'ON A HORSE WITHOUT'
29 MAY-22JUNE 2008
open wednesday-saturday 12.00-18.00
Private View: Thursday 29 May 18.00-21.00
64-66 Redchurch Street london E2 7DP
Press Release date: 14 May 2008
Text by Melanie Moreau
Vegas Gallery is pleased to present On A Horse Without, a series of new drawings by the German artist Bettina Carl, and her first solo show in London. The question of identity and identification, how do we create and recall it, and furthermore of memory, have always been a source of inspiration and a challenge to Carl's artistic production. Her drawings are conceptually derived from literature, history, philosophy or art sources, as well as daily realities such as advertising or song lyrics; used as symbols or associations to highlight the inherent subjectivity of lived experiences, yet stressing some of their common values.
Her most recent works focus on one of her recurrent motifs, The Man With A Guitar, or more accurately the idea behind; seen as a starting point to question the notions of heroes and heroisms, rebellion, modernism and avant-garde, as well as nostalgia, desires and longing, who predominate within the creation of identity and its symbols. In this sense her works act as a playground of citations, borrow pits and allusions, where the use of basic and accessible materials, inspite of creating familiar and naà ¯ve images at first, keep the relationships and associations unclear and cryptic, stigmatizing the process of codification that defines identification and recognition.
Not to forget humour. There is a real irony in Carl's motifs, partly because of their false naivety, and partly because of the inherent naivety present within the quest for uniqueness. A real sense of tragico-comic is perceived within any heroes, who becoming a symbol for difference and opposition, soon become an icon recognizable and identified within few recurrent marks, such as a look or a citation, and then copy over and over again. To a certain degree, and since Warhol's prophecy and its hundreds of Marilyns, Bettina Carl does believe that any identity is borrowed, and linked to a moment and a place.
Which brings the following question: in a world ruled by images and citations, available and amplified with the new technologies, how can we still construct an identity, unique identifying characteristics, and what does unique mean if easily recognized?
Bettina Carl, born 1968 in Coburg, Germany, lives and works in Berlin and Zurich. She has shown widely within Europe. Recent exhibitions include the solo show WESEN/BEINGS at Villa am Aabach, Zurich, and the group shows The Acceptance World at Rachmaninoff's Gallery, London, Fortschritt at Space Invasion, Vienna, and The Square Root of Drawing at Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin.
For further information and images, please contact: Suzanne Schurgers
Tel: 07726750762or Email: Hello@vegasgallery.co.uk