What constitutes the poetic element in contemporary art? Curators, critics or even artists themselves often award works of art with a poetic quality. The metaphorical use of the term beyond poetry follows a long tradition. The group exhibition tries to make the attribute “poetic” tangible, based on works presented by 13 artists, in the media video art, installation,
performance, painting and photography. The title of the exhibition aims at the question whether the term poetic can fill the gap, opened by today's turn away from the original aesthetic category of beauty, whilst speaking about art, and to what extent it goes beyond the “so beautiful”.
ZILVINAS KEMPINAS (LT) celebrates the lightness of being in his sculpture, magnetic tapes floating in space, contrasting the astonishing effect with the simplicity of the employed means. Dynamic can also be found in the photographs of CHRISTINE MEDERER (D). Her stage-like works invoke abstract forms, based on an experimental setup and which
the artist produced in an emphatic black-and-white contrast. The video and space installations of the artist SOPHIA POMPÉRY (D) have often a very special atmosphere and reveal at first glance minimalistic procedures and processes, which arouse complex feelings and associations for the viewer. For the winter garden of the NKV the artist developed
a site-specific work. FIDES BECKER (D) shows a large mural painting, in which she plays with illusionistic depth and the actual two-dimensionality of the medium and letting the past splendour of a mirrored ballroom revive. In his video work MARKUS WALENZYK (D) fathoms out the illusionistic space and plays with expectations of the viewer. Following the tradition trompe-l'oeil, he transfers the method of optical deception into the medium video.
NEIL MCNALLYs (UK) works are for the most part furnished with ironical allusions. For “...so schön?” he presents a video and sound installation. A nostalgic moment manifests itself in the video work of the artist ANITA DI BIANCO (the USA), who as well lets an old ballroom become an active player. She uses familiar pictures and text from film, theatre and literature, reflecting on imitative acting. The artist duo AWST & WALTHER (UK/D) realize a site-specific installation. Using unusual materials like pigmented gel they transform topics such as potentiality and transience. Self-referentiality is linked with social questions. The video work “A middle age woman” by JÁN MANČUŠKA (SK) begins with individual sentence fragments. Successively further syllables and words are inserted producing, partly uncanny, partly strange changes of meaning. “Fair ones retour aux choses mêmes”, the return to the same things, is the title of the video work by EMILIE PITOISET (F). In her work she deconstructs an excerpt from a Godard film. IL-JIN ATEM CHOI & BECKER SCHMITZ (D) let a room become a hermetically sealed art cell. In their work “Brennstoffzelle” the two artists paste yellow sticky notes on surfaces and everyday objects to develop a unique relief painting.
All works approach the poetic moment in a variety of ways: with atmosphere, narration, the unfathomable or sensual perception. However all these attributes unite in the pretention to counter the concrete. Because “art is poetry! Humans need poetry”, as Jean-Christophe Ammann expressed himself emphatically.

...so beautiful?

20. March 2011 - 01. May 2011


Awst & Walther / Fides Becker / Il-Jin Atem Choi & Becker-Schmitz / Anita Di Bianco
Zilvinas Kempinas / Ján Mančuška / Neil McNally / Christine Mederer / Emilie Pitoiset
Sophia Pompéry / Markus Walenzyk

Opening / March 19th, 5 to 8 pm

Curated by Sara Stehr and Elke Gruhn