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Kunstverein Hamburg Presents 

Plamen Dejanoff & Kathrin Sonntag

The Kunstverein Hamburg presents 

Kathrin Sonntag and Plamen Dejanoff
 exhibitions on view through 30 December 2011.

Plamen Dejanoff, “The Bronze House (B&GG),” 2011. Installation view Kunstverein Hamburg. Photo: Fred Dott / Kunstverein.

In his work, the artist Plamen Dejanoff (*1970 in Sofia, lives in Vienna) often uses marketing strategies from related fields and creates desire by means of sleek and glossy surfaces and stage-setting principles borrowed from the world of consumerism. He is among the artists who deliberately adopt consumerism, economics, media marketing and comprehensive network strategies. He uses their principles and potential to pursue his own goals, but without turning them into their opposite. Instead, his work is informed by a great trust in art, because he does not need to isolate it from other social and economic processes. For many years, Dejanoff has been planning and developing “The Bronze House” for the Bulgarian city Veliko Tarnovo. In the city centre, he has acquired a number of building sites on which he is erecting house sculptures of bronze. They are being arduously constructed by hand in separate elements, so that since 2006 progress on the first of five planned building sculptures, which will in total cover 600 square meters, has been advancing in various stages of production and in cooperation with various exhibition venues. This “Bronze House” is composed of some 4,000 elements. Each is made of bronze: doors, façade elements, floor and wall elements, as well as stairs and the junction pieces that hold the entire structure together. Each of the five walk-in sculptures to be produced will have a different function. Inner space turned outwards is symptomatic of Dejanoff’s house-sculptures—precisely because they are intended for public use. He foresees the creation of a library, a studio cinema, an exhibition space, art studios and so on. In short, it offers the infrastructure for cultural life, intended to be used. The Kunstverein presents more bronze-elements as well as models, drafts and objects in context of parallel installed walk-in sculpture in the HafenCity.

The works of Kathrin Sonntag (*1981 in Berlin, lives in Berlin) are like a protracted wink. We see everyday things over and again, and suddenly between a look, a blink, and the next look things shift, taking us aback. Sonntag’s objects, photographs, slide series, and installations are concerned with perception and the dividing line between reality and fiction. In her works, an uncanny quality emanates from everyday objects in their very familiarity and subtle shifts in this familiarity. The exhibition “Mühsam ernährt sich das Einhorn” at the Kunstverein Hamburg presents a new slide series of stationary and moving projections, a total of 87 slides dealing with slips of the tongue. The proverb that gives the show its title translates literally as “the squirrel earns a hard living,” meaning “slow but steady.” By a slip of the tongue the unicorn (Einhorn) replaces the squirrel (Eichhörnchen) as protagonist, disrupting the stock phrase. Giving pictorial expression to slips of the tongue, Sonntag uncovers different levels of meaning; she takes the “non-sense” of the slip to extremes or opens the way to a different understanding. Because the snatches of text and proverbs are so self-evident and so familiar, it sometimes takes us a moment to realize that something is wrong. On post-its and scraps of paper they are casually set in relation to other material, superimposing themselves and taking possession, so that in the final pictures the arrangements sometimes produce connections, sometimes oppositions. With papers and other elements, the artist extends the different levels into the exhibition space.

The exhibition of Kathrin Sonntag is funded by pro Helvetia. The exhibition of Plamen Dejanoff is funded by ERSTE Foundation. 

Der Kunstverein, since 1817.

Klosterwall 23

20095 Hamburg

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