Urban Growths

Dürer’s works "Das große Rasenstück" (The Great Turf) and "Akelei" (The Columbine) are each shown in large tableaus of carefully arranged book reproductions. These compositions are not without irony in the way they draw on the traditional images and projected notions of plants in urban “cultural space.” Annabelle Fürstenau offers a surgical view of the floral world. Her photographs are the result of a laborious process of dissecting individual flowers and plants, in which their fragile components laid out in sequence according to shape and size. For the viewer such systems of organization evoke both a painful and aestheticizing distance to objects at hand. The work is a radical investigation on the elements precisely defining contemporary plant species. A series of photographs by Claudia Fährenkemper serves as a form of medial reassurance. The vertical-format images consist of photograms, which were exposed in the sun directly at the site where the plants were found. Life-sized motifs remain on the image carrier and have a bizarre coloration. Fährenkemper consciously positions the print-like quality of the photogram between anachronism and modernity. Finally, the two photographs by Ralph Samuel Grossmann have an arresting, signal-like appearance. The floral has returned to the vase in these explicitly pared-down images. An artistic attempt at domestication, so it seems, which obviously wishes to explore color abstraction in plant form. In these works urban growths stand alone as objects, but not as objects of projection.

Participating artists: Claudia Angelmaier, Nina Ebbinghaus, Claudia Fährenkemper, Annabelle Fürstenau, Ralph Samuel Grossmann, and Helmut Völter

A discussion with Helmut Völter and Dr. Christoph Schaden, punctuated by readings from Handbuch der wildwachsenden Großstadtpflanzen, will take place on Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 2:00 pm.

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