Susanne M. Winterling, untitled (formation, the circle, the line), 2009, Filmstill
Foto: Daniel Reich Gallery, New York
From February to April 2010, the Badischer Kunstverein is presenting the solo exhibition "Through the looking glass" by Susanne M. Winterling.
Winterling formulates her artistic work in a wide range of diverse media: from photographs past film, collages and objects all the way to space-encompassing installations and performances. With extreme sculptural sensitivity, she arranges these different materialities into constantly new and surprising constellations which react pointedly to the specific spatial situation of the respective exhibition room.
In the Badischer Kunstverein, Winterling develops a new series of interventions which manifest a close relationship to the architecture and history of the Kunstverein. She takes up various structures and architectural elements of the building or makes reference to hidden details which cannot be recognized at a first glance. Thus she invites the viewer to discover both the revealed and the hidden stories of the Kunstverein, and to open the cultural context anew for an alternative, even critical perspective. This investigation of the various emblems and spaces of the public image of the "bourgeois" is connected with a further motif of the exhibition, namely that of (female) adolescence on the threshold of individuation and self-discovery.
Jewellery, porcelain figures and emblems of Punk- and Gothic-culture are only a few of the concrete references to the - also biographically motivated - obsessions of the teenage years.
Above all, however, the artist finds an equivalent for her own identity and individuality through the formal inclusion of the mirror motif. Here the mirror is a self-referential module for the social and political dynamics of reflection and simultaneously serves as an important instrument for self-recognition and self-reassurance. But the view into the mirror as an investigation of the self is always based upon an image alone, upon an artificial projection. For Winterling, this is the crucial linkage-point for her staging of an imaginary world which she sets in contrast to the reality in the exhibition system. What happens to our perceptual habits when the perspective is shifted, the architecture is duplicated, the hierarchies become blurred? Just as in Lewis Carroll's story "Through the looking glass" (1871), this new world resists prevalent norms and conventions and develops a playful alternative image in which times and spaces are reversed, things are turned inside out, the mirror replaces reality, and the game of chess functions as a strategic meta-level for the plot.
Closely connected with these questions concerning one's own identity and personal imprinting is the setting up of a Hall of Fame in the Waldstraßensaal of the Kunstverein. Already in earlier works, Winterling has made reference to such female artists as Eileen Gray, Berenice Abbott or Annemarie Schwarzenbach, all of whom stand paradigmatically for women's struggle for autonomy and artistic freedom in a history of modernism which is dominated mostly by men. Winterling now brings these and other female role-models together for the first time and asks for the fame which they deserve.
Susanne M. Winterling (*1970, lives in Berlin) studied first philosophy and art history, then visual art at the academies in Hamburg and Braunschweig; she was a founding member of the Akademie Isotrop, Hamburg.
Solo exhibitions (selection): 2009, GAK, Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen; Galerie Lüttgenmeijer, Berlin; The Front Room, Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis; Hiromi Yoshii, Tokyo, Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples; 2008, Art Basel: Statements Basel (Daniel Reich Gallery).
Group exhibitions (selection): 2009, Little Theatre of Gestures, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel and Konsthall Malmö; Modern Modern, Chelsea Art Museum, New York; Scorpio's Garden, Temporäre Kunsthalle, Berlin; 2008, twice upon a time, Galerie Andreas Huber, Vienna; 5. berlin biennale; geschichtet, Kölnischer Kunstverein.
The exhibition will be accompanied by several events.