The exhibition Between Nothingness and Eternity borrows its title from the eponymous live recording of the Mahavishnu Orchestra at New York's Central Park in August 1973. Founded in 1970 by the English guitarist John McLaughlin, this eccentric fusion band famously celebrated the encounter of eastern and western musical traditions with an eclectic mixture of rock, jazz and classical Indian tunes. However, by the time their live record was released the band had split up, bringing down the curtain on a musical development which had reached its formal climax. The Mahavishnu Orchestra had followers in the whole of Europe, its esoterically-tinged style of music striking a chord with an entire generation of listeners who were searching for the deeper meaning of life behind material success (West) or atheist ideology (East).
Materiality and art are inextricably intertwined by way of the production of artworks. These artworks are created and put into circulation; their spiritual dimension lies beyond their sheer materiality - in the form, that is. Provided this form points to something beyond the work's explicit content, it represents a certain mystery that transcends both religion and ideology. Oscillating between the medium and its aura, the works in this exhibition operate in this realm of immateriality.
Berlin is the place where East and West meet. The city's dislocations, its traces, new spaces and dynamics form a historically and culturally unique vortex in Europe. In conceiving their work, the artists showing at Regina Gallery have drawn on this particular atmosphere. The artistic carriers of the city's development, they represent some of the most exciting positions to emerge from its rapidly changing scene.
Living and working in Berlin, they travel the world to exhibit their work. Accordingly, their practice is concerned with notions of time, imaginary places, territories, landscapes and spaces. While certain works in this exhibition investigate the multiple dimensions between macro- and microcosm, others are more closely related to soundscapes. Avoiding illustration or linear narrative, they enshrine numerous layers of meaning that extend beyond their stringent form. In this sense they are time- and placeless, speaking an international idiom that knowingly incorporates its origins and transcends issues of nationality to adopt a more encompassing vision. The questions they ask are formally answered by the works themselves: Where do we come from, where do we go? What are our coordinates in time and space?
Ralf Ziervogel is a hugely talented, apocalyptical draftsman who first attracted international attention with his Dantesque figure cycles. The drawings included in this exhibition are composed of near-invisible dots coalescing into clusters that suggest cosmological patterns. In Daniel Lergon's site-specific wall drawing, the simplest of materials such as earth and metal combine to evoke the breath of time. In Gregor Hildebrandt's work, sound is encapsulated as the auratic, romantic trace of obsolete recording devices such as cassettes and reel-to-reel recorders, whose magnetic tape is transformed into images of long-gone sounds, melodies forever captured. Alicja Kwade recreates the universe from two plain office lamps staring at each other through a mirror between them. The reciprocal reflection, and subsequent annulment, of the two light beams results in a striking image of endlessness. Jorinde Voigt's charts seek to map places of unknown origins and dimensions by means of graphic notations, abstract measurements of unstable worlds. Olaf Holzapfel constructs networks that aggregate into three-dimensional installations, transcriptions of spatial dimensions whose folded surfaces are gridded with the imprint of latticework. The Berlin-based composer Bert Wrede, who mostly works for renowned theatres, invests the gallery space with a musical score, an amorphous composition that takes its cue from the starting point of the exhibition: Between Nothingness and Eternity.
The lost sound of the 1970s, with its longing for the transcendental world of Asian cultures, is thus succeeded by a new pictorial dimension. This exhibition, then, asks recurring questions about our civilisation and its conditions, which the Mahavishnu Orchestra, in its time, was trying to answer by way of music - an abstract yet universally accessible medium.
For further information and press enquiries please contact:
Regina London: +44 207 636 7768, firstname.lastname@example.org
Regina Moscow: +7 495 228 1330, email@example.com