Insert is the title Marte Eknæs (*1978 in Elverum, Norway) chose for her first institutional solo show in Germany. The space in which she has installed her exhibition is in itself an insertion: the enclosure in the main hall of the Bonner Kunstverein. This permanent feature of the exhibition architecture since the refurbishment in 2006/2007, is here interpreted by Eknæs as a frame into which she implements her works. The sculptures, drawings and prints on display are the results of her research into the city of Bonn, seen as an example of the urban environment. By inserting her show into the Bonner Kunstverein and, in a broader sense, into a social and architectural frame of reference, she utilises the enclosed interior to present interpretations and connections that cast light on the exterior. The way the urban space in which we live is constructed and how we perceive and experience it is a central theme in Eknæs’ work. How, for instance, do public and corporate buildings (such as the Post Tower or Stadthaus Bonn) suggest the potential embodiment of representation, ideology or hierarchy within our social systems? What promises of functionality and integrity do materials, surface areas and specific constructions imply and when do they manipulate our perception, tempt us into believing in images and concepts that they allegedly carry? In her reduced works, Marte Eknæs looks at these aspirations and reviews them to an extended fulfillment. Using prefabricated elements and industrially produced materials, she consolidates references from the urban environments into a concentrated vocabulary of form and critical questioning. What remains are autonomous sculpture and drawings which depart from the source of her examination, create new relations and trigger free associations in our daily experience of the urban environment. Marte Eknæs studied at the Environmental Art Department of the Glasgow School of Arts and the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles before she completed her studies at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London. Her most recent exhibitions include Momentum, The 5th Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art in Moss, Norway, as well as the solo exhibition “Fountain” at Galerie Circus, Berlin. Over the course of the exhibition, a catalogue will be published with articles by Kirsty Belland Anna Dietz.
In the beginning of 2010 Jonas Gerhard (*1980 in Soest) completed his degree at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art in photography under Prof. Thomas Ruff and Prof. Christopher Williams. Within the framework of the Peter Mertes Scholarship, which is aimed at the up-and-coming generation of artists from the Rhineland, the 29-year old artist will have the first opportunity to show his work in a solo exhibition. Gerhard has devoted his art to researching the formal and aesthetic phenomena found in the physical world. The comprehension of visible phenomena is hereby at the center of his interest as regards formal systems such as structures, contours, surface areas and material properties. Similar to a chemical analysis, Gerhard filters and sorts out single ingredients of the perceptible world of images and presents the transformed pictorial constancy for renewed discussion. Gerhard does not tie himself down to a specific canon of motifs, nor to a specific formal pictorial solution. Diary-like photo series in notebook form stand coequally next to classical large-format frontal portraits, paper containers or paper baskets next to anonymized group shots. The approach to a motif can take place in quite different ways. While some shots come intuitively from the situation itself (Paradise, 2009), Gerhard, above all in his more recent works (e.g. Papierkorb #1 (schwarz), Moka Express #1 (gebraucht)), seeks a suitable strategy so as to extract a component of visual reality to use for his photographic material. The object of his recovering work can also be the artist’s ever growing archive of photographs. By applying digital-technical procedures—such as detail enlargement, inversion, fade-out or other image processing programmes—Jonas Gerhard succeeds in eliciting information from already existing photographs that, before his active manipulation, were concealed or subverted. Gerhard mates rational methods with the spirit of experimental discovery. And without firmly disclosing the actual method, he allows the viewer to experience the moment of surprise and the serendipity of his works. A catalogue on the exhibition will be published with a text by Vanessa Sondermann and Anna Dietz.
Unmarked State, according to Niklas Luhmann, denotes the boundary every observation is subject to, in the sense of a sight-restricting horizon that retreats with every step forward and can never be reached. Max Schulze (*1977 in Herdecke), whose first institutional solo exhibit takes place at the Bonner Kunstverein, works in his collages, drawings and paintings with painterly concepts in which he not only studies the process of image production, but also perceptual directions: How does a pictorial solution come about, and which decision-making processes are at its core? What is it that leads us to declare appearances recognizable or perceivable? Max Schulze works off these questions in a veritable flood of pictures. Splinters, scraps and spots are among his material vocabulary, taken from high and lowbrow culture, pasted, projected and painted. Random chance and succinct ways of working, dynamism and loudness seem forefronted, yet at the same time, Max Schulze sets down dreamy and meticulously fine re-paintings, as if he wanted to mimic, retain and frame the random forms. The way Schulze arrives at his images follows a dialogical principle: Where an opening gapes, where he ruptures the canvas,a form simultaneously emerges. Thus with a constant variety of images, the artist flies in the face of the viewer, who asks for a valid version of what it is that makes up art production. Max Schulze concluded his fine art studies in 2005 as the master student of Prof. Jörg Immendorf at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art. In 2009 he had a scholarshipat Schloss Ringenberg; 2007-09 he had a teaching post at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art. He is co-editor of the magazine “schwarz-weiss”. Over the course of the exhibition, a catalogue will be published with texts by Wolfgang Betke and Anna Dietz.