Turn-Berlin 2010

Will explain everything later...

That's what happened:

Smaller than Life.
Notes on Turn-Berlin exhibition 6.07-9.08.10.
Josetti Hofe,
Rungestrasse 22-24 10179 Berlin-Mitte.

This is a report on my exhibition in Turn-Berlin Gallery.
I proposed to make a big scale drawing. I intended to explore
-drawing as a process, medium and result
--drawing as a method of thinking, communication and substitution for communication
--drawing and context

It was a work in the progress in the gallery. My work started at the opening party and finished at the closing. I wanted to destroy this drawing at the end of exhibition. We agreed that could be a commentary on the value of art in the time of the recession. In between these visitors might check on the progress, make comments or ask questions.

I made a big drawing on Fabriano paper ( 100x500 cm) using simple drawing materials such as crayons, ink, acrylic paints (white, blue and red), magazine cut-outs, paper bags and sugar paper. I use simplified images of animals and human figures. There was a personal narrative but the composition and colours made it possible for other people to engage and create their own stories. .
The process of the drawing was flowing and speedy. I felt confident in all decisions I made. I eliminated the pressure by concentrating on the making not on the final product.
I thought that I made an interesting drawing.
Although I prepared to destroy it on the closing party I've had doubts about that since I've finished the drawing.
A few people said they like the drawing and that it deserved more than being just destroyed .The drawing looked more attractive and valuable when people knew its possible fate.
On my part I felt that a myth about one's efforts and energy being transferred into the object took over the project. I was flooded with irrational emotions of attachment to the drawing. My original plan of staying alienated from the final result failed.
I ended up buying a large postal tube (120x15cm) for posting my drawing to Dublin.
The question about the value of the process and the final product seemed to be answered in favour of the latter. The viewers liked drawing and wanted me to keep it. So did I. But at the closing party I realized that finding places to exhibit or space to store for it would be wrong, false and unfair.
I decided to proceed with the original plan.
Still I was afraid to cutting the drawing. It was a tense atmosphere of curiosity and silent disapproval. Out of blue I asked if anyone wants to have a small piece of drawing. I just wanted to cover my fear and buy some time. To my big surprise I got several requests for various pieces of the drawing. Cutting made some sense and made me feel better. But I didn't intend to save the drawing by sharing it. I had to stop that soon.
After that I tore the drawing in small pieces approximately 5cm x 5 cm each. They will be recycled as any other papers. I was tearing the paper quietly, without anger or resentment. I concentrated on this process. It became a performance.
A few people – artists and not -told me they never would (or could) destroy their own work. I only could answer that art is much smaller than life and can't sustain all aspects of our life. Art always stays in the context of art.
What we may learn from art had very little chance to be used directly in the real life. The most I hope it can teach is to pay more attention to only that is real, important and unique – to people.

Thanks to Brian, Jan, Alexei, Philip, Mandy and Katrina for their advice, time and attention, and also to all the people who attended the exhibition and tried to save the dog.

Philip by email:
I really enjoyed the closing party, it was great talking to different people, including two artists who worked in the building and were able to tell me something about being an artist in Berlin. There is a great sense of completion (with the artists that made work during the show) when seeing the blank canvases in the opening and then the finished pieces at the closing.
I was so curious to see what you would decide to do with your painting in the end and I felt a little sad when you decided to destroy it. Letting everybody choose their own piece was a great idea, for me it meant the painting would not be fully destroyed and it still embraced the recycling theme although in a different way. I really like the idea of all these little paintings coming from the big painting and going off on their own journey. I remember how you tore it up, very systematically, with the white unpainted side of the paper always facing upwards. And how it seemed as if you were in your own little world or your own secret place, (only surfacing when people came over to ask for your signature,) until it was finished and in the box.

Mark by email:
...wise, witty and beautifully written meditation about art and eternity

Madeline by email:
personal, political, honest and moving.

Это выставка в Берлине. И отчет. Но картинка интереснее, чем писанина.