On Destruction and Preservation
With works by Geoffrey de Beer, Maija Blåfield, Bram Braam, Stefanie Bühler, Gabriella Disler, Kerstin Honeit,

March 29 to May 24, 2019
Finissage and Gallery Talk with Artists on May 24, 18 – 20.30h

The exhibition “On Destruction and Preservation” presents six artists who work in different areas of representation and means of production. They share the deep reflection on parameters of change – sometimes obvious, but also subtle and even hidden. The exhibition does not pretend to solve problems and give answers to urgent questions; instead, it aims to open lines of communication.
The exhibition is political, but not programmatic and by no means comprehensive. The art itself remains the focus of the show and works are selected for their artistic and poetic qualities, in addition to their political message. Several pressing issues are being highlighted: Destruction and preservation in urban and natural environs, the perceived need to modify political and social architecture and the utilization of architectural meanders for political propaganda. Capitalism, corruption, inflated technological advancement, but also ignorance and negligence bringing ecological and humanist catastrophes of unexpected dimensions… This is the underlying subtext of this show.
Destruction and preservation in urban environs are explored by Gabriella Disler, Bram Braam and Geoffrey de Beer. The perceived need to modify political and social architecture – dealt with by Kerstin Honeit, Gabriella Disler and Stefanie Bühler as well as the use of urban planning for political propaganda. Capitalism, corruption, inflated technological advancement and greed bringing ecological and humanist catastrophes of unexpected dimensions – a gradual move into the Anthropocene and the change in ecology brought on by man-made environmental interventions are especially explored by Maija Blåfield (her film gave the exhibition its title) and Stefanie Bühler.

About the Artists:
Geoffrey de Beer (*1978, Belgium) lives and works in Antwerp (Belgium) and La Roche Morey (France). He graduated in 2002 from the Sculpture Department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. De Beer’s most recent work consists of abstract installations with iridescent glass panels. In this show, he collected the molds of decorative wall elements from the 1960s (manufactured by a Belgian concrete factory), cast them and combined them with stained glass. Here, de Beer juxtaposes the fragile and poetic colored glass with the “brutal” and rough concrete. All of his works have beautifully poetic, funny, ironic, symbolic or literary titles. On view are “The Brutalist I and II” (2019). CV Geoffrey de Beer

Maija Blåfield (*1973, Finland) lives and works in Helsinki. She is a media artist and her works have a creative documentary perspective with strong storytelling and subtle humor. Blåfiled works with experimental documentary film, photography, writing and collective processes. Recent works include short films “On Destruction and Preservation” and “Golden Age”. She was granted the Finnish State Prize for the Media Arts in 2014, nominated for Ars Fennica award in 2017 and recently won the 2019 Ken Burns Award for Best of the Festival with “On Destruction and Preservation” at the Ann Arbor Film Festival (oldest avant-garde film festival in the US) in Ann Arbor Michigan, USA. Although Blåfield’s chief medium is video, she represents a breed of contemporary artist that constantly pushes the boundaries between different genres. Her works can justifiably be defined as experimental film, yet they also represent a new type of documentary. CV Maija Blåfield

Bram Braam (*1980, The Netherlands) lives and works in Berlin. Braam graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Den Bosch, The Netherlands in 2009. He has exhibited internationally at venues including Cacao fabriek Helmond (NL) Marissa Newman Projects New York (USA), Frank Taal Rotterdam (NL), Import Projects Berlin, Stedelijk Museum Den Bosch SMS (NL), Freies Museum Berlin (DE) and Minimal Gallery Chiang Mai (TH). Braam was awarded a one-year scholarship by the Berlin Senate and won the Jung-Art prize Berlin. Braam’s art practice focuses on sculptural and space-based installations. He studies urban environments and is fascinated by the edgy sides of our cities and their antithesis. In his new line of works, entitled “Surface Matters”, (on view is “No.7), the artist is reconstructing the “left-overs” of our built environments. The work plays with contrasts: from control to coincidence, from rough to glossy. CV Bram Braam

Stefanie Bühler (*1976, Germany) lives and works in Berlin. She studied sculpture at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, after being involved in various opera productions. She graduated from the master class of Martin Honert. She is the recipient of the Marion Ermer Price and several public grants and co-founded project spaces. Her work is on view in the permanent collection of the Kunsthalle Mannheim. Bühler’s sculptures and collages are part of public collections, such as the collection of the Free State of Saxony and Kunsthalle Mannheim as well as many private collections.
Stefanie Bühler works with materials such as polystyrene and epoxy resin. She orientates herself on nature when she creates artificial puddles, a cave, a piece of the sea, a pile of greenery or a section of the deep sea. She also makes carefully crafted collages. These spatialized still lives come together to form the somewhat melancholic tableaus and form introspective islands in the present. On view are “Lost” (2017), “Topografie” (2015) and several collages. CV Stefanie Bühler

Gabriella Disler (*1963, Switzerland) lives and works in Basel. She has undertaken residencies in Tokyo Wonder Site/JP, in Cologne/DE and in Nairs, Scuol/CH and received national and international scholarships. 2015 She graduated from édhéa, école de design et haute école d‘art du Valais, Sierre/CH with a MA Fine Arts – Public Sphère. Since 2017 she held a Master of Research in Art & Design, Sint Lucas University Antwerp, BE. Her works have been showing in international galleries and art institutions and are a part of public and private collections.
Gabriella Disler about her work: “…it is important to me to take in the obvious, to understand and capture it. It is perhaps a way of searching for the natural presence of the ‘found’. I capture the seemingly insignificant of everyday life with the camera. It is the peripheral zones that elude fleeting perception. (…) Connections and superimpositions, which did not exist from the outset, arise between space and image, in which the images rub in new contexts and charge the spaces in between.” On view are photographs from Tokyo from two series, entitled “Disappearance Memories I and II” (2012) in an in situ installation. CV Gabriella Disler

Kerstin Honeit (*1977, Germany) lives and works in Berlin. She studied Fine Art and Theatre Design at the Kunsthochschule Weissensee in Berlin. Since 2014 Honeit has been teaching at the Kunsthochschule Kassel). Her work has been shown among others at Berlinische Galerie – Museum of Modern Art Berlin, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Arsenal – Institut für Film u. Videokunst Berlin, Monitoring – Dokumentarfilm- u. Videofest Kassel, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Videonale.15 Kunstmuseum Bonn, Les Complices* Zürich and Kunstverein Leipzig.
Using video works, performance and installations in her artistic research, Honeit examines worlds of hegemonic image production in the media of information technology and pop culture. Intervening at the boundaries of representation and reception, she questions the construction of social norms. Honeit’s work is mostly research based. She negotiates personal stories, issues of gender, identity construction and stereotypes, drag. On view are “my castle your castle” and some accompanying film props. CV Kerstin Honeit 

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