"refuse normality question everything"
René Kemp, Eric Meier, Sinaida Michalskaja, Ulrike Schulze
12 October – 22 November 2019
"refuse normality question everything": The title of the exhibition refers to a pyjama top produced by the discount supermarket chain Lidl: this brief phrase appeared on the front of the garment, printed in reverse order. This ‘event’ – the radical nature of the slogan coupled with the specific product and its means of distribution – indicates the form in which critical consciousness takes shape in today’s society: critique and consumerism become conjoined in a single, purchasable attitude.
The gateway into the exhibition is Sinaida Michalskaja’s piece, wrong. This work actualises itself through the reading process, calling for reflection on the intimacy between text and reader. In doing so it expedites an inevitable meditation on what it might mean to be essentially “wrong”. No matter how deeply we think we have understood something or someone – we are never right; we are forever “wrong”. Yet this may have a comforting quality in itself.
When taking elements from our media environment, copying, manipulating and re-presenting them afresh, René Kemp draws our attention to moments of communicational complexity. He extracts a very specific form of severity from the seemingly incidental, dull and irrelevant, without compromising its potential value as entertainment – a picture morphs into an analysis of the media which morphs into a picture. In ACAB, Kemp plays with the cultural technology of claiming affiliation – and its consequent absurdity. What is a prosaic process he turns into a poetic act of making: all critics are beautiful.
A vernacular reality protrudes out of Eric Meier’s wall engraving Wie wir miteinander reden, a reality whose denial and negation has ranked among the most blatant protheses of liberal societies for too long. Here, the artist offers us a reality that may be void, that may not easily disclose itself, but it is no less real as a result.
Ulrike Schulz’s work addresses a different, non-verbal position, while implicitly referring to this vacancy. Her sculpture creates subtle interferences that permeate through the space; at first they seem abstract, unassigned; but gradually they shift their perception by the impression of a growing figurativeness. Language decomposes into architecture, the surroundings: into fragility.