September 8, 2014 - Badischer Kunstverein - Grace Schwindt and Beate Engl
September 8, 2014

Grace Schwindt and Beate Engl

Grace Schwindt, Only a Free Individual Can Create a Free Society (still), 2014. Video.

Grace Schwindt
Only a Free Individual Can Create a Free Society


Atrium
Beate Engl
APPARAT

26 September–23 November 2014

Opening: Thursday, 25 September, 7pm

Badischer Kunstverein
Waldstraße 3
D – 76133 Karlsruhe
Germany

info [​at​] badischer-kunstverein.de

www.badischer-kunstverein.de

Grace Schwindt
Only a Free Individual Can Create a Free Society
Badischer Kunstverein presents the first solo exhibition of the London-based artist Grace Schwindt in Germany. The exhibition centers around her new film Only a Free Individual Can Create a Free Society, which was co-produced by Badischer Kunstverein. Further performative and sculptural works have been created that are closely related to the film and have been newly conceived for the Kunstverein.

Grace Schwindt works primarily in the media of film, performance, sculpture and text. In her multifaceted works the artist questions the construction of history and memory and the idea of witnessing. Which roles do bodies, language and objects play in the production of knowledge and social relations? Her film sets made of minimalist architecture and selected props mark a specific social space in which every movement of the performers represents, generates and challenges a system or an institution. 

For her new film Only a Free Individual Can Create a Free Society, Schwindt refers to conversations she experienced in her childhood in a leftist milieu in Frankfurt am Main. The text, which appears in the film in various forms, is based on an interview that the artist conducted with a political activist, who was part of the students’ movement in the 1960s and 1970s. In this dense narrative Schwindt asks about the meaning of freedom, about the possibilities for accessing it, and about what is needed to create a free society.

The film is accompanied by a performative mural in which Schwindt transfers interviews she conducted to the exhibition wall. Sculptures with porcelain vases that take up the interview topic of “ownership and loss of objects” are distributed throughout several rooms of the exhibition. Schwindt is interested in how history materialises in objects, and whether existence is affirmed more through things than through one’s own activities. An installative performance symbolises the fragility of the body between intimacy and isolation, while a spoken text reflects on the desire for closeness in a capitalist system.

Curated by Anja Casser.

Kindly supported by British Council.

The film Only a Free Individual Can Create a Free Society was co-commissioned by FLAMIN Productions through Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network, Badischer Kunstverein (Karlsruhe), Eastside Projects (Birmingham), and The Showroom (London), in association with Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Arts, University of Bath, Site Gallery (Sheffield), Tramway (Glasgow) and Zeno X Gallery (Antwerp). Supported by Arts Council England, Hessian Film Fund, and Jerwood Charitable Foundation.

Grace Schwindt (b. 1979) lives and works in London.

Atrium
Beate Engl
APPARAT
In her solo exhibition in the atrium of the Badischer Kunstverein, the artist Beate Engl shows various works that address symbols of representation and propaganda. The functionality and order of the institutional exhibition space is taken to the point of absurdity, as Engl installs a large flag as a mirroring form, which casts a distorted reflection of the surroundings. At the same time, the flag is divested of its national symbolism and thus also of its political content.

The way Beate Engl deals with space is significant in this central work of the exhibition. She grasps public and institutional space, in its dense ensemble of social, political and formal inscriptions, as a rigid system to be called into question and that, most of all, is to be artistically appropriated. To this end she makes use of light and audio, but also of self-developed machines or apparatuses that imbue the location with a new function.

The second work conceived for the exhibition is this kind of apparatus. Following the radio-orators by the Latvian artist Gustav Klucis from the 1920s, who combined loudspeakers with text slogans on a stand, Engl has designed a new, transportable agitprop object, which links the function of the political speech with the nostalgia of a music box.

Curated by Anja Casser.

Beate Engl (b. 1973) lives and works in Munich.

For information on the accompanying talks & events, please visit www.badischer-kunstverein.de.

Grace Schwindt and Beate Engl at Badischer Kunstverein
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