Space Realease #1

Text and pictures by Maria Santos

Stedefreund is celebrating their 5th anniversary and re-opening in a new Mitte location with Space Release, a series of exhibitions that the group has scheduled until February next year.

For Space Release #1, twelve Stedefreund artists deal with spatiality and the possible meanings of this brand new room that they are bound to redefine with their very own approaches.
The study of physical space in psychology dates back to the XIX century. Many theories and schools of thought e.g. Gestalt has been established since then. When it comes to answering questions like the one raised here (What is my location and my relationship to my surroundings?), we might find ourselves conditioned by such basic ideas like an innate sense of self preservation, or just our own perception of the personal space. Space Release #1 displays a collective discourse in which each artist comes up with a response based on their own spatial experience.
What is really interesting here are the questions that we can raise ourselves e.g. "Is it possible to understand the space beyond a mere category, a topic, but as a material in itself?", as for space, same as time, is part of an unavoidable systematic framework for organizing our experiences*.
In this exhibition we will be dealing with the idea of perception right from the very beginning. Just after opening the door, Stefka Ammon's delicate patterns welcome us with a diffuse outlook of an exhibition for what this work becomes its anteroom. Ammon's white geommetries, besides being easily associated with Islamic constructions at a first sight, gets really well along with Julia Prezewowsky's Podesta, a work that also arouses a certain sense of architecture while reflecting on the museum space.
Julia Prezewowsky, Podesta; Anne Gathmann, Den Punkt drehen

Part of the mentioned perceptual deal here has a lot to do with interaction. Marcel Prüfert invites us to literally get to another level by climbing up his untitled ladder. By looking around from this stage, we might glimpse a sort of metaphorical view of the group within the space.
And if there is a distinction between levels in this show, it is remarkable how some works face up to the ceiling while others make us crouch. Astrid Bush invites us to get down in our knees to take a look of her work. Re-ruined is a video of the model recreated according to the way that she conceived the new exhibition space by visualizing pictures of it.

This continuum has clearly got a rhythm. Eyes roll from Marlena Kudlicka's work, dealing with issues such as balance and fragility and full with encoded architectonic codes, to Kerstin Gottschalk and Katja Pudor's combo. Gottschalk's subtle wrinkles on paper tell us about the process, and so does Kudlicka's site-specific installation, since this work has got the unique quality of reaction with the tape continuously transforming its shape.

Kerstin Gottschalk, Faltung 2; Katja Pudor, Peekaboo; Nicole Degenhardt, Man makes himself

As for the main preoccupation and field of research of Stedefreund artists is the space, often within the space itself, a sort of metalanguage is often used in their works. By recreating whimsical spatial illusions, Alexandra Schumacher presents a print of an architectonic arrangement that reminds us of some Escherian trick of perspective. While Anne Gathman's sculpture suggest a rather abstract cult to the sun, or maybe an ancient solar clock, her minimal sculpture on plaster represents the filtered sunlight invading the shadows of Stedefreund's space.

Anne Gathmann, Den punkt drehen; Alexandra Schumacher, If I could I would; Marlena Kudlicka, confidential confession; Rebecca MIchaelis, o.T. and Beampainting green

There is also some sort of chromatic rhythm, some colourful counterpoint might disrupt the continuity of other works. Rebecca Michaelis seem to establish a dialogue with the pink basement of Podesta from the distance.

Rebecca Michaelis, o.T. and Beampainting green

Counterpoint to all this could be the most personal and surprisingly narrative piece in this group show is the photographic work Man makes himself by Nicole Degenhardt.
Space Preview #1 will be on view until this saturday, 10th December. And if you still feel like learning more about the history of Stedefreund, don't miss our Have you met...? with director Anne Fässer and artist Kerstin Gottschalk.
*Immanuel Kant on John Lucas' Space, Time and Causality

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