Tenant of Culture, Paul Barsch + Tilman Hornig, Georgia Dickie, Aniara Omann, Iris Touliatou

I hear your keys clinking

04.06–23.06.2021

The main characters of the exhibition are familiar to everyone, often imperceptible things and everyday objects: taken out of their original context and deprived of their former functionality, they acquire a new life in the form of a work of art. Even though artists have practiced the tradition of using utilitarian objects for more than 100 years — from Cubists collages, Russian avant-garde assemblies, Kurt Schviters’ columns of garbage, and Duchamp’s ready-mades — viewers still find it challenging to perceive and recognize such objects as art. The artists’ works presented at the exhibition, whose practice is based on the rethinking of everyday things and objects, are characterized by the versatility of socio-cultural problems, techniques, and expressive means.

Through deconstruction, disassembling, reshaping, and altering clothing, footwear, and accessories, Tenant of Culture explores how ideological, political, or cultural attitudes are embodied in the often ethically questionable methods of manufacturing, circulation, and marketing of clothing. She considers consumer goods not only as the result of a standardized production process but also as social relations that arise in the process of their use and wear and tear. In her sculptural compositions, the artist combines iconic garments of a specific time with materials associated with durability, thus questioning the commercial strategy of material obsolescence that enforces capitalist overproduction.

Paul Barsch and Tilman Hornig created the «Immer Müde und Scheiss Wetter in New York» (always tired and shitty weather in New York) series in 2018 in the shadow of working on a new project during a joint residency in New York. It is based on a personal backstory — Barsch and Hornig secretly photographed each other while asleep or being tired while it was constantly raining outside. These images were then placed on umbrellas. Artists consider these objects to be beautiful sculptural mass objects, but you only realize the need for them the moment you miss them.

Georgia Dickie’s artistic practice focuses on exploring ideas related to consumption, constraints, and instability. To create her compositions and assemblages, the artist uses objects that she collects in her studio. Her process of reassembling these materials into new arrangements is based on a logic of eschewing and rebalancing their assigned functions. All we know about them is what we see: their material characteristics, colour, texture, and form. By staging these complex assemblages, the artist not only reveals the inherent limitations of material value and meaning but subverts the ways we are conditioned to see the world in a capitalist society, pointing towards potentials that emerge from environmental consciousness.

Aniara Omann’s work «Unname the World» is a series of wooden figures, each dressed in vintage clothing from the last century. Omann’s creatures are roughly the same size as the human body and are positioned in various postures, reminiscent of shop mannequins. Headless, they resemble aliens from the future or creatures from the other world. Apparel, each of which refers to a specific period in fashion history, being isolated from its original context, becomes a cultural code, a symbol of a particular identity. For example, partially discolored jeans are associated with subcultural musical trends, while a frivolous lace top is associated with sexual liberation. Omann immerses the viewer into an alternative reality, suggesting to revise the past, present, and future.

Iris Touliatou’s installation «Emotional Infinity», assembled from oscillating fans and duplicated key chains, reproduces the subtle sounds of clinging keys when opening a door. The keys used in the installation were taken from family members, friends, neighbours, and even strangers. This creates a closed system based on commitments, agreements, and honesty (all of the keys open existing locks). None of the objects used in the installations are produced or acquired outside of this economy. The first iteration of the piece was made on the Greek island of Tinos, using a fan from her grandparents’ home, and replicating the keys from several houses on the island. «Emotional Infinity» performs on the public and intimate, acting simultaneously on the emotional and physical state of the viewer.

About artists

Tenant of Culture is the name of Hendrickje Schimmel’s artistic practice ((born 1990 in the Netherlands, currently living in the UK). The artist holds a BA in Fashion Design from the ArtEZ School of the Arts and an MA in Textile from the Royal College of Art in London. The artist’s upcoming solo exhibitions include Camden Arts Center, London (2022), Sophie Tappeiner, Vienna (2021), Kunstverein Dresden, Dresden (2021), and Soft Opening, London (2022). The artist’s works are at the Fries Museum in the Netherlands.

Paul Barsch (born 1982 in Karlsburg) lives and works in Dresden and Berlin.
Tilman Hornig (born 1979 in Zittau) lives and works in Dresden and Berlin.
Both artists are graduates of the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts. Since 2013, in addition to solo work, Barsch and Hornig have been working on joint projects that have been shown at numerous international exhibitions, including the 9th Berlin Biennale and OSLO 10 (Basel). They are the founders of New Scenario, a curated project and digital platform for experimental exhibition formats that transcend the usual white cube, and DRONE OPERATØR, conceptual music and free jazz project.

Georgia Dickie (born 1989 in Toronto) is a Canadian artist currently living and working in Toronto. In 2011, Dickie earned her Bachelor of Arts from the Ontario College of Art and Design. She was one of the recipients of the 2020 Sobey Art Award and the 2014 recipient of the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts Artist Prize. In February 2015, Dickie was the Canada Council for the Arts artist in residence at Acme Studios in London. She has participated in numerous international solo and group exhibitions and art fairs, including Frieze London (2017), Material Mexico City (2016), NADA New York (2015), and Untitled Miami (2013).

Aniara Omann (born 1987 in Denmark) lives and works in Glasgow. In 2014, she graduated from the MFA programme at the Glasgow School of Art. In 2018, Omann became one of the recipients of the exchange with Triangle France. Her recent solo and group projects include Kling & Bang (Reykjavik, Iceland), Humber Street Gallery (UK), Art Sonje Center ( Seoul, South Korea), and a pair exhibition with Gary Zhexi Zhang as part of Glasgow International’s supported programme at Market Gallery (2018).

Iris Touliatou (born 1981 in Athens) is a Greek artist who has participated in numerous exhibitions, including the 5x5x5 project as part of the official program of the European biennale called Manifesta 12 (Germany). In 2021, she will participate in the New Museum Triennial (New York, USA) and the 7th Athens Biennale. Touliatou is currently at the artistic residence in La Becque (Switzerland).