havilah DAREK KONDEFER

From the seeds of letters we built our Eden. There we drew the depths of wisdom. In the end, we did demolish the order. Burning ashes of the Pishon river no longer provided crumbs of water in the garden of delights. The golden calf shall exasperate no one. The New shall not come. All the purification ash dried out. It was others who said – let us create the hell of civilization – in the land of Havilah only gold will do. They shall not find the missing letter there, they shall not quench their thirst.

My reflections on art, collectors, marchers and contemporary art auctions

The New Release

Galerie Thomas Schulte celebrates the grandmaster Rebecca Horn with a solo show at the Berlin Gallery Weekend. In addition to two large installations, the kinetic wall work “The New Release” can also be seen

Violins, feathers, butterfly wings: A look at Rebecca Horn's materials suggests a work full of poetry. One that is dedicated to soft tones and a bit to the sentimental. Didn't the artist walk around as the "unicorn" in 1970, anticipating the hype surrounding the mythical animal by decades? However, if you look at a photograph from that time, you will see the artist performing with a spike on her head that brutally stabs the air.

Only the ingredients are gentle with her, the work deliberately arouses mixed feelings. In Horn, mechanical devices play instruments or write with ink, imitating human creativity. As in 2018 in the sophisticated mirror work “Glowing Core” for Berlin’s St. Hedwig’s Cathedral, it’s about looking into infinity that pulls the rug out from under your feet. Movement has also been an issue since the late 1960s. First, the artist, born in 1944 in the Odenwald, felt her way through the room with self-made "arm extensions" or wrapped herself in a metallic feather costume as a "widow of paradise". Later came the body machines, which were recently exhibited in Basel and Metz. And doesn't "The New Release", a kinetic wall work from 2019, stare at you with its gently rotating, polished glass eyes?

"The New Release" hangs in the Thomas Schulte Gallery. She celebrates Horn at Gallery Weekend Berlin with a solo show. The date is perfect: exactly thirty years ago, the gallery also opened with an exhibition by the artist, who, after numerous awards and a lengthy stay in New York, had started as a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts in 1989. Schulte now pays homage to her with two monumental installations. In contrast, “The New Release” seems small, but it is still a highlight for him because, despite all its reduction, it symbolizes wonderfully precise existential contradictions. It's about the beauty and monotony of repetitive movement, as well as seeing and failing to see what the cold, ultimately dead eyes of the binoculars represent.

This contradiction was already the subject of the “Choir of Locusts” – the work made from old typewriters and a white cane, which the Franck & Schulte Gallery presented at the premiere. The program was fed by the favorites of both gallery owners: Rebecca Horn, Nam June Paik, Sol LeWitt. When Franck moved to London in 2001, Thomas Schulte took over the Berlin space, but not all the artists. He valued Horn very much, he says, but soon she was exclusively under contract to Marian Goodman in New York. There was always contact, just like Schulte's interest in reviving the collaboration. This now seals the first presentation after two decades, which makes Horn's central position for contemporary art immediately apparent.