Organising a show as artists gives a key to a kind of other space where things don’t have to make sense in preconception, but where there is room for intuition. Perhaps a trust that the works and artists we chose will unfold (reveal) their own interconnections and layerings quite organically. The idea was to ask some artists who were instrumental in the journey towards our own artistic vocabulary, then people who are around us in the present, who are part of our conversation. And then inviting positions that we don’t know personally, of which we only perceive the work from a distance and register it for ourselves as influential.
After we told Francesca and Moritz about our plans for the exhibition, they both said independently of each other that the exhibition would be ‘quite crowded, which made us briefly anxious.
Jannis and I have argued about these kinds of formal issues several times during this process but always came back to the fact that we have extreme confidence in the autonomy of each artwork. From our point of view they don’t have to fulfil any expectations in the space.
It was my dream to be able to include a brick ball by Annette Wehrmann in this exhibition. During my time in Hamburg the encounter with these raw, almost formless things – half wall, half projectile – were an eye-opener. She must have been so uncomfortable as an artist: where the balls were exhibited she kicked them through the exhibition spaces where they desecrated the integrity of the white walls as representatives of public space. We have already been in contact with the Hamburger Kunsthalle, which probably owns most of the sculptures, but we were not given much hope. Maybe there are other ways to make Annette Wehrmann part of the exhibition. Would she actually have wanted to be a part of it ? It’s strange when you can’t ask someone anymore and only assume that you would have had something to share. Or is it almost more important to assume that the artworks have something to say to each other? Hers and ours?
We can’t claim that there is a curatorial concept running through the show. To some of the artists we invited that was important. There is a part of me that refuses to write down thoughts that want to unlock something which might happen between things. Nevertheless when we spoke to the artists it was easy verbally formulate something “conceptual”, simply by naming certain lines between the already selected works. But where does an artwork end and its context begin?.
By the way, it was very beautiful how Alice said when she first wanted to make a new work for us — that she doesn’t get to kiss much more these days because her lips refuse to kiss any current news.
The fact that Emily wants to put up posters on the windows makes me very happy, because we have a hunch something is in between everything that is an impulse not only to communicate inwards, that the space is not a hermetic one. Maybe the brick projectile is represented after all…
text by Christiane Blattmann