In order to address existential, often tragic themes, Agnes Scherer (b. 1985, Lohr am Main, Germany) develops her own artistic formats, intertwining a wide range of media into solutions of neo-baroque complexity. In 2017–2018, she debuted her first operetta, Cupid and the Animals. Her second elaborate work within this genre, The Teacher, was first presented in spring 2019 by Kinderhook & Caracas in Berlin.
For the Berlin Art Prize 2019, Scherer presents the installation The Very Hungry which reinterprets the execution of the French queen at the end of the eighteenth century. The event is depicted ambiguously as both the beheading of the queen and a transformational scenario. The peculiar oscillation between the two readings reflects upon the problems of utopianism in the past and present. In the installation, Scherer guides the visitor through a sensitively handmade environment of painted panels, curious assemblages, and architectural interventions. In order to embed the narrative into the space, Scherer builds upon the color palette and ornamentation of the Jugendstil tiles that are a permanent part of the interior at Horse & Pony. As the visitor moves through the space, they become aware of their body in relationship to the queen’s fate and her mental processes. The artist views such techniques of inscribing narration into space as adjacent to the theatrical strategies that she uses in her performances. Using such strategies, she seeks to lend her works agency and evolve a practice of showing as opposed to exhibiting.