NIKOLAI SZYMANSKI – MY LAPIS LULLABY

28 April – 10 June 2017
Opening Thursday, 27 April, 6 – 9 pm
ITALIC, Leipzigerstr. 61, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Nikolai Szymanski’s works deal in different ways with the medium of moving images and questions of space in the realm between illusion and reality, invisibility and visibility, the private and public spheres, but also between art and everyday life.

Under the title “My Lapis Lullaby”, Szymanski presents a site-specific installation at ITALIC consisting of the video sculpture of the same name and the film work “Ghostshopping”. In addition to its striking tiles, the exhibition space is bathed in a deep blue. “My Lapis Lullaby” fits into this environment as a miniaturized pool, in which water becomes abstractly visible as a ghostly moving projection. In “Ghostshopping”, the viewers encounter illuminated shop windows by night and interiors of shops, empty of inhabitants, strangely deserted and desolate.

In the overall installation, Szymanski associatively brings together various references from art and popular culture. The blue of the walls is reminiscent of the French artist Yves Klein and deliberately refers to his statement that blue is “the visible invisible”. This way, an additional resonant space opens up against the illusionistic projection of the water. At the same time, the pool plays an important role as a place of longing, as in the paintings of David Hockney or as a (status) symbol of the Californian lifestyle, combined with the ideal of eternal physical youthfulness. “Ghostshopping”, on the other hand, evokes the potentially dark side of a seemingly infinite blue, which at night can evolve into something rather sinister. Amongst other references, Szymanski is inspired by the song Blue, from the eponymous album (1971) by the Canadian artist and painter Joni Mitchell, as well as the early film Ghost Dance (1983) by British director Ken McMullen. Solitude and isolation are reflected in the images of nocturnally deserted places, which seem to be inhabited only by spirits. In their nocturnal emptiness, they stand for traces of what is no longer present, and in the overall picture they remain in keeping with Szymanski’s artistic approaches to the invisible and the unspoken.

Text: Philipp Fürnkäs

Nikolai Szymanski (b. 1986, Düsseldorf) lives and works in Düsseldorf and Cologne.

LUKAS HEERICH – CREEPERS

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Lukas Heerich, Creepers, exhibition view ITALIC Berlin, 2017

LUKAS HEERICH – CREEPERS
6 February – 15 April 2017
Opening Saturday, 4 February, 6 – 9 pm
ITALIC, Leipzigerstr. 61, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Lukas Heerich‘s work deals with the subject of visibility and invisibility in different media using surfaces, overlays and stratifications.

With Creepers he devotes himself to the camouflage pattern. Closely associated with the methods of modern warfare, it was first tested in field combat during the First World War. Since the late 1960s, however, Camouflage has also become increasingly present in the civilian sphere: sometimes as a sign of pacifist protest, or as a conscious public provocation. Later, in many variations, it became part of fashion.

Heerich dissects and processes selected camouflage patterns and then precisely stencils them onto the carefully prepared canvas. Selected shapes and colors combine subtly varied elements from different historical and geopolitical contexts. The individual components of the patterns thus lose their clear recognition value and identities seem to dissolve in the process.

Placed in the exhibition space, with the distinctive tiles typical of GDR architecture, Heerich‘s work additionally unfolds its character as picturesque gestures.

Text: Philipp Fürnkäs

Lukas Heerich (b. 1989, Düsseldorf) lives and works in Paris.

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Lukas Heerich, Untitled (Creeper), 2016, acrylic and oil on canvas, 220 x 160 x 6.5 cm (detail view)

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Lukas Heerich, Untitled (Creeper), 2016, acrylic and oil on canvas, 220 x 160 x 6.5 cm (detail view)

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Lukas Heerich, Untitled (Creeper), 2016, acrylic and oil on canvas, 220 x 160 x 6.5 cm

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Lukas Heerich, Creepers, exhibition view ITALIC Berlin, 2017

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Lukas Heerich, Creepers, exhibition view ITALIC Berlin, 2017

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Lukas Heerich, Creepers, exhibition view ITALIC Berlin, 2017

Photography: Lepkowski Studios Berlin