August 30, 2013 - Bonner Kunstverein - Timur Si-Qin, Evamaria Schaller & Timo Seber
August 30, 2013

Timur Si-Qin, Evamaria Schaller & Timo Seber

Timur Si-Qin, Selection Display, 2013. Courtesy the artist and Société, Berlin.

Timur Si-Qin
Basin of Attraction

Peter Mertes Grant: Evamaria Schaller & Timo Seber

September 10–November 10, 2013

Opening: Sunday, September 8, noon

Bonner Kunstverein
Hochstadenring 22
53119 Bonn
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm,
Thursday 11am–7pm 

Timur Si-Qin: Basin of Attraction
In his first solo institutional exhibition in Germany, Timur Si-Qin (born in 1984 in Berlin, lives and works in Berlin) has developed a project that generates an ambivalent echo between his works and the body. The artist grew up in Germany, the United States and China, studied fine arts at the University of Arizona and returned to Berlin several years ago. His works have already been shown in Los Angeles, Milan, Paris and Berlin, among other places. In his project for the Bonner Kunstverein, arrangements of 3D prints play a central role. The artist used 3D scans of Paleolithic hominid fossils from the natural history collection of a South African museum and printed them as objects. Their surfaces feature cosmic nebula, hunting camouflage patterns or pictures from supermarket advertising brochures. Si-Qin‘s way of employing these patterns causes diverse levels to encounter each other: the ornament as a primordial gesture with a contemporary pictorial language, the temporal dimension of the stars with those of the bones and primeval hunting with grocery shopping. These objects, simultaneously original sculptures and ornamented replicas of bones, trigger questions dealing with tradition and the link between today and yesterday.

The “bone arrangements” lay in the immediate vicinity of lightweight structures made from PVC and aluminum that are usually used for stands at trade fairs. They are entirely covered with advertising stock images: Their selection results from the artist’s ongoing reflection about instinctive human reactions to visual stimuli and mechanisms of attraction, which have been trained by survival strategies and continue to condition us today. Si-Qin is fundamentally interested in rethinking the conventional division between culture and nature. He references in the process philosophical approaches linked to the theory of evolution that explore such abstract concepts as taste or desire from the perspective of biology and neuroscience. The artist employs visual elements of contemporary culture in his exhibition, but he reveals their connection to biologically conditioned primal phenomena of attraction, thus pointing to the timelessness of certain pictorial elements. Si-Qin addresses a time in his exhibition that still conditions us biologically, but which we have no conscious memory of.

Peter Mertes Grant: Evamaria Schaller & Timo Seber
Die Wilderin vom Montafon (The Poacher Woman of Montafon) or Arschgesicht (Butt Face)—even the titles of the performances, films, installations and exhibitions indicate a powerful position. Evamaria Schaller (born in 1980 in Graz, lives and works in Cologne), who has already received the Chargesheimer Grant, works with tremendous immediacy that spares neither herself nor the viewer. Forceful images and situations result largely from banal actions and a sensitive openness for spaces. For example, she climbed the long staircase of the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn kissing each and every step or crept naked down the narrow stairs of the Galerie Teapot in Cologne into the darkness of a basement, the Sisyphus-like repetition of which had an oppressive effect on the viewer. The pieces for the exhibition at the Bonner Kunstverein likewise develop in a dialogue with the space, entrapping both the exhibition hall and the visitor in performative actions and settings. Video performances filmed at the Kunstverein as well as their traces and relicts can be seen alongside works on paper and objects. Schaller explores there such thematic fields as childhood, seeing and the uncanny.

Material, both narrative and textile, are constants in the works of Timo Seber (born in 1984 in Cologne, lives and works in Berlin) and also make up the starting point of the pieces presented in the exhibition. In 1980, the baby Azaria Chamberlain disappeared in Australia; only her bloody rompers remained behind. Her parents unjustly came under suspicion of murder and into the crossfire of the media. Seber printed book covers with horror film-imagery that appeared on this occasion onto large-format transparent foil, enabling their perfidious rhetoric to become tangible and which Seber confronts with a material language of his own. The foil is shown against the backdrop of coarse-meshed fringed coconut rugs that awaken associations to detailed photographs of the torn playsuit. His small-format collages resulting from intense research demand, by contrast, a more detailed examination: startling fragments of the Azaria iconography ranging from T-shirts to comics are superimposed over a text about the Chamberlains. Detached and yet fascinated, the artist’s new group of works traces the transformation of a private fateful occurrence into a media spectacle in which the boundaries between Pop and contemporary tragedy have become fluid.

Two artist’s books published by Strzelecki Books, Cologne, will appear on the occasion of the exhibition.

The Peter Mertes Grant is supported by:


Timur Si-Qin, Evamaria Schaller & Timo Seber at Bonner Kunstverein
Bonner Kunstverein
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