Anke Kalk | Sunday Morning Dancing | Press Release

| Back
| More about Anke Kalk

Opening Friday, February 20, 2009, 7-10 pm | Open February 21 - March 28, 2009

The title of the exhibition „Sunday Morning Dancing“ refers to one of the numerous walks at dawn after dancing the whole night through. In her works Anke Kalk often tells stories of every day life in a romantic and poetic way which at the end turn out to be not quite as harmless and based on aestheticism as they seemed at first sight. The artist is permanently occupied with form and transformation of things and their metaphors and ambiguities: Clothes, fashion, the vesture as social code and sign of its time and the constant recurrence of forms is one of the main topics in her work.

For this exhibition the artist creates a journey through a dense forest of more or less unfolded white umbrellas with red stripes. These umbrellas evoke at the same time connotations of candy sticks with their strange taste of peppermint as well as of beach umbrellas or small parasols on ice cream cups. Suspended over these umbrellas two chandeliers made out of crude plywood and paper shades are dominating the larger exhibition space. On the one hand they seem to be the adequate illumination for the golden picture occupying the entire front wall and shining through the forest of umbrellas. On the other hand it might feel a bit absurd to have indoor and outdoor furnishing come together in the same space.

The umbrellas which at first sight don’t seem to match with the chandeliers from another perspective become dancers in a ballroom. In this context the red stripes intensify the optical illusion of turning vesture like in a ritual dervish dance even more.

The work on the front wall entitled “Winks & Kisses” (2009) shows a young man entirely coated in a cloak with a Mongolian helmet on his head. Form and placement of this collage is reminiscent of ruler’s portraits or Russian icons. This picture is inspired by a dream of the artist also documented and exhibited in the series „Sie sind morgen kaum zu schlagen“ (You´ll be unbeatable tomorrow“).

Entering the smaller space to the left the visitor is received by a more calm and intimate atmosphere. The series „Sie sind morgen kaum zu schlagen“ (You’ll be unbeatable tomorrow) (2007) consists of framed drawings, photographs, collages and sketches with notes on them. These papers originally built the inspiration material of the artist. In this installation though, they become completed works offering infinite possibilities of connotations and continuations. The Series „You’ll be unbeatable tomorrow“ will also be released in form of a magazine.

One of the sheets of this series entitled “Polar Bear” is a drawing of a little black polar bear with a handwritten note stating: “a shaved polar bear is black”. The caption to this drawing says: „Idea for a performance: the poor naked black polar bear and the happy girl with a polar bear jumper“. The “Polar bear jumper” in reference to Stella McCartneys homonymous oversized cardigan appears to be an ironic comment on the self-centred world of fashion: In the face of rising temperature this picture seems to suggest to the polar bear to get rid of his coat.

On another sheet the artist poses like a model in a fashion magazine wearing a dress based on a costume pattern taken from the film “Menschen am Sonntag“ (People on Sunday) from 1930. Next to this self-portait, a sheet with four stills taken from the named film serve as a reference.

Kalks way of spontaneous and poetic-reflexive dealing with historical and contemporary issues is also to find in another work. Turning to the entrance photographs and a video on the left wall attract the attention. „Fashion Fleet in Nice“ (2007) is a video work taking place in a peculiar timeless and ambiguous place in Provence. It is undecidable whether this is a pleasant or uncanny place: in the middle of a vineyard an abandoned swimming pool on whose icy surface small paper boat made out of fashion magazines are floating. In the next scene a young woman in a coat with naked, sleek legs walks over a bed in white sheets. The sound of the feather bed in this moment gives a haptic dimension to this video. The photographs show stills from the video oscillating between figuration and abstraction.

Both, the video and the photographs as well as the installation of the umbrellas under the chandeliers suggest simultaneous existence of summer and winter and turn the exhibition space into a dreamlike place out of any season.