Where the Rubber Meets the Road
24/06 – 27/08/2022
As a common thread, the exhibition features works by artists who use found materials and/or draw inspiration from the urban landscape.
Visual artist Bram Braam (NL, *1980, lives and works in Berlin) deals with architecture and the constant evolution of our daily surrounding. He draws inspiration from the raw environment of Berlin, utopian beliefs and Dutch landscape. By looking at the public space through the eye of a sculptor, the artist has established an intimate connection to the city and its architecture. The city of Berlin is known for its many contrasts in rich and poor, slick and raw. It is these contrasts that the artist plays with and brings together in his work, reflecting upon the interest in the manufacturability of a city.
Stephen Burke (*1991) is a visual artist from Dublin, Ireland with a background in painting (MA, GSA, 2018) and printmaking (B.A NCAD, 2016). He received a first class honour's degree from the GSA. Burke co-authored the book 'Buff', which investigates graffiti removal as an artistic process. 'Buff' contributed greatly to the academic discourse on this topic and was published with an accompanying exhibition at The Library Project in 2017. 'Buff' was later translated into a documentary in collaboration with Irish film maker, Sean Clarke, and was debuted at the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) in 2019 with the support of both Atelier Maser Gallery and Offset Festival. Later that year, Stephen completed a residency at Atelier Maser and displayed the resulting works at a solo show within the gallery. Most recently, he completed a six month residency in Berlin with Urban Nation. During this time he further developed the project 'Post-Vandalism', which is accessible on social media (@post_vandalism) and explores both the academics and aesthetics of graffiti related contemporary art and fosters support from a wide international community. Stephen’s time in Berlin culminated with an exhibition where he presented six new paintings. Burke is currently working towards the release of his new book titled ‘Post-vandalism’.
Artist statement Alireza Elahi (*1991, lives and works in Tehran): “My paintings are inspired by the act of buffing; the removal of graffiti from urban walls. The abstract forms that appear in the battle between the graffiti artist and the eliminator are forms in between the conscious and unconscious. My attempt is to achieve this, not in the form of mere representation and repetition, but by adopting this method as a personal expression in abstract painting.”
The works of Sergio Femar (*1990 in Galicia, Spain) keep a reminiscence of the refined use of material of Arte Povera and are influenced by the nature of the street art style, but Femar indicates a new way to approach it through the various cuts made with wood. Slices of this material are coloured and assembled to create unique and serene reflections. “My work stands between the calm of the studio and the frenetic pace of contemporary culture and its ephemeral nature. It leads the vandal act to a mature reflection, in other words, brings back the joys of creation without feeling restricted by academic pressure, by using risk as the connecting element between vertigo and serenity.”
Jason Gringler was born in Toronto, Canada in 1978 and spent a decade living and working in New York. He relocated to Berlin in September 2017. Reflective media gives numerous lives to the objects Gringler produces depending on one’s own narrative as well as one’s physical positioning in front of his work. The glass/mirror surfaces act simultaneously as a barrier, a window, a screen and almost as a cinematic space. When the spectator moves, the light changes thus the work changes. It is a simple tactic to allow for kinetic experience with static objects. Architecture has a profound effect on Gringler's work (steel, glass, concrete, etc.) and reflective material is a somewhat manipulative tool to allow for his work to align itself with the architectural space where it is situated, and thus allowing the viewer to consider the work as something that is in a state of continual change.
Jazoo Yang (*1979) is a South-Korean mixed media artist based in Berlin. She often distorts public spaces to profound ends. With a mixture of concept-focused art and an intriguing visual palette, she questions the relationship between ourselves and the spaces that we inhabit. Her more recent practice has focused on the transformation of housing in the city and the gentrification that is pushing local residents from their homes. The 'Immanence Series (Materials Series)' is an amalgamation of the diverse, the distant, and the disregarded. Formed of the lost fragments of urban life that she rescues before their inevitable disappearance – remnants of a building’s outer walls, scraps of wallpaper from an interior, the remains of antique tiles – these often silent, ignored objects are here transformed from the mundane, and framed to acknowledge the immensity of the intimate.