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Published 06/09/2014 | Updated 14/06/2016
On the occasion of the discussion of one of my drawings at the study hall of the foundation Abegg Stiftung, the head of the textile workshop Bettina Niekamp told the following story: Because of her interest in the 3d-structure of the fabrics in particular, she uses a lens also when looking at photographs. Sometimes she accidentally grabs a reproduction instead of the original photograph. Then, the magnifying glass does not reveal the structure...Read more
On the occasion of the discussion of one of my drawings at the study hall of the foundation Abegg Stiftung, the head of the textile workshop Bettina Niekamp told the following story: Because of her interest in the 3d-structure of the fabrics in particular, she uses a lens also when looking at photographs. Sometimes she accidentally grabs a reproduction instead of the original photograph. Then, the magnifying glass does not reveal the structure of the fabrics but the matrix dots produced by the offset print instead. This story then initiated further drawings.
The vestments of the saint Heiliger Valerius von Sarragossa have been weaved in the 13th century. It consists of two coats (cope and chasuble) and two shirts (dalmatics). In the beginning of the 20th century, more than 200 fragments of these robes were cut off and sold on the art market. Today these cloth fragments are dispersed in over 25 collections and museums worldwide. At the end of the 20th century, Mechthild Flury Lemberg has restored the vestments. In the suspenseful report of restoration I particularly like the following story. With her work, Mechthild Flury Lemberg was able to reconstruct the shape of the chasuble. Due to the materiality of single threads, she could prove that the many pieces of cloth, that had been used to mend both dalmatics in the 15th century, had originally been the inner lining of the chasuble.
Thanks to Kathryn Rudy, I was pointed to a Belgium reliquary, which is in possession of the basilica Liebfrauenbasilka, Tongeren. It is a fold-out portable altar from around 1405. The left inner leaf depicts the arch angel Gabriel and Maria on the opposite right. In the middle, two angels are holding a white square in front of the patterned background. The painted white square is placed exactly in the middle of the surface. It is surprisingly plain and stunningly abstract. Behind this one there is another area with a piece of fabric attached. It is the fragment of Maria’s vale, framed by pearls and additional jewelry.
"I Take Part and the Part Takes Me" is the title of an exhibition which is curated by Abigail Christenson and taking place from June 21st to August 2nd 2014 at Galerie Tanja Wagner in Berlin. Quoting from the press release: “The works put together for I Take Part and the Part Takes Me explore the principle of participation in respect to its ephemeral, poetic and controversial nature. They are looking at what is really being moved in between the artist, the work and the viewer when art works recruit the participation of the audience?”
I would like to use the title "I Take Part and the Part Takes Me" to describe the relation of the medieval silk fabrics and my drawings.
Infinitude in small Fragments: Photographed in the Museum for Decorative Arts, Berlin Color pencil, pencil on paper | 70 cm x 100 cm | 2013
Infinitude in small Fragments: In Conversation with the Restorer Color pencil, pencil on paper | 43 cm x 59,4 cm | 2013
Infinitude in small Fragments: What’s that? Color pencil, Indian Ink on paper | 59,4 cm x 42 cm | 2013
Sets of Tools: From Point to Line to Plane into Space … | Limewood, 270 cm x 48 cm x 48 cm and scaffolding bar | 2006 | Photo: J. Laitzsch
What is it about your studio space that inspires you?
I love the view. The studio is located on the 10th floor
What sounds, scents and sights do you encounter while in your studio?
I like to work in silence or I like to listen to stories
What is your favourite material to work with? How has your use of it evolved throughout your practice?
Pencil on Paper
What themes do you pursue?
How to approach a 700 year old object? What is the relationship of closeness and distance, space and time?
What advice has had the biggest impact on your career?
Not to resolve ambivalences and still take care of clarity
If you could install your art absolutely anywhere, where would that be?
In the homes of people who can lose themselves in the contemplation of time.
If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
The Annunciation Triptych by Simone Martini from the year 1333
If you weren´t an artist, what would you be doing?
As an astronomer, maybe I would have been happy too.
What are your favourite places besides your studio?
the forest, the sea, the city