The Exhibition Goes to Berlin

I worked closely with Berlin-based gallery director and writer Jan-Philipp Fruehsorge in the months leading up to the exhibition of my work at the Rijksmuseum – we planned that the exhibition would tour to his gallery, Fruehsorge Contemporary Drawing. As one of Europe’s few spaces dedicated to contemporary drawing practice, the idea of staging the show here was of great interest to me. It offered the opportunity for the works to be seen in a totally different context to that of the Rijksmuseum. Whereas the installation in Amsterdam was staged against a backdrop of Old Masters, with adjoining galleries showing works by Rembrandt and Vermeer, the exhibition in Berlin formed part of an international contemporary drawing programme – a programme which attempts to explore/challenge definitions of drawing through collaborative projects with international institutions, curators, critics and artists. And whereas the works at the Rijksmuseum emerged out of darkness, spotlight from a great height in a windowless gallery with almost black blue walls, the gallery in Berlin was the antithesis of this space.

A line of high North facing windows runs down one side of the gallery and the walls and floor were painted white for the exhibition. The sense of light therefore was extraordinary. We decided to show the works without any artificial light – the natural light shifting throughout the day. The backlit works emerged not out of darkness but glowed in the whiteness of the space – the reflective, embossed, pierced surfaces of the works themselves appeared to be in a state of flux as the light moved around the building. The video piece was not shown on a monitor this time – but projected. Somehow this seemed to emphasise the ephemeral nature of its content – the projected image itself appearing more delicate and fragile.

In retrospect I feel that one installation wasn’t any better than the other in terms of conveying the ideas that I have been exploring – but rather that each space emphasised different aspects of the works. There were shifts in nuances. The audience was led to the work from a different departure point….

These are some installation shots of the show:

More on the exhibition ‘Suspending the Ephemeral’ at Fruehsorge Gallery

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