Exhibition

MARKUS ZIMMERMANN Rot und Schwarz

22 Jan 2010 – 27 Feb 2010

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For his first solo exhibition in Berlin Markus Zimmermann (*1978) transforms the Gallery Birgit Ostermeier into a miraculous chamber.

Whereas the curio collections of the XVI. century were filled with luxuriously and exotic objects as rhinoceros horns, red coralls and magic crystals, the works of Markus Zimmermann are formed out of nothing ? and this nothing is simultaneous everything. ?Nothing? because the used materials are reduced and simple and attracted the artists eye in the street or at remote places: We are talking about pasteboard, polystyrenes, packagings ? materials that have lost their purpose. Objects that became redundant, that no one is interested in. ?Everything? because the developing objects evoke a world of memories, intimacy, of desires and sacrifice.

It reminds of Kurt Schwitters, who searched admidst ruins of war for traces of a destroyed, under debris buried past, to give new meaning to those trouvailles and accumulate them in collages. Another congeniality is present in works of Claes Oldenburg, who made use of reproductions of everyday objects from papier-mà ¢ché in ?The Store? to comment America?s consumer society in a satirical way. Nevertheless the staring point of Markus Zimmermann, who comes from Hannover like Kurt Schwitters, is another one. He makes use of the miraculous chamber in a new way.

The art of recontextualizing and recycling of doomed (waste-) objects started a century ago with the Cubists and Dadaists. Frequently these materials were converted into abstract or surrealist sculptures or pictures (at this point to be mentioned is ?Le Déjeuner en fourrure (Breakfast in Fur)? by Meret Oppenheim from 1936) or used in their existing form, as a ready-made, rearranged, stacked, sorted or reorganized with own laws in a well-arranged chaos. In this art form the materials become something different caused by the act of creation, offer a new composition based on their accumulation, but remain identifiable.

By contrast in works of Markus Zimmermann appears an authentic metamorphosis in a way that source materials cannot be associated with their original aim, their character cannot be recognized any longer; for example the small sculptures from polystyrene, which appear as crystalline stones or small, primitive organism. They are perceived as something new and different. An optic and physic operation occurs, without remaining scars and threads. Just the outside appearance of the zograscopes allows the assumption of their former utilization, of a surgical, plastic operation.

The used materials can be recognized as physical separate parts, the surface is comparable with an operating table, the artists with a surgeon-alchemist. The exhibition space becomes his laboratory, a location of experiments, where objects develop out of nothing and accompany the viewer to an unexpected, maybe forgotten or dreamed and intimate place.

Meanwhile the zograscopes open a new space-time-window. By taking one of them and looking through the opening, the inside takes us physically and we are dragged in a new place. The place of view becomes the position, there is no distance between the viewed place and our physical location ? suddenly we are somewhere else. There is no need to pass a door, no stairs to climb. We are alone right in the middle of a small locked world.

In this different world pictures occur in front of the eye of the viewer on their own. Memories return, because these quiet and unmoved rooms give the possibility for projections, which allow us to perceive, live room. Reality dissolves in the imaginary. One view and a story begins, everytime a new one, because every zograscope introduces a new place to the viewer: small, empty, oppressive, suffocating, where just the light defines the atmosphere. Whereas others establish the idea of an enormous room, nearly endless, vertiginous with their walls of mirrows; rooms, which are adapted to surrealist desert landscapes; roomes, which scares us, nightmarish; An empty, minimalistic theatre stage, in exciting expectation of their performers; festive rooms, trapping rooms, sensual and erotic rooms, organic rooms, whose unanimacy appears animated.

In this way the zograscopes unfold a poetry of room, which rekindles hidden pictures in the viewer, from childhood, history, dreams, emotions, fears or happiness.

With his minimalistic miraculous chamber full of sculptures, zograscopes and collages the exhibition establishes a multifarious world: Sometime the distinction between dream and reality, past and future, space and time, language and image dissolves. Varied, with humour and eclecticly the objects of the installation offer different point of views, visual angle and sentiments. But different from the classic miraculous chamber the collector is the creator, who fabricates an own universe out of nothing.

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