Groupshow Berlin Selected Artists
April 9 – May 4 2013 Gabor A. Nagy, Adam Bota, Adam Magyar, Anne Wölk, curated by Uwe Goldenstein
GÁBOR A. NAGY (*1972, painting, lives in Berlin)
ADAM BOTA (*1976, painting, lives in Vienna and Berlin)
ADAM MAGYAR (*1972, video and photography, lives in Berlin)
ANNE WÖLK (*1982, painting, lives in Berlin)
Curator Uwe Goldenstein, director of BSA – Berlin Selected Artists
“LOVE WILL DESTROY US IN THE END” is the 3rd show of BSA at Art Suites Gallery after “TECHNOLOGY WON’T SAVE US” in 2011 on the occasion of the Istanbul Biennial and a solo show of Deenesh Ghycy in 2012. For the new show curator Uwe Goldenstein will bring fresh and brilliant works of the Berlin art scene to Istanbul. The paintings of the Berlin-based artists are focussing the ambivalent relationship of the individual life with all its desires and the reality and limits of postmodern city life. Adam Magyar will present a fantastic video of Berlin Alexanderplatz Station. In a never seen slow motion technique visitors will sink into the scanned urban life.
GÁBOR A. NAGY *1972 Hajdúböszörmény (H). Lives & works in Berlin
IN AHISTORICAL ROOMS
The codified world which we inhabit no longer signifies process or becoming. It tells no stories, and inhabiting it does not mean acting. That it has ceased to mean this, is what is known as the crisis of values. For we are still largely programmed by texts – programmed for history, for science, for political programmes, for art. We read the world, for instance logically and mathematically. But the new generation, programmed by techno-images, no longer shares our values. And we don’t yet know which meaning the techno-images surrounding us are programming for. Vilém Flusser, 1978
The break with history, as described by Flusser, is radically echoed by Gábor A. Nagy: in his paintings, all historical texts which we are potentially still programmed with are ultimately condemned to be meaningless. Composed of lyrical fragments, these paintings reduce the world to a black monochrome surface, upon which figures appear to float like ciphers – they have become an intangible motive. The paintings’ revocation and negation of both image background and figuration results in a general, symbolically charged sense of distance and placelessness, that suggests an ahistorical relationship to the world. The narrative context and relationships appear to loose themselves in this blackened-out environment. Thus Nagy’s images, lacking a horizon and perhaps even a space, comment on an uprooted, demystified, and hyper-technological civilisation, whose overall out-of-focus state is almost impossible to represent. Nagy rises to the challenge with comparatively archaic technical means.
ADAM BOTA *1975 Linz (A). Lives & works in Vienna
Contrary to the loud nature of Punk-rock concerts — a reoccurring subject in Bota’s recent work — the scenes he renders in oils emanate a rather tranquil and reflective, yet nonetheless intense, atmosphere. With the flow of paint on canvas with his crossfades and layers, Bota captures the cathartic experience of concert-going; of people in an ecstatically charged crowd dancing uncontrolled to fast and hard beats. In Bota’s depictions the partying individual threatens to disappear within the intertwining painted areas: like grapes on a vine, he melts together with his likeminded peers and the excitement of the moment takes on a life of its own. Fragments of piled bodies appear to penetrate each other, come apart and join to create a large inseparable body-in-motion. Beneath the artificial, often sparsely utilized light, which recalls the neon in night clubs, contours cancel each other out. Adam Bota thus emphasizes the ecstatic experience of the concert. His carefully placed colors assert a complementary life of their own. They tie themselves to the forms and lead the viewer’s eye to the energetic transference that is occurring in this independent artistic sphere. The punk moment becomes a frozen leitmotif in search of disengagement from the intensity of life — be it through layersof paint or in the dark intimacy of the club.
ADAM MAGYAR *1972 Debrecen (H). Lives & works in Berlin
HOW SOON IS NOW
Still, picturing the planet earth, for convenience sake, as a gigantic coffee table does in fact help clear away the clutter – those practically pointless contingencies such as gravity and the international dateline and the equator, those nagging details that arise from the spherical view.
Haruki Murakami, Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
The work of Adam Magyar is a tribute to the city and citizens. In his whole work he developes a unique technique that reveals new dimensions in photography. In its dynamics, Magyar’s ultimately utopistic perspective discloses ever-present but never-seen layers of the city and depicts citizens as elementary particles acting in the greater whole, embedded in their functional progress. Magyar’s Stainless series is in the focus of his new activities. The immaculate subway trains are captured in the process of slowing down: due to Magyar’s elaborate and ingenious photographic technique, the trains pulling into the station seem like still lives coated with deep and soothing black. As classic portraits, the subway trains seem sublime in their pure functionality and appear to convey a timeless and motionless peace both to the passengers and the portraits’ viewers, even when all passengers appear to be preparing themselves for their arrival in the train station.
Magyar’s series Urban Flow works with a reversed visual logic, because the process of acceleration is converted here into a process-wise visual standstill. With this – in fact – impossible space-time constellation, the citizens are the city itself, presented in all its dynamics. This way, he lends an abstract quality to the urban time-flow, and makes us stop. Therefore, the photographic moment is not only doubled and sequentially frozen but is brought to life in the standstill. So, glide over squares to see city vertigoes, stop at a crossing where everyone is rushing by or dive deep into the subway tunnels and marvel at the tranquility and beauty of life as aesthetized by Adam Magyar.
ANNE WÖLK *1982 Jena (D). Lives & works in Berlin
In Anne Wölk’s paintings, nature is transformed into a seemingly synthetic landscape. Yet nature’s contemplative atmosphere and rich impressions are still to be found. The laws and relations at work in her painterly cosmos obey an overarching, absolute idea, that transcends the mere representation of landscape by revealing a larger-than-life, allegorical assemblage, comprising such items as birch trees, ornamental signs and geometric effects. Mysterious narratives, suggested by the presence – or deliberate absence – of seemingly relaxed figures, encounter an unspeakable, almost mystical layer of abstraction that has leaked out into nature. In this sense, Anne Wölk’s painterly fantasies can be understood as an autonomous, self-contained world that is freed from the usual laws of representation. The synergies resulting from the confrontation of nature with a layer of unnatural, formalistic commentary are not bound to any preconceived notions of enlightenment – in fact, they seek to achieve quite the opposite. To remember and reclaim nature is to cancel out the stifling layers of postmodern interpretation and digital alienation that have come to overwrite it, and offer renewed encouragement for free projections and associations. Anne Wölk raises the question as to what extent we can still access an authentic experience of nature. In this sense, the narratives in her work postulate a state of nature that is a priori autonomous, and at the same time replete with technology.
All texts by Uwe Goldenstein