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Installation view, D21. / Curator: Ariane Graf / Photo: Michael Moser

So·lo Show/’solo show/noun; the exhibition of works of an individual artist

A solo show presenting the work of a single artist is considered a desirable career goal in the art world. It is meant to appreciate and recognize years of work. At the same time, a solo show also refers to a cultural industry characterized by competition and performance. In combination with the spuremacy of artist autonomy that also means: the exhibiting artist works isolated from others. Alone. Independently. Individualisation and complete and self-responsible ownership are for their part neoliberal principles. Loneliness seems to be a good friend of capitalism.
However, no one really creates art on their own.
Art cannot be made of just itself, come to existence from just within itself. The artist does not think or live alone either: She speaks, she reads, she exchanges, travels, thinks, encounters others, spins a network of connections; she lives and loves. She is responsible for her actions, engages in politics, gets involved. She acts. Her production is embedded in a backgorund context, in specific social circumstances, in determining discourses. “For masterpieces are not single and solitary births; they are the outcome of many years of thinking in common,” wrote Virginia Woolf, and “that the experience of the mass is behind the single voice.” From this perspective, a solo show, as important as it may be for an artists’ career, remains a fetish of “autonomous art” and of the artist genius. A point of contradiction: The genius is too male, too white, too heterosexual for me. I only meet him when I have to. My muse is my colleague. I kiss whoever I want.

Irène Mélix
Katharina Zimmerhackl

by Irène Mélix (2020)
financed by Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen

Thanks to D21, Sandra Plessing and Constanze Müller

Thanks to the curators Katharina Zimmerhackl und Ariane Graf

Thanks to Fabian Ng’uni for the cover photo of the catalogue, Lydia Sachse for the praphic design

Thanks also to Isabelle Lamaud, Olga Hyrckowian, team2, CindyCat, pattern collective, Rosa Klee, Theresa Schnell, Antje Meichsner, Anne Reiter, Franziska Goralski, Lilli Döscher, Vincent Schier, Francy Fabritz, Nadine Grobeis, Sophie Mélix, Daria Samokhvalova and all those, who are my network, my inspiration, support, exchange and environment.