Mark Wallinger / Iman Issa. Heritage Studies

30 Apr 2016 – 28 May 2016

carlier | gebauer

Berlin, Germany


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  • U6 Kochstrasse

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carlier | gebauer is pleased to invite you to the opening of two exhibitions by artists Mark Wallinger and Iman Issa.


Mark Wallinger | Mark Wallinger

For his seventh solo exhibition with carlier | gebauer, the Turner Prize winning artist Mark Wallinger will present his new series id Paintings. According to Freud, the id, driven by the pleasure principle, is the source of all psychic energy. Wallinger’s id Paintings (2015) are intuitive and guided by instinct, echoing the primal, impulsive and libidinal characteristics of the id.
These monumental paintings have grown out of Wallinger’s longstanding selfportrait series, and reference the artist’s own body. Wallinger’s height – or arm span – is the basis of the canvas size, they are exactly this measurement in width and double in height. Created by sweeping paint-laden hands across the canvas in active, freeform gestures, the id Paintings bear the evidence of their making and of the artist’s performed encounter with the surface. The perceptible handprints within the paint recall cave paintings and signpost a single active participant. The paintings are apprehended at the point of arrest, encouraging forensic examination. Wallinger uses symmetrical bodily gestures, causing the two halves of the canvas to mirror one another. Through this process, reference could be made to the bilateral symmetry of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Vitruvian Man’ (ca. 1487), an ideal representation of the human body and its denotations of proportion in mirror writing. The paintings bear a deliberate visual resemblance to the Rorschach test: in recognizing figures and shapes in the material, the viewer reveals their own desires and predilections, or perhaps tries to interpret those of the artist.
In Ego (2016) two iphone photos depict the hands of their creator: the artist Mark Wallinger. The work, doubly hubristic, is a recreation of Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam.
For Shadow Walker (2011) Wallinger captures his shadow walking along Shaftesbury Avenue, in London’s Soho. The shadow moves fluidly over passing strangers and slides up and down the kerbstones. It navigates the chewed gum, spilt alcohol and worse. Before long it assumes an autonomous existence as ‘real’ as the artist’s actual body. His creation becomes a modern-day version of Peter Pan’s lost shadow.


Iman Issa | Heritage Studies

For her first exhibition with carlier | gebauer, Iman Issa will present recent works from her ongoing series Heritage Studies. Begun in 2015, the series derives its name from a field of academic and applied inquiry that relates to the understanding and use of history. Rather than proposing a stable reading of history, heritage studies instead examine dynamic sets of relationships—between cultures, sites, and artifacts—to articulate their relevance today.
A historic artifact that Issa feels has a particular resonance and communicative ability in the present provides the basis for each work in the series. The accompanying caption describes the material, dates, and dimensions of the original artifact, as well as the museum collection that holds it. The dual structure of the work—which proposes an interplay between object and text—resists categorical stability in favor of an open interpretive framework. Thus Issa’s Heritage Studies are neither formal abstractions, nor “pared-down citations of reality,“ but attempts to communicate the act of perceiving the original objects and the relevance that they might hold for the present. “What do these new elements share with their sources if it is not the material, color, appearance, or shape?,“ Issa asks, “...they share a speech act. They are addressing or saying something similar to each other, and it is perhaps through doing that that they become the ‚same.“

Exhibiting artists

Mark Wallinger

Mark Wallinger

Iman Issa


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