Andrea Hanak, Berthold Reiß
14.03 – 24.04.2020
Anne Rößner, M 118, 2020
New exhibition will be opening on the 14th of March! Watch this space!
14.03 – 24.04.2020
New exhibition will be opening on the 14th of March! Watch this space!
30.11.2019 – 17.01.2020
To a certain extent we are all used to the idea that art involves fiction. The events described by a novel are not real, neither is the play performed in the theatre, nor the bunch of flowers painted on a canvas. When Plastique Fantastique presents “Zero Time,” an exhibition which deals with a question familiar from science fiction – whether we, as a people, should stay on planet earth and try to sort out our mess, or whether we should leave instead, and seek our future elsewhere – it is tempting to think that the exhibition with its video, performance and installation, is that which is fictional. But this is not what the work demands from us. The kind of “fictioning” pursued by Plastique Fantastique shows that it is our reality, and not the video or performance, which is fictional – they disrupt the structures of our dominant world order to reveal them as myth.
It is not that the exhibition presents a fiction, but involves the practice of “fictioning”. Plastique Fantastique is an art collective of Simon o’Sullivan, David Burrows, Alex Marzeta, Vanessa Page and Benedict Drew. Simon o’Sullivan , professor of Art Theory and Practice in the department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths and David Burrows, Reader in Fine Art at the Slade, work in theory as much as in practice, and they define the meaning of “fictioning” in their 2019 book, Fictioning: The Myth Functions of Contemporary Art and Philosophy. In their introduction, they trace the concept of fictioning philosophically through Plato’s contaminated opposition between poetry and philosophy – poetry being fictional, philosophy, having to do with truth – showing how more recently Deleuze replaces this opposition with Nietzsche’s fantastic theatre of metamorphosis. They also show how the tension between fiction and truth has been addressed by contemporary art, arguing that there is an efficacy of fiction when it is experienced as fact. As a performative gesture fictioning is generative of social identities and relations. It brings about a truth which does not yet exist by fictioning it.
I like to understand the shift in relations produced by their performative fiction, in terms of the experience this kind of fictioning engenders. It is not the relation of a predetermined human subject to its equally determined object. It is rather, the chaosmotic process of combining the sensory event with its network of associations, an affection and all the affects beyond experience, which it harbours. The ‘I’ is not what experiences the work of art. The ‘I’ here is produced in the encounter. When I engage with art I like to think this involves a different “I” to my everyday one, maybe there isn’t even an “I” here to speak of, but the complete participation in a creative activity.
Plastique Fantastique creates a world very different from our own: a more colourful one, more glamorous, glittery, extravagant. A future techonologically advanced world, but also a medieval, mystical one. It runs parallel to ours and we are welcome to visit it anytime Plastique Fantastique might exhibit or perform.
Magdalena Wisniowska 2019
Opening: Saturday 30th of November, 7-9 pm
Trouble… Trouble on the ground… Extinction Beckons… Many disappear… But you survive… Tech-animals are resourceful… Some stay with the trouble on the ground and find new ways of living… Many live in Zero City, which is not a place but an artilect intelligence, and sign up to zero production, zero consumption, zero-hours contracts… Material life becomes minimal but profitable at least for some… information is Deliver00’d in zero time… Others see a future off-ground and look to the sky… higher than the clouds, higher than where blue turns to fire, higher than darkness… to the Moon, Mars and beyond… banking on artilect and intelligence to build a city on Mars… but artilects have ideas of their own and… and make for Mars on their own, for a friend’s rendezvous… a society of a kind… so begins the first day of Mars Year Zero…
Through drawing, digital prints, sculpture, film and performance, the London-based collective Plastique Fantastique address what was once Science Fiction but now material for the news, the choice of finding ways of living with the trouble on Earth or pursuing off-world futures. In Zero Time, Plastique Fantastique tell the tales of those who choose to remain and those who look to leave, and also those who have no choice but to flee to find safe haven. Zero Time incorporates work from two recent exhibitions in London, part one Zero City at IMT Gallery, and part two, Mars Year Zero at Dilston Gallery, SPG. For the opening of the show, The group will perform a sonic fiction ‘We Live by the Left Hand of Darkness,’ about the first days of Mars Year Zero.
Recent exhibitions and performances by Plastique Fantastique include: Mars Year Zero Dilston Gallery, SPG London 2019; Mars Year Zero Performance for ‘Today is Our Tomorrow’, Publics Helsinki 2019; Zero City IMT Gallery London 2019; ‘Shonky’, Hayward Touring Show travelling to MAC Belfast, DCA Dundee, Bury Art Gallery and Museum 2017-18; ‘They Call Us Screamers’, TULCA Galway.
Mit Zeichnungen, Digitaldrucken, Skulpturen, Filmen und Performances spricht das Londoner Kollektiv Plastique Fantastique die aus Science Fiction bekannte Frage an, ob man auf einer unruhigen Erde bleiben oder eine Zukunft außerhalb der Welt verfolgen soll. In Zero Time erzählt Plastique Fantastique die Geschichten von denen, die bleiben und die gehen wollen, und auch von denen, die keine andere Wahl haben als zu fliehen. Zero Time enthält Arbeiten aus zwei kürzlich in London durchgeführten Ausstellungen, Teil 1: Zero City in der IMT Gallery und Teil 2: Mars Year Zero in der Dilston Gallery, SPG. Zur Eröffnung der Ausstellung wird die Gruppe eine Sonic-Fiktion über die ersten Tage des Marsjahres Null “We Live by the Left Hand of Darknesst” inszenieren.
Zu den jüngsten Ausstellungen und Performances von Plastique Fantastique gehören: Mars Year Zero Dilston Gallery, SPG London 2019; Mars Year Zero Performance für „Today is Our Tomorrow“, Publics Helsinki 2019; Zero City IMT Gallery London 2019; “Shonky”, Hayward Wanderausstellung zu MAC Belfast, DCA Dundee, der Bury Art Gallery und dem Museum 2017-18; “They Call Us Screamers”, TULCA Galway.
When Adorno was writing his Aesthetic Theory in the 50s and 60s, he could still make the claim, now by all accounts obsolete, that the experience of art is akin to the experience of natural beauty. “Authentic artworks,” he writes, “hold fast to the idea of a reconciliation with nature by making themselves completely a second nature.” Although already wary of man’s subjugation of nature, Adorno still believed it was possible to find beauty, if not in nature, then in art that we experience as if it was nature. He would argue we find certain objects in nature beautiful because these present themselves in such a way that allow us to do so. Artworks are like a second nature because they also allow us to find beauty in them. Genius is nothing more than the creative principle by which this second nature can be produced.
Postmodern and especially feminist critique put this association of natural beauty with the beauty of art into question. While there might be objects that seem to engender claims of beauty, these are by large culturally determined by race, gender or class. Genius is not an innate principle but a historical concept, very much misogynistic in origin, that by definition excludes women from the production of art. So what would it mean to address natural beauty in art now? How can one as an artist approach the problem of nature?
These are some of the questions central to Maria VMier’s practice, and especially to the body of work she presents at GiG Munich, developed during her recent residency at a remote location in Uckermark, near Berlin. On the one hand, the reading she presents to us is a result of her research into the closely connected structures of patriarchy, capitalism and disenchanted nature, taking into account both feminist critique and postcolonial discourse. On site at Uckermack she would walk with her audience to various locations in the surrounding countryside to reflect on her relationship to nature while also referring to our current ecological crisis (the burning of the amazon, climate change denial and climate activism), the political consequences of capitalism’s belief in progress for postcolonial struggles in the global south and ecofeminist attempts to define the common as future sites of resistance. In her writing there is a Thoreau-like longing for a simpler existence within nature as well as the rejection of hipster or even non-western spirituality, tainted as it is by the colonial representation of the other.
On the other hand her drawings are not so dissimilar to the paintings by Wols that Adorno was writing about more than 60 years ago. Black, scarlet and sap green ink on paper, meandering and interweaving brushstrokes – these formal elements recall the conventions of lyrical abstraction and in their modernism seem to pursue the image of a second nature. But the work also acknowledges that if this image is to be achieved at all it must be done knowingly, the exhibition constructed in such a way to expose the dialectics involved in all our dealings with nature. The meandering arabesques of VMiers large drawings are done on paper more suited to digital printouts than the handmade; the delicate smaller works are pinned like specimens behind plastic covers; the shamanistic frame of drying stinging nettles is set above a shimmering floor of the same plastic sheeting that is used to kill weeds. VMier’s drawings pursue a second nature almost stubbornly, aware of all the historical, political and personal difficulties involved.
Magdalena Wisniowska 2019
Opening: 12.10.2019, 7 – 9 pm
Reading by the artist: 8 pm
GiG Munich is excited to present the exhibition, ‘Vier’ by Maria VMier, artist and collaborator, known for her work with Ruine München and the Hammann von Mier Verlag. VMier’s multidisciplinary practice has two distinct aspects. On the one hand there is her performative work, with its postfeminist, social and political references, on the other, her formal, abstract drawings on paper. For her GiG Munich exhibition she shows both – performance and drawing – developed during her recent residency in Uckermark, near Berlin, as part of the Libken e.V. Kunst & Umwelt fellowship.
The work is made in response to her remote location in Uckermark and the concept of nature, as well as our relation to it, forms a large part of exhibition. With her performance VMier acknowledges the feminist approaches to ecological concerns, endorsing an ecofeminism that demonstrates the close ties between the structures of capitalism, patriarchy and the disenchantment of nature. With her drawings, she subverts the traditional place of nature in aesthetic discussions of art. Utilising an abstract language of expressive signs, she shows that to identify with nature in the work of art need not be the privilege of the male genius, but can be rather, a postfeminist critical gesture.
26.07 – 20.08 | 2.09 – September 27.09. 2019
Compared with the large scale installations of paintings, objects and video she has shown previously, the show Jane Hayes-Greenwood presents at GiG seems, at first glance, quite straightforward. It consists of thirteen small oil paintings, all on identically sized linen canvases, each depicting one flower or plant. Some of these plants – like for instance, One O’Clock Gun – look vaguely familiar, something you might come across in a garden or meadow, others are startlingly strange, unnatural composites of tubular forms, bulbs, prickles and flesh. Although many of the plants are green, the colours are unlike those found in nature, a mixture of viridian, mint, pale blue, grey and black. The plants are rooted in the soil, but this is pale yellow or pink – they are clearly defined, casting strong theatrical shadows, yet equally clearly, they are not from this world. They are all slightly larger than life.
Speaking to Jane, we learn that the work stems from her earlier research into the origin of the ❤️ symbol. It is thought that this shape is based on the seeds of a mythical plant, the Silphium, known in Roman times for its contraceptive and aphrodisiacal properties. A possible recreation of how Silphium might have looked appears in Apollo’s Gift and Apollo’s Gift II. The other plants of the collection have been similarly selected for their histories, their medicinal properties or even, as with One O’Clock Gun, for their unusual name. Together they form a ‘Witch’s Garden,’ and it seems very deliberate to be showing them in Bavaria, a state infamous for one of the largest witch trials of the 17th century.
But just as a fast motion film of a plant germinating and growing does not bring us any closer to the actual seedling, knowing more about Jane’s research practice is not what brings us close to the work. As Heidegger argues in his short essay ‘The Thing,’ the abolition of distance brings no nearness, indeed often when distance is abolished, the nearness of the thing remains absent. Nearness cannot be encountered directly, instead, it can only be reached by attending to what is near. And what is near according to Heidegger, are things, standing on their own, self-supporting and independent. Things are not objects, neither re-presented in perception, thought through their making process nor through the function they fulfil. They cannot be defined for us, precisely, by scientific method. We have to learn the activities of things through what they do, because things are foremost an activity that involves other things and non-things – the world.
Since I have known Jane, she has always been interested in things, whether these are the mysterious artefacts of her earlier drawings, the fetishistic partial objects of her paintings, or in this case, the plant forms contained by her canvases. Whether or not these plants are supposed to be life-like or make-believe, they gather together tales of the divine and the problems of being human, what relates to the infinite, and what is defined as perishable. Quite literally they stem forth to join earth and sky. They encourage us not to think the earth and sky separately in order to define and understand them but together, at once, intertwined.
Magdalena Wisniowska 2019
26.07 – 20.08 | 2.09 – September 27.09. 2019
GiG Munich is excited to present The Witch’s Garden, the first international solo exhibition by London-based, British artist Jane Hayes Greenwood. The show focuses on the artist’s latest series of work, newly made paintings of dreamlike plants and the mythical gardens where they might grow. Exploring desire, control and magical thinking, the work makes use of an idiosyncratic symbolism, referencing varied sources such as illuminated manuscripts, botanical illustration, anatomical diagrams and herbal fertility guides.
In The Witch’s Garden the painted plants act as potential ingredients for love potions or spells, their depicted herbs and flowers thought to have special power and potency. Drawing on apocryphal histories, the painting Apollo’s Gift I is based on an extinct plant known as Silphium, reportedly used as a contraceptive and aphrodisiac in the 700 BC. Described as having a heart-shaped seed, one theory suggests this might be where the heart shape symbol originated from. The Witch’s Garden explores our relationship to the natural world, our bodies and their life cycles, and considers fear, power and ritual behaviour.
Jane Hayes Greenwood completed an MA in Fine Art at the City & Guilds of London Art School with distinction in 2015. Soon afterwards she was shortlisted for the Catlin Art Prize, 2016 (London) and presented a large-scale solo exhibition, Lead Me Not Into Temptation, 2017 at Block 336 (London). She was recently selected for the Anomie Review of Contemporary British Painting, 2018, as one of the 40 artists whose practices have been shaping and defining Britain’s contribution to current painting on the national and international stage. She is also the co-founder and Director of Block 336; an artist-run project space, studio provider and UK registered charity located in Brixton, London that has hosted over 30 exhibitions. She teaches within the BA Fine Art department at City & Guilds of London Art School.
GiG Munich freut sich, The Witch’s Garden zu präsentieren, die erste internationale Einzelausstellung der in London lebenden britischen Künstlerin Jane Hayes Greenwood. Die Ausstellung konzentriert sich auf die neueste Werkreihe des Künstlers, auf neu entstandene Gemälde traumhafter Pflanzen und auf die mythischen Gärten, in denen sie wachsen könnten. Die Arbeit beschäftigt sich mit Begierde, Kontrolle und magischem Denken und benutzt eine eigenwilligen Symbolik, die sich auf verschiedene Quellen bezieht, wie zum Beispiel illuminierte Manuskripte, botanische Illustrationen, anatomische Diagramme und Kräuterfruchtbarkeitsführer.
In The Witch’s Garden fungieren die bemalten Pflanzen als potenzielle Zutaten für Liebestränke oder Zaubersprüche, wobei die abgebildeten Kräuter und Blumen eine besondere Kraft und Potenz haben sollen. Das Gemälde Apollos Geschenk I basiert auf einer ausgestorbenen Pflanze namens Silphium, die angeblich im Jahr 700 v. Chr. als Verhütungsmittel und Aphrodisiakum verwendet wurde. Eine Theorie besagt, dass es sich um einen herzförmigen Samen handelt, von dem möglicherweise das Herzformsymbol stammt. Der Hexengarten erforscht unsere Beziehung zur natürlichen Welt, unseren Körpern und ihren Lebenszyklen und betrachtet Angst, Kraft und rituelles Verhalten.
Jane Hayes Greenwood hat 2015 einen MA in Fine Art an der City & Guilds of London Art School mit Auszeichnung abgeschlossen. Kurz darauf wurde sie für den Catlin Art Prize 2016 (London) gewählt und präsentierte eine große Einzelausstellung mit dem Titel Lead Me Not Into Temptation, 2017, Block 336 (London). Sie wurde kürzlich für die Anomie Review of Contemporary British Painting 2018 als eine der 40 Künstlerinnen ausgewählt, deren Praxis den britischen Beitrag zur aktuellen Malerei auf nationaler und internationaler Ebene geprägt und definiert hat. Sie ist auch Mitbegründerin und Direktorin von Block 336, ein von Künstlern geführter Projektraum, ein Studioanbieter und eine in Großbritannien registrierte Wohltätigkeitsorganisation mit Sitz in Brixton, London, die über 30 Ausstellungen veranstaltet hat. Sie unterrichtet im BA Fine Art Department der City & Guilds of London Art School.
24.05 – 12.07.2019
All things have a strangeness to them for those who care to look. Their foreignness has been long recognised, whether this takes the form of the thing-in-itself, never to be experienced or trauma, first defined as that which acts like a foreign body in the mind. We notice the strangeness of objects for instance, when blunt or broken they stop being useful and they turn away from us and each other. Justina Becker pays close attention to things in their strangeness. The objects she incorporates in her practice are always things that she finds close by, in her house or in the small town where she lives, and almost always, these things have been abandoned, damaged in some regard, without a use. The objects have a history to them – even the viewer not privileged enough to know more of their background, the wheres and hows they came about, can recognise the signs of their previous use. They retain a sense of having lived their own life, among other people and other objects.
Having studied painting to graduate with Klasse Hildebrand, Justina Becker approaches her objects with the eye of a painter. Her older work was concerned with the material qualities of painting. How the canvas goes around the stretcher would be important or the way that the canvas keys fit tightly into the corner of a frame. A shift in her practice occurred when she discovered the readymade and began to use things that previously belonged to someone else. Initially she would wrap these objects in various ways. Some would be covered in a layer of light, sheer fabric almost like a shroud, others would be tightly wound with brightly coloured woollen thread. This protective gesture had a double meaning. On the one hand, it would be a way of hiding the object, obscuring its material qualities and past histories. On the other hand, the object would never be completely covered and through the various gaps and imperfections, its material history would become even more apparent.
The current exhibition at GiG, shows two of Justina Becker’s older paintings together with a new body of work. One seems at first a straightforwardly abstract, but gives the illusion of a painting shrunk and stretched, the other, consisting of strips of canvas wrapped tightly like a bandage around a stretcher, utilises this double gesture of hiding and revealing. They provide a kind of framework for the new work, a complex installation of hanging window frames, made specifically for the exhibition room at GiG. The wooden windows frames are old, perhaps antique, but with none of the antique’s preciousness. They have been removed and replaced with something better and less rickety, glass taken out, the wood still having some kind of value, even if just as kindling for the fire. These frames have been partially painted by the artist in sympathetic colours and rehanged in the space no longer as windows, or even as architectural elements that would divide the room, but simply for themselves, in their best light. Justina Becker’s work takes on here an almost theatrical element, but the stage she sets is curiously not for us, the viewer, awaiting some kind of grand spectacle. The room in its theatricality is now left for the objects to be in.
Magdalena Wisniowska 2019
24.05 – 12.07.2019
Opening: Friday 24th May 2019, 6 – 9 pm
GiG is pleased to introduce the work of Justina Becker (br. 1974) in her first solo exhibition in Munich.
In line with the recent turn towards materialism and realism in the arts, her practice pays close attention to the object, using the simple act of covering things – whether with cloth, coloured thread or cardboard – to reveal as much as to conceal its hidden objecthood. For GiG, Justina Becker will be presenting a new series, which uses the ready made device of the window frame not to open outwards, offering access to the world beyond, but inwards, towards the inner material life of things.
GiG freut sich die Arbeit von Justina Becker (geb. 1974) in ihrer ersten Einzelausstellung in München vorstellen zu können.
Entsprechend dem gegenwärtigen Interesse an Materialismus und Realismus in der Kunst widmet Justina Becker dem Objekt große Aufmerksamkeit. Sie deckt Dinge ab, ob mit Stoff, buntem Faden oder Pappe, nicht um sie zu verstecken, sondern um ihre verborgene Objekthaftigkeit aufzudecken. Justina Becker präsentiert für GiG eine neue Serie mit Fensterrahmen, die den Blick nicht nach außen wenden, vielmehr offenbaren sie das materielle Innenleben der Dinge.