Submission
Group Show

Madeleine Effekt

Isabella Fürnkäs | Marcel Hiller | Tom Król | Anna Virnich Memories are deeply anchored in our subconscious. Some can be recalled more quickly, others less easily. "The taste was that of that little piece of madeleine" (Marcel Proust), which, dunked in lime blossom tea and became the trigger to revive the past. A moment that becomes a catalyst and brings back into color a memory that was thought to have faded. The exhibition concept is intended to pick up the visitors where they themselves need a trigger to stimulate their own memories, a trigger that evokes a feeling, an affect in themself. The small pastry with its catalytic effect from Marcel Proust's seven-part opus "In Search of Lost Time" provides the title for the exhibition. Surfaces, materials, smells create the basis for associations, they offer multi-layered approaches to one's own intrinsic engagement with memory itself. In their works, the artists* Isabella Fürnkäs, Marcel Hiller, Tom Król, and Anna Virnich create memory structures in their multifacetedness.


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Ausstellungsansicht Madeleine-Effekt, Orangerie Schloss Benrath, 06.-20- März 2022. © Mareike Tocha
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Ausstellungsansicht Madeleine-Effekt, Anna Virnich, Untitled #112, 2021 (left), Untitled #123, 2021 (right), Orangerie Schloss Benrath, 06.-20- März 2022. © Mareike Tocha
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Ausstellungsansicht Madeleine-Effekt, Isabella Fürnkäs, Unpredictable Liars, 2017 (front), Anna Virnich, Leather #7, 2019 (back), Schloss Benrath, 06.-20- März 2022. © Mareike Tocha
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Ausstellungsansicht Madeleine-Effekt, Isabella Fürnkäs, Unpredictable Liars, 2017 (front), Anna Virnich, Leather #7, 2019 (back), Schloss Benrath, 06.-20- März 2022. © Mareike Tocha
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Ausstellungsansicht Madeleine-Effekt, Orangerie Schloss Benrath, 06.-20- März 2022. © Mareike Tocha
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Ausstellungsansicht Madeleine-Effekt, Marcel Hiller, Pouch 3, 2022, Orangerie Schloss Benrath, 06.-20- März 2022. © Mareike Tocha
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Ausstellungsansicht Madeleine-Effekt, Marcel Hiller, Freizeit, 2022, Orangerie Schloss Benrath, 06.-20- März 2022. © Mareike Tocha
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Ausstellungsansicht Madeleine-Effekt, Orangerie Schloss Benrath, 06.-20- März 2022. © Mareike Tocha
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Ausstellungsansicht Madeleine-Effekt,Tom Król, Untitled (Benrath), 2022, Orangerie Schloss Benrath, 06.-20- März 2022. © Mareike Tocha
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Ausstellungsansicht Madeleine-Effekt,Isabella Fürnkäs, Insomnia Drawings, 2007-ongoing, Orangerie Schloss Benrath, 06.-20- März 2022. © Mareike Tocha

A scent, a color, a fabric, a stroke – or that one taste. “The taste was that of that little piece of madeleine” (Marcel Proust), which, dunked in lime blossom tea, became the trigger to revive the past. A moment that becomes a catalyst and brings back into color a memory that was thought to have faded. It can return, be present, touching, dominating our present. It can let us indulge in reveries, it carries us through time to other places. This is how our memory of experience shapes our now. The small pastry with its catalytic effect from Marcel Proust’s seven-part opus “In Search of Lost Time” provides the title for the exhibition. Surfaces, materials, smells create the basis for associations, they offer multi-layered approaches to one’s own intrinsic engagement with memory itself. In their works, the artists* Isabella Fürnkäs, Marcel Hiller, Tom Król, and Anna Virnich create memory structures in their multifacetedness.

Memory, the past, and movement through time are central aspects in the oeuvre of Isabella Fürnkäs (b. 1988 Tokyo, Japan). In her works she negotiates themes such as corporeality, intimacy and self-perception, as well as alienation and patterns of communication. To address these themes, she uses numerous media, ranging from drawings, language, and gestures to sound and video works, performances, and spatial installations. A narrative moment runs through her work, creating a flow of language without always necessarily beeing language, but always with the possibility of language. Thus, words and images combine in her drawings, as “a kind of key to a level of meaning that hides the subconscious.”(IF) In her Sculptural group of works Unpredictable Liars, which she constantly develops since 2017, she creates a giant supersized human counterpart. Fabric is similar to paper for Fürnkäs, and has been a recurring feature in her work since she was a student. She is interested in veiling and the question: what creates personality?

Marcel Hiller (b. 1982, Potsdam) subliminally counteracts various traces of memory of an East German infrastructure in his works. In a mixture of collaged images and readymades, he develops comprehensive spaces of experience that feed on a supposedly collective memory. Here Hiller negotiates influences between advertising, everyday life, and psychophysical materialities. The interplay of collage and spatial experience, among other things, export routes as well as intrinsic and extrinsic effects are considered and dissected. Black-and-white photographs without a clear attribution of their origin or content are formed from visual advertising material, private photo archives, or politically directed pictorial testimonies. In their interplay they move the past into a contemporary discourse. Colorful sunbeds, printed with inflatable boat motifs, carry their own incorporated history, symbolically or even iconically. Although a sun lounger seems to convey the lightness of a camping vacation, the motif, with a view to escape and oppression, recalls less happy days. In confronting a canonically remembered past, Hiller challenges viewers to critically question their perspective on the present, offering multi-layered opportunities to engage with collective memory structures.

On top of each other, under each other, next to each other – from fine lines and intense color surfaces rise forms and structures, grow out of the paintings Tom Król (born 1991, Cologne) oblique heads and haunting-painterly constructions. In layering and condensing, Król staggers layer upon layer on the canvas, referencing the painting process itself. His deconstructed color assemblages are fed with memories of everyday life, encounters and images collected over days, weeks and months. In juxtaposition, viewers delve into the surface, recognizing again, discarding, and attempting to remember. Never static, these fragmentary counterparts thus offer a point of correspondence to approach one’s own personal pictorial memory of one’s archive of memories in an engagement with the self.

Anna Virnich (b. 1984, Berlin) composes her works from a fund of textiles: silk, pallettes, leather. Found and new pieces of fabric are constructed into complex and delicate compositions that thus grow beyond the boundaries of a classical painting. The wooden frame forms the framework that supports the fabric and allows it to create a delicate play of colors and surfaces. Virnich’s works create a sensitive moment of tension, they discuss the “in-between”, the “before” and the “behind” in equal measure. Each incidence of light, each new angle of view creates another layer, a different perspective. Her use of everyday materials such as leather and wax also creates a subtle choreography of smells. Subliminally, the scents waft through the space, giving the viewer a moment. In memory research, the olfactory sense is understood to be one of the most superficial, immediately and directly recalling past emotional states to consciousness.

At a time when we are horrified by a war in Europe, when a worldwide pandemic confronts people with existential problems, when, despite everything, things are always supposed to go higher, faster and further, when social and cultural heritage is full of conflicts, the memory of “better days” is conjured up. Traditions are longingly cultivated. Omnipresent and essential, one’s own and collective memory become the central subject. The exhibition concept is intended to pick up the visitors where they themselves need a trigger to stimulate their own memories, a trigger that evokes a feeling, an affect in themself.

A collaborative and very personal publication accompany the exhibition. It serves as a support for the artists’ thoughts, it becomes a diary, an archive of memories.