Saturday, 25 April 2009

Ensemble - my first European solo exhibition

This is what's been keeping me busy these past 5 months or so... making the work for my first solo exhibition in Europe "Ensemble", held at the Institut Français de Berlin. The show runs until 30 May 2009, for anyone in Berlin, and is located at Kurfürstendamm 211, ecke Uhlandstraße, in Charlottenburg.

The exhibition Ensemble ("together" in English) speaks of togetherness from an intimate point of view, with ourselves as well as with another, to the global. I use second hand clothing to communicate our humanity and for its historical interest - the fact that it already contains energy from the previous wearer before it meets mine. I have embroidered text onto the clothing, as a way of perhaps making the abstract (thoughts, fantasies, dreams) more concrete and tangible. Like marking the skin with a tattoo, these texts adorn the clothing (our second skins) with our private thoughts, desires, wishes and bring them into the public realm.

The show is all hand embroidered by me but when I write 'solo exhibition', the theme of togetherness is very much part of this as I am not alone to make this work. It's a largely collaborative show, because this is one of my preferred ways to work - to bring people together in a creative setting. For one central work I invited 8 friends (including a combined effort from my sister and 4 year old nephew) all over the world to contribute an old t-shirt and a line of text in their native language to create a kind of global story, to illustrate that no matter what language we speak we are all the same essentially and that the most productive way forward for us is to come together in acceptance and love.

I had a very successful opening night on Wednesday this week (22nd April) with a wonderful crowd, great comments, and a liberating, cheeky, daring, loads of fun performance that came about through a collaboration with the passionate, inspiring USA born choreographer/performer Jessica Jobaris. She has posted on her blog a beautifully written text with some pics of our one rehearsal we had in the space... Thanks to the gorgeous dancers/performers from all over the world who made it the big success it was - Robert, Meredith, Tallulah, Tatjana, Elena, Eva, Guido and Liz (and the little one in her belly!!!). See video below...

I invited my dear friend Alessio Castellacci, musician/composer/dancer/performer/teacher, who introduced me to Jessica, to compose music for the smaller 'glove room' of the show. He made a beautifully sensitive 16 minute soundtrack to accompany the found gloves in this intimate space. I am utterly delighted at how our work sits so happily together. All these little lost souls (the gloves) are in very good company.