Berlin, 27 April 2021 - To mark the 100th anniversary of his birth, the ifa Gallery Berlin is presenting drawings by Joseph Beuys from the ifa collection in dialogue with artistic positions of Andrea Acosta, Anne Duk Hee Jordan and Sara Ouhaddou. Both Beuys and the featured artists address overlooked, disregarded, handed-down forms of – often collective – knowledge. Are prophecies akin to interpretations, memories, sketches or schematic images? What do they tell us? Do they unlock new realms in which we can think and act? Such questions form the starting point of the exhibition Notes of a Seeress, which takes its name from a 1958 drawing by Joseph Beuys. Based on the relationship to found materials, they use humorous, poetic and social gestures to examine economic and ecological issues, initiating processes that have the potential to effect lasting societal change. The exhibition unifies four artistic perspectives into a singular spatial and mental cosmos that comments on the social and aesthetic shifts in contemporary society and the potential dialogues they give rise to.
Andrea Acosta creates hybrid works using found objects. Starting from a small detail or a tactile experience, she composes fragile installations that incorporate drawings, photographs and sculptures. Like a fieldworker she collects leaves, twigs, roots and other natural fragments in the urban space that she later reassembles into new constellations. In her installation Assisted Forest, she uses ‘prostheses’ in order to grant broken twigs a second life. Can the sum of the parts make up a whole again? Acosta’s artistic practice spins a web of technical and organic elements that explores the possibilities of coexistence, togetherness and tension in the urban realm.
Joseph Beuys' graphic work reflects the immediacy of the connection between mind and body in space. In it, he found an experimental domain for the interconnectedness of the material and the immaterial and developed his sculptural way of thinking as well as his open concept of work. He created drawings full of dynamism, repetition, of empathetic vision – the core of his artistic and political activity: "I can only say that if I had not done all these drawings, I could not have done my political work." (quoted from Götz Adriani, 1989/2002). Beuys left an indispensable imprint as an artist, storyteller, teacher and activist. He was an instigator, an animator, an agitator, a provocateur, a modifier – he was unwavering.
Additional information about the centenary: www.beuys2021.de
Anne Duk Hee Jordan investigates the complex dialogue between things – whether conscious, animate, processed or malformed. Mischievously creating ecosystems like a trickster, she immersively negotiates motives of transformation and transience. Her drawings free time and space from their static components and present vividly coloured counterpositions that offer new perspectives on the myth of the explorer or depict the ecological state of the earth and its oceans – like the exotic, queer sea-dwellers that change and mutate in the face of global climate change. Her mechanical works transform objects such as stones and fossils into performative machines, kinetic sculptures that rhythmically reverberate the physical qualities of their materials.
Sara Ouhaddou transposes overlooked cultural realities and knowledge repositories into new patterns, alphabets and narratives. In her series Woven/Unwoven series, she used discarded rubber mats as a foundation upon which she creates new designs. Embroidery that once adorned noble robes is transformed through a collective creative process by young women, thus feeding it into a new cycle. 'Al Kalima' means 'words' in Arabic: The series of drawings form studies for the glassmaking trade in Marrakech, a craft threatened by extinction; at the same time they bring to mind calligraphy, whose abstraction opens up new languages and their respective universes.
Since mid-February, ifa Gallery Berlin has been under the direction of Inka Gressel and Susanne Weiß. Together they are standing in for Alya Sebti, who is currently on parental leave. The two collaborated on the touring exhibition The Event of a Thread – Global Narratives in Textiles, which began in 2015. Inka Gressel and Susanne Weiß’s first joint project is an exhibition of drawings by Joseph Beuys from the ifa collection in a dialogue with the three contemporary artistic positions. This recontextualisation of the ifa art collection follows on from the exhibition Time Goes By, with Rebecca Horn and Antonia Paucar, curated by Inka Gressel. Their curatorial practice focuses on interdisciplinary processes and providing a platform for a diversity of voices.
Due to the new measures against the COVID-19 pandemic, the gallery will remain closed for the time being. We will post news about the exhibition on our art program's platform untietotie.org as well as their channels on Instagram and Facebook and hope to welcome you again soon.
Address and Opening Hours
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 14.00 – 18.00
Closed on Mondays and bank holidays
Information on the exhibition:
Ev Fischer, +49 (0)30 284491 57, ifa-galerie-berlin(at)ifa.de
Guido Jansen-Recken, +49 (0)30 284491 19, firstname.lastname@example.org
ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) is Germany’s oldest intermediary organisation for international cultural relations, having celebrated its centenary in 2017. It promotes a peaceful and enriching coexistence between people and cultures worldwide. ifa supports artistic and cultural exchange in exhibition, dialogue and conference programmes, and it acts as a centre of excellence for international cultural relations. It is part of a global network and relies on sustainable, long-term partnerships.
It is supported by the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, the state of Baden-Württemberg and its capital Stuttgart. www.ifa.de/en