Bettina Pousttchi’s Framework

Bettina Pousttchi’s Framework

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt

Bettina Pousttchi, Framework, Installation view rotunda. © Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt 2012. Photo: Norbert Miguletz. 

April 19, 2012

Bettina Pousttchi

19 April–17 June 2012

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Römerberg, D-60311 Frankfurt
Hours: Tue, Fri–Sun 10am–7pm,
Wed and Thur 10am–10pm
T (+49-69) 29 98 82-0
F (+49-69) 29 98 82-240
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The Schirn Kunsthalle is showcasing a new work by German-Iranian artist Bettina Pousttchi specifically designed for the exterior of the Schirn. Similar to her well-received installation “Echo” (2009/10) in Berlin—where she resurrected the just demolished Palast der Republik (the former East German parliament building) in the form of a monumental photo installation applied to the façade of the Temporäre Kunsthalle (Temporary Art Hall)—her Frankfurt piece will likewise cover a large portion of the building façade. In “Framework” Pousttchi has taken timber framework elements from two buildings on Frankfurt’s Römer square out of the context of their original façades and combines them into an ornament composed of modules, each measuring one by one meter, infinitely repeated, lending a harmonious rhythm to the overall look of the Schirn. In their interlinking of architecture, sculpture, and photography Pousttchi’s monumental photo installations broaden the traditional understanding of photography. They examine the question of how to approach urban space and memory while at the same time exploring the temporal dimension of architecture.

Bettina Pousttchi, born in Mainz in 1971, lives and works in Berlin. She studied at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and graduated from the Whitney Independent Studio Program in New York. Her photographic works, videos and sculptures have been exhibited at an international level since the late 1990s, including group exhibitions at, among other venues TENT Rotterdam; Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork; Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem; Kunsthalle Detroit; Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires; and Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt as part of the exhibition “Die Jugend von Heute” (The Youth of Today) in 2006. In addition to solo exhibitions in Von der Heydt-Kunsthalle Wuppertal (2007), Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin (2009) and Kunsthalle Basel (2011), Pousttchi also took part in the Venice Biennale in 2003 and 2009.

In her works Bettina Pousttchi reflects on the urban and social changes that mark our times. Her photographs, films, sculptures and installations enable us to experience these fundamental changes to the urban fabric. With “Echo” (2009/10) she resurrected the former Palast der Republik for a period of six months in the form of a photo installation consisting of 970 individual posters applied to the façade of the Temporäre Kunsthalle in Berlin. The artist demonstrated how quickly architecture can lose its ascribed meaning and questioned how a location anchored in the collective memory is perceived, and the role documentary photography plays between personal memory and official written history.

As a starting point the artist now encounters a similarly complex situation with the creation of the façade of Schirn Kunsthalle. At present, parts of the destroyed Old Town are currently being reconstructed on the neighboring land between the cathedral and Römer square. With her monumental photo installation “Framework” Bettina Pousttchi addresses questions such as “What history is being reconstructed here, why, and by whom?”, “What is the half-life of architecture, and who decides when it ends?” For “Framework” Pousttchi studied picture archives and spent over a year photographing the Schirn and the surroundings. The artist took existing framework elements from two half-timbered buildings on the Römer square nearby—the “Schwarzer Stern” (Black star) and “Wertheym”—out of their original context and recombined them in a repetitive structure with a Middle Eastern feel to it. The resulting black-and-white frieze will be applied directly to the sixty-four windows of the rotunda in the Schirn’s entrance and the sixty-seven windows of the entire eastern façade using photo prints.

DIRECTOR: Max Hollein. CURATOR: Katharina Dohm. PRESS CONTACT: Dorothea Apovnik (head Press/Public Relations), Markus Farr (press spokesman), Carolyn Meyding (press officer), phone: (+49-69) 29 98 82-148, fax: (+49-69) 29 98 82-240, e-mail:, (texts, images, and films for download under PRESS).

*Image above:
Commissioned by Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
© Courtesy Bettina Pousttchi/Buchmann Galerie Berlin
© Photography: Norbert Miguletz/Bettina Pousttchi.

Bettina Pousttchi's Framework at Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
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