With the series DebutantInnen the Berufsverband Bildender Künstler München und Oberbayern e.V. (BBK) supports up-and-coming artists in Bavaria, Germany. Every year, the exhibition offers three young artists the opportunity to experience their professional debut in the Galerie der Künstler, a central exhibition venue for contemporary art in Munich. Three monographs accompany the artists' presentations. The publications by Jonah Gebka, the artist duo Hennicker-Schmidt and Helena Pho Duc will be released at the exhibition's opening reception.
Jonah Gebka, Hennicker-Schmidt, Helena Pho Duc
September 8 – Oktober 4, 2020
Galerie der Künstler, Munich
Helena Pho Duc's artistic practice is characterized by a fascination with materials and the desire to shape and control this material in an almost physical confrontation. Almost all her works - the sculptures, porcelain objects, but also the watercolor drawings - are characterized by a strong familiarity, by direct references and overlaps with her everyday life and by the intensity with which Pho Duc uses her own body in the working process: they combine sensitivity and tenderness with powerful vehemence. The artist is interested in wholeness. Thus the exhibition space in her practice is also included as an important moment in the creative process. It is part of a whole that develops from the viewer, the staging, the objects and the architecture. Pho Duc creates very precise settings that, through a reflected and intuitive working process, bring out the moment when a tension arises in the space. At the same time, she tries to reach a point in her work where the works in the space could become vulnerable, for example through the thematic or process-related privacy that underlies them - like the snakeskin-like surface structure of the ceramic works, which is created by impressions of her own stockings. And yet a second glance reveals the inherent and sensual strength of the works: for example, when the filigree form is sharp-edged, formed from brute, resistant material, by no means as defenseless as initially assumed.
The artist duo Hennicker-Schmidt share an interest in the relationship between people, objects and space. The video „Liebe Landschaft“ is a musical address to the landscape: it shows the two artists in different, geometrically recorded landscape settings in an attempt to approach the landscape through camouflage and performative actions in order to merge with it. To develop a relationship to a place through one's own body and thus to interpret it performatively has long been part of their artistic practice. The installation „Kirchmoarhof“ is the first visible manifestation of a work complex that is being created in renewed collaboration with the artist Andreas Woller. „Kirchmoarhof“ is strongly based on this physical reference to or occupation of space - here a former farmhouse - an approach that is not planned through and through, but is based on a long period of observation. The artists approach the place room by room: through filmed performances, musical and sculptural interventions and always with a specificity of the place and dissolving the hierarchies between object and human being. In the exhibition space, an installative transformation of the house is created, a kind of abstract floor plan that brings together the various aspects and pasts of the building: as a farm, a pint, a gallery and art space and more.
In his work, Jonah Gebka follows an interest in patterns and repetition. Through the multiple references to his image archive, which includes found material such as stock images, but also his own drawings and photographs, he develops contextual strands that create similarities and changes between the diverse visual material. The book format is of particular importance: since 2015 Gebka has regularly published artist's books in varying print runs of 3-100, which act as independent works within his oeuvre. The latest print work, „Image Runner“, was produced as an equal part to the other works in the exhibition DebutantInnen. The sheets in the series - graphite and watercolor drawings printed or overprinted with standard office printers, blank white and colored pages, but also uniformly screened laser prints based on scanned drawings - experiment with different types of color application, incorporating production traces such as print grids, copy shadows, or handprints. In a similar way to how turning the pages of a book brings images together, Gebka structures the exhibition spaces in a sequential logic, combining motifs and thus creating "after-images" in the visitors' viewing experience. In a certain sense, Gebka's works show staged realities and at the same time experimental arrangements: He wants to find out what a standardized printing process does with images, how much work a motif can withstand, or what is altered by constant repetition.