How do we reflect our existence through interventions with objects, materials and instances in order to pose questions about our own humanity? Extant looks at artists who are using their practice to understand not only our existence as a human race, but also how objects contain themselves through creating a sense of awareness and contradiction. Extant pushes beyond the threshold of what it is to know and embody, resulting in a contemplation of how we can contain what remains.
Spanning several mediums and forms, the artists of Extant bring matter out in the open by re-contextualizing the inherent nature and properties of the objects in play. The struggle between the overt and the covert is continuously taking place, procuring new methods of determining the validity of our existence.
Ida Koitila takes a very aggressive material, barbed wire - used for creating physical and emotional barriers - and transforms the materiality of the object with wax. Each form contains a new universe. There is something cosmic and referential to the celestial, yet the works also are inherently grounded, mimicking natural and organic forms. These works put into question the symbolic nature of two materials and how they interact with one another. How does the materiality embody the object through its meaning and its physical presence?
Michelangelo Contini’s paintings display structural situations engulfed in chaotic abstractedness. Through painting, the structure’s form and content manifest into the essence of the objects themselves. Body parts and everyday objects fuse together in an imagined upheaval. Within Contini’s works, organic and figurative elements deconstruct a sense of space and order, suggesting that what has once been discarded contains their own universe and memories. The identities of the past are not forgotten in a sense, but melded together in order to create a new history, one in which reflects back on what once was while also creating a new future.
Tina Mariane Krogh Madsen’s performance is part of a larger project, Body Interfaces: A Processual Scripting was a performative installation generated by Tina Mariane Krogh Madsen over the duration of one week: from April 15. to 22. 2016 at Grüntaler9 - a space towards the performative in Berlin (DE). The video shows documentation of an interfacing experiment that the artist undertook investigating the surfaces of the space through her concept of - and research in - Body Interfaces. The body moving over three stones from the Mt. Bjólfur (Seydisfjordur, Iceland) re-contextualized and performed in Grüntaler9 (Berlin, Germany), close the interaction between the body, the objects and the floor tiles, while creating a shared sound composition through surface characteristics in dialogue with movement. Within the documentation of the Body Interface a relationship with the physical body and the rocks create a sense of harmony and disharmony - a symbiosis of the body and object becoming reliant on one another. Shot from the perspective from the floor, the experiment considers the way in which a performance is archived, existing as the remainder of the synthesis between space, time, body, object and history.
Olga Tzikouli's sculptural work, Under My Skin, speaks on the nature of humanity and our collectiveness through unifying materials. Mimicking a living organism, like a cat tail or a reed, these wooden forms contain human hair from all different people collected from various different individuals. Each cluster of hair is weaved into natural milk latex, creating a skin of an entire population. The utilization of hair from different sources, With this piece the object contains an identity as a whole, representing the fabric of our entirety, through a part of the body, stripped of its original container and taken into a new context.
Nuno Vicente’s sculpture, Grunewald (Sound Piece for a Dead Tree), allows the object to take on its own personification through the absence of life. Assuming that the tree once had an identity that precedes its death places the value of human life on something that we consider a part of our universe but existing as non-human. Subtle sounds emanate from the inanimate object, forcing the listener to create an intimate bond in order to hear the faint whispers of an tree once filled with life. Utilizing sound to create a biography not only speaks to the anthropomorphism of the object, but also puts into question how memory functions as an archive in death, especially through technological means.
About the Artists:
Michelangelo ContinI born 1976 in Milano, Italy. In 1995 he moved to Bologna to study Music and arts (D.A.M.S.) and during the studies he started to paint. In 2002 he moved to Berlin where is actually living and working. Parallel to his work as a painter he starts different collaborations in music and performative projects. In 2004 he developed a short 7 minutes pieces for the first edition of Lucky trimmer together with the dancers Nancy Banfi e Olga Tzikouli. In November 2007 he founded together with the danish painter Trine Bork Kristensen the project space II II // I in Berlin Wedding, an open plan attic that offers a diverse platform for visual art practice. In 2007 he realized the piece “Gegen die Identität” in collaboration with Nancy Banfi, Olga Tzikouli and the musicians Marcello Busato e Margareth Kammerer. From 2008-2010 he played trumpet with the Spiegelklettern, an experimental jazz band with Marcello Busato, Pablo Juanes and Seby Ciurcina. In 2015 he formed the Salt Welcome, a music project in collaboration with Gearóid Ua Laohgaire and Pablo Juanes. He was Composer and performer in the Choregraphy by Lina Gómez Träumerei des Verschwindens (2015) and STAUB [Poeira Surda] (2016) presented at the Uferstudios Berlin.
Ida Koitila (b. 1983 in Borås, Sweden) lives and works in Berlin (GER). She graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki 2011, and have since then actively participated in group exhibitions in Finland, Sweden and Germany. Earlier this year, she presented her solo exhibition Crash of Air in the Finnland Institut in Berlin.
Koitila extracts symbols from narratives, turning them into material counterpoints,compulsive structures and processed surfaces. This chain of reversed alchemy results in metaphysical golems (a clay figure brought to life by magic; Hebrew, g.lem ‘shapeless mass.’), that become alive with the surreal weight of spectator's own intimacy - the dream-like memories deep inside the lizard brain, triggered by the color of that rope, the texture of that fabric, the fragility of those seashells, or the consistency of that candle wax.
Tina Mariane Krogh Madsen is a Danish, Berlin-based independent artist researcher and curator, who works in the intersection between performance art and media. She hold a Master of Arts in Art History from Aarhus University (DK) as well as having an education from the College of Arts Crafts and Design in Nørresundby (DK), where she began studying performance art in 1999. Madsen's research deals with theory as well as practice and how these can intertwine as inseparable entities. The main focus points of her work and research are: performative practices, post-humanism and genders studies, internet-based art and networked performance, site specificity, system aesthetics, open technology and sound. Madsen has presented her work internationally in various forms and contexts. Her Body Interfaces artistic research has been performed e. g. at the Fljótstunga Artist Residency in Iceland, the Electropixel Festival in Nantes (FR), Wolfart Project Space, Rotterdam (NL), at Grüntaler9 in Berlin (DE), the Crossover project in Kiel (DE), as well as presented at the Interface Politics International Conference in Barcelona organized by BAU, Gredits and Hangar.org. Madsen has additionally been a curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde (DK), a contributor to the anthology Cybermuseology published by Aarhus University Press as well as she lectures for Node Center for Curatorial Studies in Berlin (DE).
Olga Tzikouli was born in Kalamata,Greece, on the 8th of August,1973. She studied French Literature at the University of Athens and Dance in the National Dance School of Greece (K.Σ.Ο.Τ). In 1998, she graduated from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance (N.S.C.D) in Leeds, UK, with a BA degree in Dance and performing Arts. In 2000, she completed her Professional Development studies with an Award in the field of extended ballet and contemporary techniques and in Dance as Education. She worked as a dancer, performer, choreographer, teacher and artistic assistant in Germany, Greece, Portugal and UK.Alongside, she developed her painting and sculptural work, now becoming the focus of her artistic work. She lives and works in Berlin.
Nuno Vicente was born in Chartres, France, in 1981. He studied Painting and Plastic Arts at the Escola Superior de Artes e Design das Caldas da Rainha, Portugal. He was nominated for the 2007 edition of the prize millennium Anteciparte, and was selected for the 11th edition of the prizes Novos Artistas Fundação EDP in 2015. He participated in the 2014 Varna Visual Arts Biennial, in Bulgaria. Some of the group exhibitions he has participated in include: And Then Again, Pavilhão Preto, Museu da Cidade, Lisboa, 2010; Empirical Survey on a Heritage, Supermarket, Berlin, 2011; D´abort les Forêts, Opus 2, Centre d´Art La Maison Laurentine, Haute-Marne, France, 2011; Non, SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin, 2013; A4 O2O Show Series, Czong Institute for Contemporary Art, Gympo , 2016.