Clea Stracke & Verena Seibt
Der Fall K.
28.03. - 31.05.2014
|Opening:||Thursday, March 27, 2014, 7-9 pm|
|Exhibition Duration:||March 28 – May 10, 2014|
|Opening Hours:||Wed/Fri 1-6 pm, Thu 1-7 pm, Sat 12-4 pm|
They are a recurring topic in literature, film and art and can take many forms of representation: natural catastrophes and other exceptional states which pose a threat to existence. What’s the function of art when life is out of joint and the ground starts to shake? When misery becomes overwhelming and apocalyptic sceneries float around in one’s head? Does art disappear or can it assert itself? May it even be a human lifeline? Is it possible to “cover” yourself with art in a literal and metaphorical sense or should the “needlessness of all art possessions” (Karl Kraus, ”Brot und Lüge“, 1919) apply then?
For their current show ambiguously entitled ”Der Fall K.“, Clea Stracke & Verena Seibt have created a microcosm of imbalances. Besides an installation that violates the spatial structure of the gallery, the artists not only explore scenarios of collapse through photographs and works on paper, but also through film: In the video “Der Fall K.” an ordinary museum visit turns out to be a surreal tripping hazard. The floor and walls suddenly begin to totter; the protagonist loses his footing and tumbles several times. Illusion and reality become blurred; perception is not reliable any more. The cause of the sudden vibrations or whether the viewer is simply tricked by the technical medium “film” remains unresolved.
In their new video work Clea Stracke & Verena Seibt refer to the highly symbolic painting “The Raft of the Medusa” (1819) by Théodore Géricault. Being inspired by a true naval accident off the Senegal coast, it was made only few years before Caspar David Friedrich’s “Sea of Ice/The Wreck of Hope” (1823/24). Transforming the art work itself into the raft, the video version brings up the question if the painting awaits the same fate as the passengers of the French frigate Méduse: Will it drown in the depth of the sea or is rescue in sight? Can art survive? What role will it play then?
After having explored changes in the notion of art and its instrumentalization in their first solo show “Holde Kunst” at Esther Donatz Gallery based on a composition from the Romantic period, Clea Stracke & Verena Seibt now continue this discourse in their current exhibition. In the video “Und das Schiff fährt/And the ship sails on” (2009) they already picked up the theme of shipping, which – in combination with shipwrecks - symbolizes departure and danger, adventure and risk, natural force, human failure and hope. In this case, it represents the insecurities of being an artist and the unpredictability of the art market. As much as the beholders can observe a catastrophe from a safe distance on the screen, they not only witness who fails in the art world and who becomes successful, but actively take part in this process. The future is uncertain.
Clea Stracke (*1982 in Berlin) & Verena Seibt (*1980 in Dachau) who both graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts Munich have been collaborating since 2006. In addition to the Bayerische Kunstförderpreis 2012 (Bavarian State Award of Fine Arts), they received the Hartware MedienKunstVerein Grant for Women Media Artists as well as the Schloss Ringenberg Grant in 2013. Works by Clea Stracke & Verena Seibt have been exhibited in various institutions, such as Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt/Main, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, and Simultanhalle, Cologne. This year, works in public and art-in-architecture projects will be realized in Munich, Paderborn and Warnemünde. Apart from the show „Über Unterwelten“ at Zeche Zollern, Dortmund, Clea Stracke & Verena Seibt will participate in a screening as part of the Quadriennale Düsseldorf 2014 and - as “video of the month” - at Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund, with their film “Weil ich dich nicht mehr liebe/Because I don’t love you any more” from 2013. A monograph on the artists will be published by Kerber Verlag soon.
The artists will be present during the exhibition opening.