Fridge in the Snow

Ironical Metropolis-Art in DAADgallery


"I" can be said by everyone. "Me" is more difficult. It needs two to say said, and even better still, more people. "Many Me`s" is what Yvonne Dröge Wendel involves in her game of the same name. Instead of stones each player has "Handflatterers" made out of formable plasticine on the playing board. The rules are open, each player can shape them at pleasure. After having given own characteristics to the figures one only has to do one more thing: take care and caress one´s own multiple personalities.

Generally the DAAD Berlin-residency ends with a solo show. But opposed to that the British artist Stephen Wilks renounces his one-man show in order to continue his project of open artist-meetings which found its beginning with City Pity 1, in january last year in Brussels. The basic principle of "City Pity" resembles that of the game: The Amsterdam artist Dröge Wendel is one of the numerous artists from Brussels, the Netherlands, England, France or Mexico who have crossed the way of Stephen Wilks during the past 10 years. Around 30 of them the scholar of the artist program of the DAAD invited as guests to the final exhibition "City Pity 2" in the DAADgallery.

Roughly "City Pity" means "Metropolis empathy". Practically it is an open modell of an exhibition without curator or concurrence. The result of it is a colourfully mixed, undogmatic art-chaos. Following the snowball system ideas were introduced, picked up and developed. Some participants see in that the transmission of creative energies, others even talk about a contemporary way of Voodoo-magic. With the project Wilks follows his own as well as other people´s traces of life which (here) connect artistically. He senses (tracks down) quiet intermediate tones as well as poetic relations which accidentially spin between ordinary things. A discarded fridge lies in the snow and appears as a modern sculpture. A mosquito-swarm whirrs the view towards a skyscraper.

"City Pity" doesn´t consist of one red thread but out of a bundle of loose thread-ends. Apart from "Empathy" it is the repetitive train of thought of a sprouting garden and biotop. The ideas grow plentifully: next to a bed with kitchen herbs, Polaroids of Planting-actions one discovers electronically buzzing butterflies made out of soda-cans. With its teeth bared the mouth of a coyote snaps as soon as a shadow falls onto the light-barrier. Along that a scull decorated with colourful pearl-patterns grins in front of an imagewall with the grey in grey of monotone satellite towns which out of the air ressmble bird cages.

Mathilde ter Heijnes boozy outdoor-installation is called "bag wash". The tent-like construction made out of ordinary plastic bags resembles a greenhouse. The premiere was a "spaying" success or a failure (a push on water) depending on the position one was watching it: The artist wasn´t able to keep the foilwalls waterproff. Inbetween two showers of rain the artist was watering the soup of the guests in the Cafe below and giving them a unvoluntary shower.


by Elfi Kreiss