"Women on Water" – a tribute to Roni Horn. Exhibition view
"Darkness of the water reflects the sun, blackness reflects nothing". Roni Horn
The imprecision with which water reflects its surroundings mesmerises our gaze. Fragmented into the bright hues of the sky and the darkness of the depths, unfathomable nuances and the constant flicker of the light blur all boundaries. Any insight is denied, and likewise any glimpse at a singular, precise image of the water. Physics look at dynamics and chaos, non-linear processes and complexity. In her lecture performance "Saying Water [Hearts of Darkness]", London, 2012, Roni Horn talks of disappearance and suicide, of the desire to forget and of directing the gaze at the opaque water as well as at your own, opaque future. Projection and remembrance, experience and expectations orbit a centre which as such remains indistinguishable - the surface of the water is not a rigid border between two physical volumes, the moment of the present expands slightly in every direction.
Ebony Rose integrates the incalculable dynamic of water into her watercolour paintings and sculptures. Her pictures are laid out flat until the pigmented liquids have dried by themselves over the course of days and weeks. The subjects appear to levitate, as if they come from a sphere without gravity. According to Rose, the world is incalculable and as such cannot be expressed in rigid structures. Intention and accident, tension and static are equal parts of her work.
Friederike Jokisch paints archaic creatures of the sea, sometimes with a touch of the fantastic. She plumbs the infinite reaches of the ocean and zooms in on jellyfishes, octopuses or algae, bringing them into the light, dragging them out of the darkness of the deep sea. Thus their specific dynamic is exposed: the constant flux of their habitat determines the elasticity of their bodies. Their fragility and fluidity become abundantly clear.
Tania Cross' "time machines" are not apparatuses in a technical sense. Her photographs are treated with duct tape and open a fluid space between structure and perception. The vague narrative elements of her chosen images are dissolved in the web of axes and angles that cover them. They are converted into open situations beyond time and space. Like the surface of the water, the "time machines" absorb expectations and projections, while at the same time projecting them back at the viewer.
Andrea Meng photographs the water, the surface of the water; she flashes into the night and points her camera at scenes that seem to elude the gaze of the viewer. The darkness of the water and the world seem to indicate that they are about to obscure themselves again from us; the transient nature of the moment is made distressingly clear. Meng expands the moment of disappearance - as a matrix for the notion of an uncertain future, as well as a gateway to our own, unconscious thoughts.
Delphine Courtillot stages figures in often dismal, seemingly timeless contexts. A young woman wearing an old-fashioned dress turns away from us in a barren wintery forest. The scene remains unexplained, the gouache in parts sketchy. The mirror of expectation reveals nothing, just like the disturbed surface of the water, which not only reflects the light but also averts any insight. Behind the mirror, behind the narrative lies the actual world that Courtillot depicts: archetypical, vague and not tied to any particular point in time.
- Arne Linde