May 29, 2012 - Portikus - Nora Schultz
May 29, 2012

Nora Schultz

Nora Schultz & Manuel Raeder, 2012.

Nora Schultz​
Portikus Printing Plant 

and Portikus Sounds
2 June–16 September 2012

Opening: 1 June, 8pm
Performances: 2 June, 4pm and 13 July, 7pm

Alte Brücke 2 / Maininsel
60594 Frankfurt am Main

T +49 69 962 44 540
info [​at​]

Nora Schultz’s work examines the genesis of pictorial representation and production as an artistic dynamic. She is less interested in the finished work than in how images and objects come into being and in the physical traces that process leaves behind. The actualities of production accordingly play a central role in her prints, printing machines, installations, and performances; process always remains legible.

Nora Schultz’s show is the first solo exhibition to occupy the lower as well as the temporary upper floor at Portikus. She addresses the two floors, which could not be any more different in terms of architecture, atmosphere, and acoustics, taking her engagement with the spatial situation to a new level. Even the two-part title of her exhibition, Portikus Printing Plant and Portikus Sounds, points to the work’s spatial and acoustic superimposition responsive to the divided exhibition space. The artist uses this duality to develop parallel production cycles composed of sculptural sound works and printing installations that repeatedly intersect over the course of the show.

In preparation for the exhibition, Nora Schultz made several “field recordings”—to be played in the exhibition in parallel with live recordings—capturing noises from Frankfurt’s metropolitan spaces, the Maininsel, and Portikus’s urban environment, as well as sound fragments from movies, television, and radio. The artist thus subtly confronts different realities, as exemplified by two contrasting views of Portikus: in one direction, there is the sprawling vegetation that covers the island in the summer; in the other, the bridge groaning under too much traffic and the construction site of the new European Central Bank tower. The sound represents her attempt to bring the outside “reality” into the interior of the institution, conveying within this confined space a form of authenticity.

Taking the idea of doubling one step further, the multipart printing plant primarily serves to print images of all objects in the exhibition, visualizing them in a new dimension. With the printing process, which involves materials such as metal, wood, synthetic foam, plastics, and paint, Nora Schultz refers to a primitive writing technique in which ideas are set down or pictured directly as they come to mind. The artist examines the act of translation that such a process of visualization entails by treating the inserted ceiling as a permeable membrane; her extensive installation is the first work to use the phenomenon of the divided room in a concrete and physical manner. She has drilled holes into the ceiling, mounted funnels, and cut openings which the beholder can look through. The communication this establishes between the two rooms plays an active role, both during the preparations for the exhibition and in her performances. A machine-like and indissoluble rotation builds between the printing activity flowing downward, the ambient noise filtering upward, and the simultaneous sound uploads. Like a rattling multi-floor (and extremely high-capacity) newspaper printing installation, Nora Schultz’s Portikus Machine produces images, objects, colors, and sounds that construct a language, which takes on new dimensions as it undergoes perpetual transformation.

Performances by Nora Schultz take place on 2 June at 4pm and 13 July at 7pm. The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication. Nora Schultz has also developed an artist’s edition for the Portikus.

For more information and guided tours of the exhibition, please contact us at or at
+49 69 962 44 540.

The exhibition is supported by Stiftung Polytechnische Gesellschaft, Frankfurt am Main and UBS.

Director: Nikolaus Hirsch
Curator: Sophie von Olfers



Portikus presents Nora Schultz
Share - Nora Schultz
  • Share