to-nature relationship and its blurring (Simone Haack, O.T. 19, Seite 9; Alejandro Rodriguez Gonzalez, Pozo y Demas, S. 11) - Empty and constructed landscapes, which refer to the romantic individual (and beholder of nature) only as an absence, or at best an abstract presence (Philip von Mentzingen, Maps, S. 8; J.M. Pozo, Stigma, S. 11) - Post-romantic projections of desire, which proclaim the restoration of lost identity and/or unity with nature (Anne Wölk, Event Horizon, S. 9; Attila Szücs, Girl with Three Stripes of Light at Night, S. 10) Themes The exhibition is divided into five thematic areas which cover the entire spectrum of the artworks proposed. The division between east and west is thus undermined and overcome in favour of the following five themes. It is particularly interesting that the works of one artist might refer to several different themes. These overlaps, as with those between east and west, create the surge that turns the exhibitions’ five thematic pillars into visual metaphors of wider, both critical and contemplative relevance to the contemporary European condition.
The five thematic areas the exhibition proposes are thus:
- Lifestyle - Regression - Longing - Reconstruction - Nature
These categories are to be understood primarily and most importantly in an aesthetic sense. That is to say, they are open for a wide range of references and motives, as they might also be part of the original impulse for the making of a particular work of art. What matters most is the range of associations possible within these five thematic areas. Thus issues such as ‘individuality’ might be addressed by the theme Life Style. Detachment or disorientation might be understood as Regression, while a formallyaesthetically prohibitive, yet romantically evocation of landscape could be interpreted as Longing. Issues such as ‘memory’ or ‘perception’ can be understood as Reconstruction; whereas representations of an original state of nature and its utter inaccessibility fall under Nature.
Painting stands at the centre of the exhibition, complemented by photography and objects or installations. The majority of the works are by artists I represent in Berlin (see http://uwegoldenstein.de) or which are in Hungarian collections of young art, supervised in Budapest by Tóth Pál Sándor. The concept envisages a selection of approx. 60 works by some 30 contemporary artists who are not yet established on the art market and who live in Berlin or Budapest. Amongst the participants are around 6 Hungarian artists, the other, mostly Berlin-based are from Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Austria and Cuba. The group exhibition aims to showcase the earnest and individual approaches of these artists to the central contemporary philosophical themes outlined above, and to thus make them accessible and interesting both for a wider public and for museums and other arts institutions.
The exhibition is to be accompanied by a catalogue, in which approximately 10 artistic positions from east and west are contextualised, discussed and compared. The image part is to amount to approximately 3/4 of the total length of 150 pages. The text part is to be composed primarily by a continuo’s, in-depth curatorial essay written by myself, which outlines the contemporary relevance and philosophical importance of the exhibitions five core themes. The appendix consists of brief biographical portraits of all the participating artists, as well as short introductions to their oeuvres.
Presentation & Dates
The exhibition takes place in autumn 2011 at the CHB – Collegium Hungaricum Berlin, the Hungarian Cultural Institute in close proximity to the Berlin Museumsinsel. Young European Landscape is designed as a travelling exhibition, making it attractive for further presentations in other European cities as of January 2012. The exhibition surface should be at least 400sqm. The themes and titles are always in English, to facilitate the international presentation of the exhibition in Berlin and Budapest.
Uwe Goldenstein (Berlin) +49.(0)176.965.273.08 firstname.lastname@example.org http://uwegoldenstein.de
Tóth Pál Sándor (Budapest) email@example.com
Uwe Goldenstein, Berlin, March 2010
6 Lifestyle Deenesh Ghyczy, Geronimo, 2009, Oil and Acrylic on canvas , 80 x 95cm Natalie Pelosi, It Ain´t Me, Babe (11), 2008, Lambda-Print, 100 x 70cm 7 Menno Aden, O.T. (M.O.), 2009, Photography, 100 x 110cm Regression Adam Bota, Rast, 2009, Oil on canvas, 170 x 135cm Adam Bota, Stammgast , 2009, Oil on canvas, 135 x 115cm, 8 Attila Szücs, Red Room, 2009, Oil on canvas, 140 x 190cm Philip von Mentzingen, Maps, 2008, Oil on canvas , 116 x 97cm 9 Longing Simone Haack, O.T. (19), 2009, Oil on canvas, 30 x 50cm Anne Wölk, Event Horizon, 2007/8, Mixed media on canvas, 100 x 200cm 10 Attila Szücs, Girl with Three Stripes of Light at Night, 2008, Oil on canvas , 140x100cm 11 Reconstruction J.M. Pozo, Stigma, 2008, Acrylic on canvas, 140 x 200cm Alejandro Rodriguez Gonzalez, Pozo y Demas, 2009, Drawing, 75 x 95cm 12 Jessica Buhlmann, Malta, 2009, Oil on canvas, 150 x 120cm Deenesh Ghyczy, Ben (2), 2009, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 90 x 100cm 13 Inge Buschmann, Roadwork, 2008, Oil on canvas, 80 x 130cm Nature Helge Hommes, …into the trees (6), 2007, Oil on canvas , 200 x 280cm 14 Simone Haack, O.T. (20), 2009, Oil on canvas, 140 x 200cm Anne Wölk, Pioneer Species, 2008/9, Mixed media on nylon, 200 x 250cm 15 Artist Index (Selection) Deenesh Ghyczy Natalie Pelosi Menno Aden Adam Bota Attila Szücs Philip von Mentzingen Simone Haack Anne Wölk J.M. Pozo Alejandro Rodriguez Gonzalez Jessica Buhlmann Inge Buschmann Helge Hommes Not shown: Gabor A. Nagy Hajnal Nemeth Alberto Petro Mirjam Siefert Steffi Stangl 16 CV Uwe Goldenstein - born 1971 in Westrhauderfehn, Germany - Studied art and media sciences, linguistics and sociology in Oldenburg (1997-2002) - Contributing curator at the exhibition Legacy of Absence at the Rockefeller Foundation New York (1999-2004) - Lecturer at the FH Ottersberg (2003, including seminars on Peter Doig and contemporary english art) Since 2002: freelance author and curator for contemporary art. Selected clients: - Kunsthalle Bremen (Tomma Wember, 2002) - Neue Museum Weserburg Bremen (Kunst nach Kunst / 2002, Sammlung Olbricht / 2001) - Friedrich Verlag (u.a. Kunst+Unterricht, seit 2001) - Galerie Scala, Berlin (2007-8) - Curatorial assistance & exhibition catalogue for Truth is what Unites Us exhibition at Oldenburg University, featuring Olafur Eliasson and others (2008) Since 2008: artist representations Uwe Goldenstein. Intelligent Contemporary Art from Berlin & Europe Cooperations with / exhibitions in - Galerie im Park, Bremen - Kulturreich Galerie Hamburg - Erika Deák Galéria, Budapest - CHB (Collegium Hungaricum Berlin)