Picture: Pia Linz, Zingster Straße 25, 2020
25 August to 10 November 2021
Matthias Beckmann, Patrick Borchers, Bea Davies, Jorn Ebner, Juliane Laitzsch, Pia Linz, Christoph Peters
Drawing as documentation
The exhibition “aufzeichnen”, co-curated by Matthias Beckmann, provides an insight into “drawing documentation”.
Using seven artistic positions as examples, the exhibition shows drawing as a contemporary artistic medium of documentation. Approaches, formats and techniques are as diverse as the perspectives of the draughtsmen and women. Some of them will reject the term documentation because it only refers to a part of their work.
Places are meticulously described in extensive series of drawings. The comic lets pictures and texts tell stories. The trace of the pen can trace movements and actions. Black dots in their condensation bring out the beauty of Japanese tea bowls. Drawing is texture and deals with texture. Territories are explored, measured and recorded. With suitable networks of lines, treasures can be lifted from the floods of media images. And it is always true that drawing, like seeing, is an act of interpretation. There is no such thing as unintentional seeing, pure documentation.
“Matthias Beckmann draws on location. He needs no other model than the situation he is aiming at. He grasps it in his seeing, indeed, it seems as if he exposes the obvious lineature as if in a kind of skeletal solarisation. The X-ray vision necessary for this seems innate. Effortlessly, he penetrates the confusing distractions of the coloured light-darkness, leaving behind a net-like concentrate that forgets nothing important. Details are discernible, front and back, near and far create the space, objects, shadow gaps or the grain of the wood are translated accordingly in the outlines that present themselves. A structural plausibility holds sway, always a little on the edge of ornamental realism. Despite the seemingly automatic transfer work, there is the ability to ignore, to overlook, which again and again provides the leaves with beautiful open spaces, or natural weightings. Only the most necessary things are captured. In any case, these drawings seem to be suspended in white.” (Reinhard Ermen, Matthias Beckmann, Kunstforum International, vol. 231, 2015, title: Zeichnen zur Zeit VII, p. 166)
Matthias Beckmann was born in Arnsberg in 1965 and lives as a draughtsman in Berlin. He studied at the art academies in Düsseldorf and Stuttgart. His strictly linear works are created without photographic aids or preparatory sketches directly in front of the motif. He has also been working on animated films for several years. His artistic work has been supported, among other things, by a working scholarship from the Kunstfonds Bonn, a foreign scholarship from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for Paris, a scholarship from the Künstlerhäuser Worpswede, the Casa Baldi scholarship in Olevano Romano and a working stay in the studio of the state of Upper Austria in the Salzamt Linz. Matthias Beckmann’s works can be found in many graphic collections, e.g. in Berlin, Bonn, Bremen, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Oberhausen or Wuppertal.
“Borchers’ drawings are images of fragmented experience of reality that can no longer be conveyed in a simple, central-perspective narrative. We stand in front of the picture as if in a Japanese Zen garden and are unable to grasp the totality of the composition, the exact number of stones on the gravel bed, wherever we stand, the overall picture is not complete.” (From: “Baby elephants and dead terrorists – on Patrick Borchers’ image-analytical hieroglyphics of the present.”, Jan-Philipp Fruehsorge, p.3, 2017)
Patrick Borchers was born in 1975, is a draughtsman and video artist. He lives and works in Hagen and Dortmund. After studying art and special education at the University of Dortmund, he attended the class of Timm Ulrichs at the Kunstakademie Münster. His works have been shown in numerous exhibitions in Germany and abroad, for example in Kyoto and Osaka in 2008, at OK Offenes Kulturhaus OÖ in Linz in 2011, in two exhibitions at Museum Folkwang Essen in 2014, at Dortmunder U – Zentrum für Kunst und Kreativität in 2016 and at Osthaus Museum Hagen in 2019. In addition to his own artistic work, he is an artistic assistant in the graphics department at TU Dortmund University.
“Drawing on location is my way of diving deep into the ‘here’ and ‘now’, an escape route from our subjective bubble, an access to the reality that surrounds us.
Drawing sequences of images, movements, colours and sounds that have just happened in front of my eyes has an unadorned immediacy that is hard to find in other media.
For my reportage, I combine drawing on location with the sequential storytelling typical of comics, with the aim of bringing readers as close as possible to the situations and events depicted and offering them a personal approach.”
Beatrice Davies, born in Italy in 1990, has lived in Berlin since 2012 and works as a freelance illustrator and comic artist, among others for the homeless newspaper Strassen|feger. Supported by a scholarship, she began her artistic training at the School of Visual Arts in New York in 2010. After stays in Colombia and Italy, she moved to Berlin with her husband and child. In 2015, she began studying visual communication at the weissensee kunsthochschule berlin. In 2016, she receives the Comic Invasion Berlin sponsorship award and the Mart Stam scholarship. In 2018 she is accepted by the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes. Her first graphic novel “Der König der Vagabunden” (The King of the Vagabonds), with which she is among the finalists for the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung Comic Award in 2019, is published by avant-verlag in the same year. In 2020, Jaja-Verlag will publish an anthology of her autobiographical comics under the title “A Child’s Journey”.
“The mental space of drawing consists of layers of matter and time. Transformations (of memory). Drawing in my work is analogue and digital, on paper or as sound. The triptych “08.12.1980” was created in 2014 after I had acoustically traced the places where the Beatles had demonstrably stayed at the beginning of their career in Hamburg in my online sound project “(The Beatles) in Hamburg” (2011/2012) [http://wwwthedeatlesinhamburg.com/]. John Lennon’s death has such a permanently strong reverberation in my life that I wanted to transpose Yoko, John and the Dakota Building, in front of which Lennon was shot, as drawings”.
Jorn Ebner was born in 1966 in Bremerhaven, lives in Berlin. Studies: Masters in English Literature, History and Art History, University of Hamburg (1990-95), BA (Hons) Liberal Arts, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London (1995-98), Corso Superiore di arti visivi – Allan Kaprow, Fondazione Antonio Ratti, Como (1997), AHRC Research Fellowship, University of Newcastle upon Tyne School of Art (2002-05). Recent projects: Kunst + Kommunikation 2020 project grant, Kunsthaus Kloster Gravenhorst; AiR Niederösterreich 2019, Krems [AT], International solo exhibitions and participations: including Kunstverein Bochum; Laura Mars, Berlin; Museo de arte contemporaneo de Bogota [CO]; Vane, Newcastle upon Tyne [UK]. Publications by the publishing house The Green Box, Berlin.
Seen up close
Juliane Laitzsch’s artistic work is motivated by the curiosity to understand things in their becoming and passing. How do things change over time and how do the corresponding images develop in our minds?
Starting from an examination of historical textiles, currently textile fragments from Egypt in late antiquity, she asks about time; about the time that inscribes itself in the material of the textiles and about the time that becomes legible in the medial mediation of the objects, in texts and photographs. The drawings follow her observations, they reproduce documents relating to the objects and they document their own process of creation. Drawing serves Juliane Laitzsch as a medium of approach and slowing down. In doing so, her drawing technique varies from the most precise representation possible to scribbling on a telephone. Her attention is focused on the process of drawing, its momentum, its rhythms, resonances and feedbacks.
Juliane Laitzsch was born in 1964 in Nuremberg, she studied sculpture in Bremen and at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. She has received working scholarships from the Berlin Senate, the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the Graduate School of the UdK Berlin and the VW Foundation, among others. In 2019, her works were shown in the exhibition “Original Bauhaus” at the Berlinische Galerie and in 2020 in the exhibition “Seen Up Close” at the Kulturhistorisches Museum Magdeburg. Currently Juliane Laitzsch is realising an artistic dissertation at the Kunstuni Linz, supervised by Thomas Macho, and is a member of the PhD programme “Epistemologies of Aesthetic Practices” in Zurich.
I usually begin the “site-specific drawing projects” by surveying the site with footsteps. Using the survey numbers, I weave an area plan with freehand pencil lines drawn from a coordinate system I have laid out on the lower and right edges of the paper surface. I now work directly on the spot with a tracing board. Drawing and writing, I situate my observations made over long periods of time from countless pedestrian perspectives in the plan and thus compare them in an overall view.
“In front of us are drawn miniature worlds, parallel realities, begotten by Pia Linz. Here, objective writing is paired with tacit knowledge, the implicit knowledge that is in the hand and is activated in the drawing process. This ambivalence is what is fascinating about the “place-based drawing projects”. They stand on the edge of ontological doubt and shake the foundations of the buildings. For these drawings not only open up a trivial spatial illusion, but also touch the border where the real and the imaginary meet. The laws of surface are outwitted, surface and depth are interchanged. In this drawing, fiction and fantasy meet with scientific research and mathematical precision. The boundaries of being and appearance, of inside and outside, of proximity and distance become blurred. Pia Linz’s drawing is the in-between, she captures it.” Mechthild Haas, (“Pia Linz”, exhibition catalogue: “JE MEHR ICH ZEICHNE. ZEICHNUNG ALS WELTENTWURF”, Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, 2010)
Pia Linz was born in Kronberg i.T. in 1964 and studied painting and graphics at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. Her work is represented internationally in exhibitions and public collections. Various scholarships have taken her to Rome (Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, 1989/90), London (Hessische Kulturstiftung, 2005/06) and New York (Berliner Senatskanzlei-Kulturelle Angelegenheiten, 2010/2011), among others. In 2015, she was awarded the HAP Grieshaber Prize by VG Bild-Kunst for her work. Since 2016, she has been a professor of drawing at the Berlin-Weißensee School of Art.
Tea bowls, nothing else.
In November 2019, I visited an exhibition at the Urasenke Tea School Museum in Kyoto, which featured famous vessels for the tea ceremony as well as 17th and 18th century manuscripts with simple drawings of the objects on display.
Since I have been working intensively with Japanese tea ceramics for more than twenty years and had been looking for a new approach to my own drawing work for quite some time, I combined the two during the exhibition and came up with the idea of approaching some of the tea bowls I had collected over time in drawing. After months of experimenting, I decided on the technique of dot hatching, because on the one hand it allows great precision, and on the other hand it dispenses with anything superficially individual.
To draw, I place the respective bowl on a pedestal at eye level and illuminate it as evenly as possible. Drawing is both a scanning of the contours and surfaces with eye and pencil and an approach to the invisible behind it.
Christoph Peters was born in Kalkar on the Lower Rhine in 1966. From 1988 to 1994 he studied painting at the Karlsruhe Art Academy with H.E. Kalinowski and G. Neusel, finally as a master student of Meuser. He then worked for five years as an air passenger control officer at Frankfurt Airport. Since 2000 he has been living in Berlin as a writer and illustrator.
Most recently, he published the novels “Das Jahr der Katze” (2018) and “Dorfroman” (2020), the story collection “Selfie mit Sheikh” (2017), as well as the essay “Diese wunderbare Bitterkeit – Leben mit Tee” (2016). His work has received numerous awards, including the Aspekte Literature Prize in 1999, the Friedrich Hoelderlin Prize in 2016 and the Wolfgang Koeppen Literature Prize in 2018.
Parts of his collection of Japanese ceramics were on display in the exhibition “Among Friends” at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, in 2019/20.
In 2020, the Otto Ubbelohde House, Goßfelden, showed tea bowls and drawings. The exhibition was accompanied by the catalogue “Teeschalen, sonst nichts”.
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