Of the latest trends in op/ed journalism today, the list is topped by anxiety culture, the Generation Y/Millenials, and the morality of using unpaid interns (Hi! That's me!). KLEMM'S latest exhibition - which opened last Friday - seemed to toy with similar ideas of self-importance, self-awareness, and self-worth, dancing around the today's hot-topics. Or, at least, the first two - I am still waiting for a masterpiece/manifesto on unpaid internships.
"just came to say HELLO" brings together a group of seven international artists, ranging in media from paintings to steel sculptures to an oversized T-shirt to a lawn chair mounted on the wall and covered with a square of gold lamé.
Each artist plays the role of cave man, god, and Marc Jacobs, by crafting their own renditions of cave paintings, relics and reliquaries, and haute couture. While organized around questions of egomania and self-exploitation, the show is easily read as a document of the 21st century in self-awareness. A photograph by Friedrich Kunath shows a man in bed reading a book titled "HOW TO GET UP AND GET DRESSED" - a manual literally tailor-made for the international Prozac epidemic.
Elsewhere in the gallery, Markus Karstieß's steel bones writhe on the floor, self-consciously announcing their status as a man-made recreation of nature's own. Likewise, Katja Novitskova welds silicon wafers to the top of clay that is molded to fit a hand's grip and covered with slick silver nail polish - the end product exists somewhere between primitive clubs and space-age phasers. The pieces in "just came to say HELLO" - and the titled itself - are self-aware of their assured self-importance in the way every parent wishes their teenage daughter was. With a smirk and a wink, the show is a careful balance of self-obsessive declarations (they didn't really come to just say, "Hello") and the cynicism of a thousand under-employed/over-qualified interns.
"just came to say HELLO" - KLEMM'S / Prinzessinnenstr. 29 Berlin 10969 / U8 Moritzplatz / 18 Jan to 01 Mar / Tue-Sat 11-18h