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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.
The video, which lasts a good 16 minutes, shows an interview with the visual artist Theresa Schnell. Most of the time she can be seen up to her chest, to the side of her a wooden desk with a lamp. She props her elbow on the desk and gestures with her hands repeatedly as she describes something. She has tied-back, brown, curly hair and wears round, transparent-white glasses. In the first scene, she unfolds a blue-colored shirt with a white silhouette of a drawn figure waving a ponytail on the right side. She puts on the shirt and wears it during the interview. At the beginning of the film, drawings of her are superimposed, depicting the dyeing process in blueprinting. Later, the fabric is seen hanging in the wind as sheets to dry in front of the dyeing plant. Towards the end of the film, blue, wavy shapes keep running through the image. In the credits: theresaschnell..de, team2, patterned collective, Cindy Cat. By Irène Mélix, 2020. Supported by the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony.
The approximately 17-minute video shows an interview with visual artist Franziska Goralski. She can be seen mostly up to her chest, wearing a black T-shirt, a wide silver chain, round, whitish glasses and medium-length, light brown hair. She sits in a white room, with only blurry paper webs and a plant in the background. At the beginning of the film, the logo of the Department for Potentiality to Act is superimposed, showing a semicircular, irregular beige shape with the name underneath. The logo is also at the center of a mindmap graphic that fades in later. The film talks about an exhibition entitled “Emanzenexpress – gemeinsam sind wir gemeiner” (“Emancene Express – Together We’re Meaner”), and Eva Busch and Julia Nitschke are interviewed about it. Later the film is about the space design for the festival “Digital Feminism” at HAU – Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, the title “The water we drink first runs through the veins of the servers (virtual tour)” is shown. The logo of the lilac library, which is mentioned, is a circular font with “The Blue Distance” in the center, framed by short, wavy rays. The credits include the following information: franziskagoralski.de, CindyCat, Blaue Distanz, dgtl fmnsm, by Irène Mélix (2020), Supported by the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony.
The 18-minute video shows the artist Lilli Döscher. She can be seen during the interview in a white room, wearing long, reddish hair, silver creoles and a white top. Later, she can be seen talking online with artist Irène Mélix, who wears short brown hair and a black T-shirt. She is sitting in a studio. The first scene shows a performance by three dancers wearing jeans and white sweaters. They move on a wasteland with a mixture of pebbles and grass, with trees in the background. A small, white, junky van is also on the surface. Blue drawings and areas of color can be seen in several places, and at one point a vast sea, filmed from a rocking boat. One of the drawings is a line drawing of a breakwater. Other drawing are wavy. They are made of ink in green and blue, towards the end of the film they move in front of the sea. The credits show the following writing: Maybe forever, Grossir ensemble, Theatre fragile, Cindy Cat. patterned collective. By Irène Mélix (2020), Funded by the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony.
The 16-minute film shows the musician and philosopher Rosa Klee. In the interview situation, she can be seen dressed up to her chest in a blue T-shirt and with short, brown hair shaved off at the sides. She is standing in front of a large window. The first scene shows Rosa Klee in a dark T-shirt as she unfolds a paper toot. This motif is taken up again and again. Again and again in the film, notations are inserted that are drawn in pencil and show unusual ways of representing music and sound. Some of them look like waves or mountains, become thinner and thicker, and are accompanied by written instructions. The book Rosa Klee reads from in the middle of the film is “Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own, Three Guineas.” The washing machine sounds in the second half of the film are an excerpt from “Aria fermata” (2019), performed by artist Irène Mélix in a black shirt with short brown hair in front of a white wall. At the end of the film, Rosa Klee turns a tiny little music box. The credits say: rosaklee.net, Cindy Cat. By Irène Mélix (2020), Supported by the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony.
The approx. 16-minute film shows the artist Antje Meichsner. During the interview she can be seen sitting from the belly up in her studio. It is an attic with a window, behind her on the desk you can see a lot of sound equipment and speakers. She wears a black t-shirt, longer blond hair with brown roots and silver larger creoles. At the beginning of the film, quotes from the 2017 audio piece “As Punk(t) Draw a Line Through the Swamp” can be heard. Later, a building fades in, with pixelated, colorful neon writing running across its entire facade. “Pochen Bienale Chemnitz (2018)” is faded in. In the second half of the film, a photo is faded in to the music, where Antje Meichsner is sitting behind a table with a lot of sound technology and a laptop in an evening mood. Café Odradeck” is faded in. At the end of the film, the sound is accompanied by a white silkscreen with many lines on a black background, along which the camera moves. The credits read: Cindy Cat. Antjemeichsner. Jimdofree.com, facebook.com/ShannonSoundquist. By Irène Mélix (2020), Supported by the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony.
The film, which lasts a good 13 minutes, shows the artist Anne Reiter, who can usually be seen in the interview situations in front of a gray outer wall with a yellow hooded jacket and a dark blue T-shirt. She has curly brown hair, a nose piercing and an earring. As she speaks, drawings are superimposed showing various patterns whose basic shapes are drawn with black fine lines and whose interiors are partially colored. Later, similar patterns are faded in, as well as colored silhouettes of people on textile. The textile works also show other textile-related motifs, such as needles, threads, fabric representations and colorful surfaces. They hang in a large exhibition hall. During the film, photo sequences are also inserted in which people put on the textiles, sit and stand on them, or otherwise interact with them. In the second half of the film, individual, detached elements of the patterns run through the interview image, with the artist filmed in front of one of the large textile works during the interview. The credits say: annereiter.com, patterned collective. By Irène Mélix (2020), Funded by the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony.
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.