Saturday, August 10, 2013

II II // I

Nothings (and Somethings) by Christian Burnoski
1st-14th August, 2013
with opening performance To Be It by Andrea Jenni
with Martina Cesari & MariaGiulia Serontoni

A black bowler hat decorated with white buttons hiding a tennis ball... A white wall framed by two perpendicular paintings, mainly orange, except for a spot of white, where they meet the wall. Red stripes of the American flag in a round frame and some missing stars, like the title overtly states (Stripes without Stars, 2013). What you don't see and exactly what you see lie in front of your eyes... Playful and conceptual in the same time, Christian Burnoski's show in the attic of Hochstr. 45 involves seeing, imagining, making-believe, believing.

Tennis Ball Under Hat with White Buttons (2013) draws its inspiration from a scene in Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up (1966), in which the camera follows an imaginary tennis ball... The presence of the ball in Christian Burnoski's piece is a creation of both the artist's and the viewer's powers of imagination. Due to their round shape, the holes (like little nothings) in the canvases making up Vine St. (2012) dialogue with the buttons from the near-by magic hat. Playfulness is at the heart of this piece, too: the title refers to the artist's address as a child and the holes nostalgically encapsulate his “childhood phone number growing up” . 

Vine St. 2012
holes cut in canvases, acrylic

Some of the installations incorporate architectural elements of the exhibition space itself: White Wall between Two Paintings mentioned before and Echoes II, in which the window is being doubled by paralleled pieces of glass hanging on rope.

Echoes II, 2013
glass, rope, metal clasps, window

According to the artist's own confession, Between Two Infinite Voids (2013) encapsulates his view of life as a thin time span between two infinities (past and future), which makes it “the most existentialist piece in the exhibition”. When human life is a short, almost unsubstantial and invisible thing caught between before and after, the attempt to make it visible and to make it real resembles magic.

Andrea Jenni's performance TO BE IT brings different rhythms in the exhibition space. Alternating movement and stillness, dance and gesture, it echoes Burnoski's play with juxtapositions, repetitions, reflections. The opening of the performance installs a feeling of levitation and slowness. Hit against the wall, two black latex balloons return to the performers in a calm movement, almost floating. At the end of the performance they will become exhibited objects and keep still in a corner, between two wooden bearers (Inflatables in Space, 2013). 

Inflatables in Space, 2013
latex balloons

During the second part of the performance the two dancers, each of them in a different spot of the exhibition place, perform slow motion movements in connection with the black balloon. The last part involves dancing between Echoes I and Echoes II (2013). The dancers' movements are more rhythmical, they mirror and counterpoint each other, just like the neighbouring art pieces.

Christian Burnoski's exhibition and Andrea Jenni's accompanying performance engage in a dialogue with the space and with each other. Out of their collaboration the void and the Nothings became images of life and invitations to play. Something worth seeing and sharing...

Exhibition views and performance stills: ©Ioana Muntenescu
II II // I   Hochstraße 45, 13357 Berlin,

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