22 September until 6 November 2016
It is easy to spot stereotypes, clichés and sexual roles within any kind of society. What is a lot more difficult is to meet and portray them without any judgement. This is where the work of Berlin-based artist Anahita Razmi functions as a cultural achievement, and more so: as a democratic one. One of the main topics of Razmi`s video- and performance pieces is the Middle East. Within her analysis the artist manages to avoid the moral pointing finger or the overly romanticising gesture. Instead she understands herself as a documentarian, who uses satirical moments and purposely applied contradictions to create a newly put together collage of reality.
For her piece “HERE SCRIPTS” Razmi travelled to morocco to deal with the question of what signifies the identity of a place that has none. Her destination were the Atlas Studios, a film production site in the desert of Ouarzazate outside Marrakech. Razmi discovered that the Atlas Studios have been used as a setting for oriental movies and Hollywood blockbusters for years and are thus a place of imaginary worlds that stand in no real relation to the culture of the surrounding land. In her work Razmi paired her video recordings of the site with a selection of voiced-over quotes out of the original movies that were shot at the studios. In its subtle contradictoriness the result shows that the “HERE SCRIPTS” are more “NOWHERE SCRIPTS”, as they describe a transit place whose identity dwells somewhere between the imagery of fictitious worlds and a lack of correspondence within the country’s true cultural landscape and identity.
Also the second piece within the show deals with the notion of the unseen within the visible. Razmi’s early work “China Girl” references to a rather unknown protagonist of the film world: a girl that was shown in the beginning of every analog film to mark the colograding within the test pattern. Her existence was only noticeable by the person that was playing the film but remained unknown to everybody else. While the true origin of the name “China Girl” is still unknown, Anahita Razmi creates her own connection to the Asian sphere. As she produced this work while living in China, she establishes a new locational reference that had been without context before. In her photographic work Razmi becomes the “China Girl” herself and turns into a character that is both without true origin nor story.
Similar to “HERE SCRIPTS”, “China-Girl” shows the artist’s interplay of invisibility and visibility, of identity and fiction and of alleged and personal cultural understanding while uniting clear references to the medium of film and photography.
Tobias Buckel: Raumaufstellung
23 June until 7 August 2016
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Galerie Sturm is pleased to present the solo exhibition ‘Raumaufstellung’ by Tobias Buckel.
Tobias Buckel creates tension in his paintings through representational references within abstract compositions. Whenever the artist juxtaposes coloured areas and formal arrangements on the canvas, references to the everyday world always seem to appear. He thus makes it clear that an abstract image is sometimes just one step removed from a representational piece composed of a combination of areas where the colours have been specifically selected, while purely abstract images often rely on figures or objects that the viewer associates with the piece.
Horizontal and vertical lines dominate the paintings in Tobias Buckel’s latest show “Raumaufstellung” (“Space”). This formal language, carefully chosen by the artist, makes the paintings appear very flat at first. But this flatness is disrupted again and again whenever perspectives are indicated or adjacent patches of colour evoke spatial depth. A closer look reveals that the canvases have been painted over in some spots many times over, with a whole range of colour layers superimposed one over the other. Some of the pieces on display show different priorities, but Buckel manages to create numerous cross-references among the paintings.
Before styding painting with Thomas Hartmann at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberand graduating from Chelsea College London in 2011, Tobias Buckel had already completed a degree in communication design. While design is driven especially by a concern for functionality and a symbolic language oriented to the consumer, Buckel’s paintings do just the opposite. He queries the essence of painting itself, not its relationship to other art forms such as photography or sculpture. His arena is the canvas and the relationship among colours, shapes, and surfaces in the medium of painting are the centre of Buckel’s work.
Gloria Zein: ohne Helm und ohne Hose
28 April until 12 June 2016
Galerie Sturm is pleased to announce Gloria Zein’s solo exhibition “ohne Helm und ohne Hose (neither helmet nor pants)”.
Predominantly known for her installations related to architecture, for interventions within the public space and for large sculptures mostly made of industrial materials, Gloria Zein’s recent exhibition comprises of rather small-scale ceramics that she has created during the past three years.
Desks of perforated steel plate function as display devices for variously glazed ceramic objects, telling of the architecture-related aspect, which is inherent in her work. The constructive and functional, serial character of the industrial material contrasts with the soft and organic forms of the handmade ceramics; its raw and rational surface contradicts the glazing of the objects, which is characterised by random freckles and gradient colours, often evoking flesh and the human body. The combination of objects and desks stages the relationship between an underlying structuring scaffold and a cover providing individual visage – a relationship that defines not only architecture, but also the individual and society, as well as nearly all other complex constructs whose prefiguration can be identified with the symbolic form of the body itself.
It is not easy to decide whether the structure providing symbolic form – the skeleton of the perforated plate desks – is laid bare underneath the organic ceramics, or on the contrary, if it is still to be covered. Moreover, the ceramics present themselves as likewise ambivalent. Appearing on the scene like charred residues of an originally sound and intact, possibly dulcet form, and reminding of prosthesis, corsets or medical bandages, they evoke wounds and vulnerability; at the same time, there is a trace of violence. Bespeaking a prior destructive force, they confront the beholder bare and disarmed, without helmet and pants, but they needle with their resistance and refuse to forget and to conceal. Presenting their wounds, patches and corsets, the objects confront us without any aloofness, distance or pudency, and unveil their face in the mirror of which future conflicts appear like writing on the wall.
Micha Patiniott: Rauchzeichen
10 March until 17 April 2016
Like clouds passing through an empty sky or the flickering images on a white cinema screen, Micha Patiniott’s “Smoke Signals” deal with the fleeting, ever-changing nature of form, versus the eternal stillness of the empty canvas.
According to Patiniott, any meaning found through form is elusive and transitory. This ultimately points to its origin and end: the absence or transcendence of meaning itself. The human mind, whose function is to fix meanings to objects, may regard this as absurd or slightly terrifying – but can also feel attracted to it, as to a freeing space of open-endedness.
The paintings in ‘Smoke Signals’ concentrate on these in-between moments. The apparent subject is often the sensory aspect of (the) painting(s). Human figures and anthropomorphised objects can be seen to investigate their surroundings and each other, by means of touch and sight. The figurative happily swirls towards abstraction and vice-versa. Patiniott shows how formal elements – material, composition, shadow, light, shape, and format – induce relationships that either prove or debunk an image’s representational and illusionary meaning. Also on a narrative level, the content of the images vibrates between different possibilities, often opposing ones. Laced with humour, playfulness and sometimes barely concealed violence, the works declare ‘all that is, can always be different.’
Visual motifs recur, sometimes in the same context or even as a duplicate – for example in the work “Incredulity” (2013), where a digital drawing functions as a slightly altered double, next to a painting of the same scene, executed in oil on canvas. The repetition of motives that spans the body of work include the empty background, the lamp, the eye, the hand, and the ink-loaded brush or pen. A predominant motive is that of the canvas / picture-frame. Many paintings behave like nested dolls: their content seems self-aware of being a painting, and thus depicts itself within itself. This happens both formally, by playing with grids and frames-within-frames as a structuring device, and narratively, by depicting human-like canvasses that are engrossed in cartoonesque scenes. An empty canvas with arms and legs that is being stretched and tortured on a medieval breaking wheel, while the wheel is indeed breaking (“Breaking Wheel”, 2014), a curved canvas floating through the air like a saddle without a horse or a giddy ghost (“Saddle Up! 2014), a single canvas standing in a dark space, its ‘body’ curved and bound with straps resembling a straightjacket and the letter C (“C for Canvas, 2014).
In the painting “Index” (2015), an androgynous person is depicted holding up a bare canvas. The shape of his outstretched arms makes a frame reminiscent of painting stretcher bars one of his arms has an unnatural extra joint. The shape and colors of his surroundings, some of them dark and some of them airy, are mapped like a jigsaw-puzzle, also literally framing the body. While one eye is covered by a wisp of hair, the other intently looks at the blank canvas. From the back, his indexfinger pokes through the canvas, almost touching the eye. The content of “Index” hinges on the invisible point of concentration, right between the gaze and the touch. It is as if the work expresses a curiosity to see if it can step beyond the confines of its own inquiry, resulting in an indefinable blank spot. This single point of origin finds its visible counterpoint in the multiplicity of black spots that are painted around the image as a whole: the suggestion of little nails in a stretched canvas.
The Laocoön Dilemma
curated by Jürgen Dehm
12 November until 17 Febuary 2016
window space at Trödelmarkt
In winter 2015/16, Galerie Sturm will take a view across the edge of the arts. A curated on-screen programme, shown in the window of the gallery at Trödelmarkt in Nuremberg, brings together ten international videos dedicated to coexisting and mutual artistic media, genres and practices. Static and moving images mingle or fall into confrontation with one another, architectural forms and structures and landscapes are presented in the flow of video recordings, while art history is quoted or used varyingly.
10 – 17 February 2016
Yi Lian: Under Current, 2012
HD video, color and b/w, sound, 9:51 min.
The screening series “The Laocoön Dilemma” – on show since November 2015 in the window display of the Gallery Sturm at the Troedelmarkt in Nuremberg – concludes with the video “Under Current” by the young Chinese artist Yi Lian. A somnambulant boy moves through the dark by the riverside, wanders past pools with tortoises, ducks and frogs, without noticing them. He also fails to see the men, floating half naked and lifeless on the water surface. In Yi’s video reality, dreams and hallucinations are inextricably linked, portrayed as a natural world of colour-saturated images. The use of vibrant colours is a particular concern of the artist born in 1987: he has been suffering from macular degeneration for several years and is slowly going blind.
2 – 10 January 2016
Kevin Pawel Matweew: Die Grenzen des Sagbaren, 2015
Video, color, no sound, loop
With his video work “The Limits of the Speakable”, Kevin Pawel Matweew refers directly to the history of Nuremberg, which held great significance during the Nazi Germany era, and was the site of large Nazi Party conventions – the Nuremberg rallies. In this city Matweew advocates a responsible and considerate approach to a forbidden symbol, the swastika. His work serves as a reminder as well as it is reminiscent of the atrocities of National Socialism.
The screening of The Limits of the Speakable starts on the same date the symbolic impact of Nuremberg for National Socialism was permanently shattered. On the 2nd of January 1945 the ‘city of the Nuremberg rallies’ was systematically bombed by the Allies. The medieval city centre was almost completely destroyed and many residents were killed.
Sat 2.1. 19.20 – 20.24 h (Bombing of Nuremberg), Sun 3.1. 16-18 h, Mon 4.1. 17.30-18.30 h, Tue 5.1. 17.30-18.00 h, Thu 7.1. 16.30-16.30 h, Fri 8.1. 17.30.18.00 h, Sat 9.1., Sun 10.1. 16.30-17.15 h
11 – 20 January 2016
Laetitia Gendre: The Erased, 2014
Video slide show, no sound, 3:52 min.
In the 1920s the art historian and cultural theorist Aby Warburg began with his – unfinished – Mnemosyne Atlas; an attempt to examine antiquity’s continued existence to the present day. He was interested in the transformation of patterns in pictures as well as in their reconstitution across the historic picture library, from high art through to photography of daily life. The collected pictures were carefully arranged and pinned on wooden panels covered with black cloth. In “The Erased” the French artist Laetitia Gendre strips these panels, which are only preserved as photographs, from their content. For that purpose, she merely traces the structure of the arrangements from the panels of the Mnemosyne Atlas, while ignoring what was actually pictured on the images. For the slide show, the French artist then uses photographs of her drawings that were arranged and combined at random by a specific software. For Gendre, the “iconology of the interspace”, which Warburg pursued with his Mnemosyne Atlas, does not happen on the images, but in-between their framing.
Mon 11.1. 16.00-18.00 h, Tue 12.1. 18.00-20.00 h, Wed 13.1. 15.00-17.00 h, Thu 14.1. 18.00-10.00h, Fri 15.1. 16.80-18.00 h, Sun 17.1. 16.00-19.00 h, Mon 18.1. 16.00-20.00 h, Tue 19.1. 17.30-19.00 h, Wed 20.1. 16.00-18.00 h
21 – 30 January 2016
Marian Tubbs: Another Rape in my quiet Queensland Bay, 2003
SD Video, no sound, 1:06 min.
Marian Tubbs’ works deal with questions on the philosophy of form. In particular, the intersections of materiality and value, pleasure, and reality. Her first video work from 2003 depticts a view from a cliff at Alexander Bay in Queensland, Australia, a place where the artist grew up close-by. This bay has a dark history of sexual abuse. Tubbs shots of rough seas get occasionally interrupted by orange color stains at first sight. But while looking closely, this disruptions derive from a pair of stockings mounted nearby the camera and waving in the wind. The feeling of the uncanny which evolves while watching Tubbs’ play with abstraction and concrete form already gets evoked through its title, “Another Rape in my quiet Queensland Bay“.
Thu 21.1. 18.00-20.00h, Fri 22.1. 16.00-18.00 h, Sat 23.1. 16.00-18.00 h, Sun 24.1. 16.00-19.00 h, Mon 25.1. 16.00-18.00 h, Tue 26.1. 17.30-19.00 h, Wed 27.1. 16.00-18.00 h, Thu 28.1. 17.00-20.00 h, Fri 29.1. 16.00-18.00 h, Sat 30.1. 16.00-18.00 h
31 January – 9 February 2016
Julia Weißenberg: Nothing to retain, 2014
HD video, sound, 7:09 min.
The famous architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed a club house for the new home based golf club in Krefeld, Germany in the 1930s. Due to the world economic crisis, it was never built. In 2013 an accessible, temporary architectural model of his conceptual design in scale 1:1 was constructed at the originally planned location – today a typical agricultural landscape. The model, built of wood was open to the public from May to October 2013. Starting point for the video “Nothing to retain” work was the preoccupation with the impermanence of ideas, images, and projects and the question of what happens, if you try to bring a concept designed for the past, back to the present.