Selket Chlupka - The Marble Trail

3 Mar 2012 – 20 Apr 2012

Event times

Tues - Fri: 14.00 - 19.00 / Sat 12.00 - 18.00

Berlin, Germany


Travel Information

  • U1 Uhlandstrasse, U9 Spichernstraße

Save Event: Selket Chlupka - The Marble Trail

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PREVIEW: Saturday 3 March 2012, 7 - 9 pm.


"He who has a proper sense of coincidence can use everything coincidental for determining an unknown coincidence ' he can seek fate with equal chance of success in the constellations of the stars, in grains of sand, the flight of birds, or figures."
- Novalis: Neue Fragmente. Noten an den Rand des Lebens

"Coincidence is itself only the collision of creative impulses." - Friedrich Nietzsche: Posthumous Writings

A ramified landscape framed in a dark night: there are red algae, encrusted, growing, viscous or already petrified streams of lava, subterranean waterways leading to sewer-like runnels in the shape of a funnel or chimney, mangroves whose stele roots take hold in glittering mud, surrounded by fog. Or a face that suddenly appears in a flash of light, hidden by delicate branches, maybe a fairytale forest, maybe a dark impression ' among them certainly also The Marble Trail that leads downwards, once as a passable lane, here as a muddy path, there only as a vague trance into the background ' a thousandfold. Because Selket Chlupka does not take us by the hand to show us the one way, the one interpretation, maybe the shimmering moon on the surface of the water, wafting layers of fog, weakly illuminated by the fading sun. No, Selket Chlupka does not intend to give us archetypical ur-images that are engraved in us through myths/fairytales/images, and seek equivalence on the canvas. It is her particular way of working from which everything grows as possibility, whether intended or not, and invites us to associate wildly and to lose ourselves.

But how? To take away the enchantment that spreads there, to avoid establishing the works as fairytale-like foggy or magic forest landscapes, a look into the studio will be helpful, which Selket Chupka almost also quietly negotiates in the exhibition space. There we see darkly primed paintings on which cutouts are placed, and which are then painted over with gloss paint. What happens underneath the cutout stencils remains uncertain. The artist has layers of gloss paint run into each other, resulting in ornamental streaks reminiscent of marble, whose final appearance can only be controlled up to a certain point. The cutout almost paints itself onto the canvas, meets it, and traces of the images can in turn be found on the cutouts. Cutout and canvas: both are simultaneously work of art and tool, they are both a means to an end and meaning and end, as if precisely the process of creation were of equal value as the final visual product, and could hardly be distinguished by the beholder. But not only that: both are creative impulses ' quite in Nietzsche's sense ' which in their collision bring forth nothing calculable, but rather something coincidental. A coincidence that is intentional and staged. Thus we see lines of gloss paint dribbled across the painting, lines that almost cover it symmetrically. Here, too, we suspect a controlling hand behind that, precisely that person dreamed of by Novalis, who has the proper sense of coincidence, that adds gloss paint until it stops: a give and take of coincidence and control. So The Marble Trail is also the path of its creation, and we can follow its traces. But it is an individual path, dependent on the beholder who walks on it as if he bore all paths within him.

Kevin Kuhn

Translation: Wilhelm Werthern


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