Where do we find ourselves, before or after the disaster? The homes in Mirjam Völker‘s partly apocalyptic, partly quietly hopeful images are deserted. Instead, nature is the protagonist, arising threateningly over the huts. In the surreal paintings and drawings, a tense fight flares up between nature and civilization artifacts, and yet they are very similar when they rampantly mesh and destroy each other. Technically this fight is emphasised using strong complementary or black and white contrasts and also plays with various overlapping levels and perspectives, fact and fiction.
The documentary character of the images, reminiscent of photorealistic painting, raises an additional uncertainty. These doubts point to the general instability that is expressed in Mirjam Völker‘s works: static elements are captured by dynamic movements; dark shadows threaten the scenery to the same extent as unexplained transparencies, and also the homes in their provisional construction threaten to collapse any moment. The creativity with which they were apparently built, is reminiscent of the construction methods of informal settlements. The necessity is the mother of invention. This human creativity and the light that shines in some of the pictures from the window openings, are the only clues to their (former?) residents, who have disappeared. At the same time, human creativity is in accordance with the design richness of nature, which manifests itself in the tangle of branches and twigs. The chaotic and unstable appearance, stands in contrast to the precision and accuracy, with which Mirjam Völker creates her detailed images with acrylic and charcoal. This leads to quite different forms of vegetation-homes combinations where one wonders what is rampant in what, nature in the homes or homes in the nature? What came first? What will endure? Where do we find ourselves, before or after the disaster?
Mirjam Völker (*1977 in Wiesbaden) studied visual art at the Academy for Fine Arts of the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, followed by painting at the Academy of Graphic and Book Design, Leipzig. In 2010, she completed a master‘s degree with Neo Rauch. Solo exhibitions in Frankfurt am Main, Augsburg, Hamburg, Berlin, and now in her hometown Wiesbaden followed. Since December 2016 she is represented by the Gallery EIGEN + ART, Leipzig/Berlin. Mirjam Völker lives and works in Leipzig.