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07.01.2011 - 26.02.2011, Berlin
I love Psycho
I love psycho
Meyer Riegger Berlin
Opening 07.01.2011, 08.01.-19.02.2011
I love psycho – in her first solo show at Meyer Riegger in Berlin the artist immerses herself in psychoanalytic dream analysis and poetically connects this to her memories in various media. The radio programmes of Alexander Mitscherlichs lectures on psychoanalysis from 1973-75 serve as the artists historical backdrop for the exhibition. The intellectual authority of German post-war history and key figure in the conveyance of Sigmund Freuds research elucidates central terms of psychoanalytical practise, such as transference in these lectures. Similar to projection, this is a strong psychological and interpersonal phenomenon, for Schatz it joins the related processes of dreaming and remembering her own (childhood-) history, as well as human introspection in general.
The exhibition is set up as an astonishing and exciting tour between dreamscapes and visualised memories: The centrepiece is one of her signature large-scale transparent architectural silhouette drawings of her childhood home (Mutter mit Fischstäbchen, Hannover, Müdener Weg 52, 3.Stock, 1.Whg rechts 1970-77 from 2010), as well as a large wooden model of the apartment rooms on a custom made table at a scale of 1:23 cm, (Wolf, Hannover, Müdener Weg 52, 3.Stock, 1.Whg rechts 1970-77 also from 2010) which can only be viewed through the windows.
The shadowy and fragmentary memories inform both pieces with substitutes and blank spaces, the room and object outlines of the drawing or the shadows of the remembered furniture and fantastical elements are visualised through dark wooden inlays in the model.
Three levels overlap in the wall drawing, an isometric image of the apartment from a birds-eye view, over which the furnished rooms, twisted outwards, are drawn. As a third layer on the lower edge of the drawing – falling out of the image plane, so to speak – a figurative element is located: The artists mother, standing in the kitchen according to childhood memories in 70s bell-bottoms, over which her somnambulist sleeping face appears.
The untreated wooden model, set up at eye level, invites the viewer to peer in like a voyeur, and gaze through different window openings into the apartment. Within, the flat outlines of furniture are featured as inlays along the walls and floor, the hallway becomes a dark entrance, glass-like walls of plexiglass take on the colours of Schatzs memories, yellow (light) and blue (twilight).
Within the otherwise realistically remembered living room, the shadow of a wolf with long silhouetted legs becomes alternately a phantasm or an archetypal sexual dream motif.
For the first time, Silke Schatz has also created surreal and model-like, concretely figurative wall pieces, made out of spray paint on chipboard, which show a series of her own dream sequences. On closer inspection the panels, visually magnetic due to their bright, abstract colour fields, become finely composed sceneries, demarcated by fine lines, in which figures are engaged in action, because the outlines are carved and empty spaces allow the raw surface to be seen.
Concise titles such as Verräter (Traitor) or nach Hause (Homewards) or Martha schreit!(Martha screams!) (all from 2010) refer to dreams from the present, almost all of them portray the artist within the painting, sometimes even in multiple versions. Along with this is the remembered view from the childhood home, or various temporal levels that run the gamut from her own childhood to the present. While on one hand the silhouette drawings include the viewers perspective by showing actual, remembered objects and comprehensible spatial situations, on the other, through the figure in the drawing and the scale of the model they cause a feeling of insecurity regarding ones own perspective, which is increased by the distinct pictorial compositions and their colourfulness, as they almost psychedelically induce a moment of identification and transference.
The massive yarn web of a cross spider is braced on another wall (Kreuzspinnennetz from 2010), functioning as an emblematic figure of the exhibition, yet remaining only string. It has similar architectural characteristics as the isometric drawings and is an abstract structure, like the framework of a narrative. But the spider, an archetypal motif like the wolf, is missing.
Regardless of its personal, memory-derived content, all of the artwork retains a universally human and timeless dimension that visualises the psychoanalytical process as exercises in dreaming. However, the catchy title suggests that Silke Schatz lends a (self-) mocking turn to the theme beyond the backdrop of personal memories: For the approach to the giant model, that causes oneself to shrink, as well as the view of tilted rooms and stylised figures have tragicomic aspects, and psychoanalysis as a historical discipline and the most intellectual form of therapy has long since been anchored in Western society.
Lilian Haberer Cologne, January 2011
translation by Zoe Miller
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"I love psycho", 2011, Berlin