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The Interior in Contemporary Art

Laurenz Berges, Franz Burkhardt, Francisca Gómez, Patricia Lambertus, Zilla Leutenegger, Marjetica Potrč, Jörg Sasse, Gregor Schneider, Marcus Schwier, Taryn Simon, Erik Steinbrecher, Susa Templin und Claudia Wieser

Duration: April 8 to July 23, 2016, Tue.-Sat.,12-5 pm

Curators: Harriet Zilch and Ludwig Seyfarth

In our world of today, people seem to waver between contradictory desires. Aside from their longing for freedom and mobility, there is a need for security and a familiar refuge. The home has become the center of one’s social and professional life. Nowadays communication and consumption are possible without even leaving the private space. The contradiction is merely apparent: In this age of globally networked activities, people’s private microcosm in particular is gaining in importance. But to which extent have our homes changed and what will they look like in the future, when hardly any objective criteria remain in order to distinguish between the private and public sphere, between work and leisure, between day and night, between rest and activity?

In the context of social media, the need for privacy does not seem to exclude the desire to share various forms of intimacy with the general public. By the same token, representations of interiors per se permit us to gain insight into rooms which, as explicitly private spaces, normally should be protected from precisely such views.

The interior has a notably strong presence in contemporary art. The group show Homebase reflects the great variety of current artistic approaches to this traditional genre. The paintings, projections, photographs and installations contained in the exhibition are representations, documentations and stagings of rooms, but – aside from the visitors – there are seldom people present within them. Some of these works document preexisting interiors: They speak for themselves, or rather of the people that live or lived in them, their particular preferences, their social status and cultural context.

The photographs by Laurenz Berges show interiors of apartments in the Ruhr region that were abandoned by their inhabitants as a result of the shutdown of the local heavy industry production sites. On Jörg Sasse’s detail shots of private rooms individual objects like sockets, lamps or hotplates appear almost as arranged still lifes. In the work of Susa Templin contours are blurred and the interiors appear to dissolve atmospherically. Gregor Schneider’s documentation using photography and film traces the artist’s structural interventions in his parents’ house, which he began already as a teenager. Claudia Wieser transferred modernistic citations of décor onto sculptural objects, which in turn are reminiscent of furniture. In Patricia Lambertus’ work walls become excessively charged carriers of images in which different periods, places and levels of reality are brought to an encounter. Marcus Schwier took photographs of Baroque palaces which, in view of the use by their current inhabitants, appear like surreal scenarios. Zilla Leutenegger’s assembled interior space looks almost like a drawing, a mental image that has materialized. Franz Burkhardt created a life-size façade, behind which other rooms can be imagined, but remain hidden from view. Taryn Simon directs our attention to rooms which, for security reasons, are concealed from the general public. Francisca Gómez’ view into obscurity shows dimly lit apartments in Detroit, where the electricity was turned off for the heavily indebted residents. Marjetica Potrč has contributed her artistic expertise to community projects, in which the inhabitants construct both functional and experimental housing units on their own initiative. Erik Steinbrecher points to the phenomena of homelessness and nomadism in a more associative manner by creating a living space that rather looks like a non-functional landscape of ruins.

Is the domestic interior soon to become a relic of the past, when an increasing number of people all over the world will be living in temporary dwellings, and everything that used to fill closets and shelves will be entrusted to some “Cloud”?

Curated by Ludwig Seyfarth and Harriet Zilch, the exhibition Homebase. The Interior in Contemporary Art and the accompanying catalogue have been developed in close cooperation with the Kunsthalle Nuremberg.


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Exhibition views

Accompanying program

, 7 pm

Homebase: Opening

Welcome: Monika Schnetkamp, Cairwoman Arthena Foundation
Introduction: Ludwig Seyfarth and Harriet Zilch, Curators

, 7 pm

Night of the Museums

Short guided tours every hour
PING PONG, an interactive Performance with the artist duo Stoll & Wachall starting at 8 pm
Ludwig Seyfarth: short lecture about the filmic work of Gregor Schneider, 8.30 and 9.30 pm

, 7 pm

Gregor Schneider: It’s all Rheydt

Premierenpräsentation der Videoarbeit und Künstlergespräch mit Gregor Schneider

, 7 pm

Documentation vs. Fiction in Photography of the Interior

Panel talk with Laurenz Berges, Patricia Lambertus, Sabine Maria Schmidt and Ludwig Seyfarth

, 2 pm

Homebase: Finissage

with guided tour by Ludwig Seyfarth, followed by a gathering with coffee and cake

Video about the exhibition

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