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Bonner Kunstverein announces Luca Frei, Lin May & Miriam Schwedt exhibition

The Bonner Kunstverein presents Luca Frei, Lin May & Miriam Schwedt in an exhibition on view 10 March–13 May 2012.

The expression Fifth Business refers to a kind of character in classical drama who is neither the hero, the confidant, the rival nor the villain. Although he plays only a supporting role, he brings a key element into the plot. This term drawn out of literary theory assumes a central role in Robertson Davies’ eponymous novel, to which Luca Frei (*1976, Lugano) refers in the title of his show. On the occasion of his first solo presentation in Germany, Frei shows sculptures and installations that orchestrate the space architecturally and, among other things, brings a bronze pineapple and hourglasses together.

An apparent heterogeneity marks the exhibition; however, the medium of the drawing forms a starting point for most works, whether sculptures or wall reliefs. On a wall, a circular line has been drawn. A rope hangs from a nail at its center: traces of an action that lies in the past. Action scenarios and the experience of time are central aspects of the show. Each visitor can, for instance, activate one of the many hourglasses from the work The Sun 24 Hours. However, their hand-blown shape precludes an exact measurement of time; their multitude shows the existence of multiple times that often diverge and even contradict each other. The exhibition sets a stage for a potential action, by which fixed structures encounter the uncanny. An oversized apron suggests the existence of giants, while the drawing on its front shows a creature in a skyscraper costume assaulted by crocodile-dogs. This surreal object seems both accurate and erratic, as do further works in the hall.

The exhibition plays out between joyful naivety and subtle materiality. The social themes addressed in FREI’s work—identity, measurement of time, control of the body—are addressed repeatedly in a seemingly harmless, naive way that, not least of all, contains a form of self-irony. The Swiss artist lives in Malmö where he teaches at the art academy. His work has been presented in many exhibitions (Kunstsammlung NRW/Düsseldorf, Moderna Museet/Stockholm or M KHA/Antwerp, among others). A newspaper will be released on the occasion of the exhibition, with texts by Larry Busbea and Fanny Gonella, in collaboration with Archive Books.

Peter Mertes Stipendium 2001: Lin May – Miriam Schwedt
In 1985 the Peter Mertes Wine Cellar in Bernkastel-Kues awarded their art grant for the first time, which has since become a recognized award in the Rhineland. The 2011 jury (Prof. Dr. Anne-Marie Bonnet, Dr. Gregor Jansen, Matti Braun, Christina Végh) chose Lin May (*1973 Würzburg, lives in Berlin) and Miriam Schwedt (*1985 Marktredwitz, lives in Düsseldorf). While SCHWEDT’s photographs develop from a confrontation with the medium, MAY’s works evolve from an engaged outlook; both artists find their way to an analytical and, at the same time, a poetic pictorial vocabulary. A catalogue will be published on the occasion of the exhibition.

In her work—texts, drawings, sculptures and silhouettes—LIN MAY calls into question people’s dealings with each other, and especially with animals. In Bonn, Tony Cragg’s former student shows among others lit-up silhouettes made of large sheets of black paper and colored transparent paper. In a playful way her motifs are woven into allegorical narratives marked by a critical view of civilization.

In spite of the large amount of photographic processes at disposal for generating pictures today, MIRIAM SCHWEDT concentrates on the possibilities offered by analog black-and-white photographs and produces her own prints in a lithoprint technique. SCHWEDT—who finished her studies at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf with Christopher Williams—reflects on the parameters of early photography as she formulates her own, anachronistic-contemporary moments of timelessness.

Bonner Kunstverein
Hochstadenring 22
53119 Bonn
Opening hours:
Tue–Sun 11am–5pm
Thurs 11am–7pm

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