Galerie b2

Rike Horb, 2016
Herbs of Provence, brick in concrete
Size variable
Christian Schellenberger, All City NRG (China), 2016
silkscreen on paper
ca. 400 ×150 cm
Rike Horb, The garden of my foundation, 2014/16
pressed city edge plants
size variable

This two-person exhibition at the Galerie b2_ presents two new works by artists Rike Horb and Christian Schellenberger. Horb’s brick and concrete objects as well as her herbarium-like installation made of dried wildflowers, which the artist collected at the outskirts of Berlin, enter into a dialogue with Schellenberger’s drawings. These were created in urban spaces and assembled into large-size prints by using the silkscreen technique. Schellenberger’s cartographic images and Horb’s installations, seen by the artist as “spatial drawings”, converge in the idea of urban notation. At the same time, they can also be understood as actions.

The notion of drama (Gr. drama: action) as a literary genre aiming at a particular kind of effect on the viewer, which gives the exhibition its title, underlines the performative aspect of these works: on the one hand, as spatialized gestures and on the other, as actions captured on paper. In this regard, the exhibition builds upon the notion of performativity, which defines the performance-like character of culture and serves as an aesthetic umbrella term for body-oriented art, and explores the possibility of “post-performativity”, a term which incorporates the agency of objects. Performativity, conceived as a counterpoint to theatricality, has been the object of increasing attention in recent years in numerous publications such as Erika Fischer-Lichte’s Ästhetik des Perfomativen. Whereas theatricality emphasizes the staging and offering to view of actions, performativity stresses their self-referentiality and power to constitute reality. While the works in this exhibition are not grounded in a bodily “co-presence of all participants”, they are characterized by the absence of an immediate action, which is rather inscribed in them as a trace and as such fosters their agency; in the pressed flowers which make the herbarium burst, in the concrete objects confronting the viewer as an army, in the layers of palimpsest-like prints. These features are conducive of a spatiality, an elusiveness and a sudden emergence, that is, the event-like quality of actions which constitutes a performance.

Translation: Vanja Sisek