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13.05.2006 - 10.06.2006, Karlsruhe
Meyer Riegger and Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch present Flicker, an exhibition by New York based artist Jamie Isenstein in the project space “2” at Meyer Riegger.
To flicker is to exist in an in-between stage, to jockey between two opposites, on and off, life and death. The word usually refers to light and for this exhibition Jamie Isenstein will display Magic Lamps (2006) and Finger Candelabras (2006) two works that both use the theme of light but to opposing ends.
Magic Lamps, 2006, is a diptych of photographs of human arms that have become wall sconces. In each photograph a right or left arm extends from a golden wall mount. A lit light bulb is held in each of the arms’ hands. It is unclear how the light bulbs stay lit, as there is no obvious source of electricity. Rather, the light bulbs appear to receive their energy from the living hands that hold them. Here, the roles of object and living being have been reversed. Besides as photographs, Magic Lamps, 2006 also exists as a performance/sculpture. For this work Isenstein sits behind the wall with her arm extended through the mount. Ideally Isenstein would hold the light bulb forever and so transform her arm into the arm of a lamp. Isenstein sees these photographs as more practical proposals for this infinitely long performance.
In the center of the gallery is Finger Candelabras, 2006, a long dining room table with two candelabras placed upon it. Each candelabrum holds five bent candles. Despite that they are objects and not living beings candles are mortal in their own way. Throughout the history of art, candles have been used as vanitas symbols because once lit, they will eventually be consumed. Though the candles in these candelabras have never been lit, they have already succumbed to their mortality nevertheless. The candles were placed in a windowsill and were melted by the sun until they assumed a particular shape suggestive of fingers. As each candelabrum holds five candles, the candelabras have been transformed into two human hands capable of dying as all human hands do.
Though Magic Lamps, 2006 and Finger Candelabras, 2006 both use the subjects of hands and light, the two works mirror each other in their conclusions. For Magic Lamps, 2006 light is used as a source of life, turning living beings, two hands, into immortal objects. In Finger Candelabras, 2006, conversely, light is used as a source of death, turning candles, inanimate objects into hands, mortal beings. By installing these two works together, Isenstein hopes to conflate their oppositions, to flicker as it were, between life and death, to question the difference between the two.
Flicker is presented simultaneously with Jamie Isenstein’s exhibition Quiet Manor presented by Meyer Riegger and Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch at Rosenthaler Strasse 72 in Berlin.