Natalie Czech

“Robert Walser: Der Spaziergang” (group show) @ Zink Galerie, November 23rd, 2012

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Robert Walser‘s novel “Der Spaziergang (The Walk)” has inspired Galerie Zink for the homonymous exhibition “Robert Walser – Der Spaziergang”, in which the next artists Euan Macdonald, Marcel van Eeden, Jana Gunstheimer and Natalie Czech  participate to approximate to the person of Robert Walser and his work.

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Euan Macdonald presents a bundle of 85 pencil drawings, which have been developed over a period of three years at different locations. The drawings are complemented with 22 antiquarian postcards. In his drawings, Macdonald uses the various manifestations of landscape and questions the familiarity of this phenomenon. Connecting the drawings to the postcards -from the period 1911 to 1913, period referenced in Walser’s writings and starting point of his retirement in Switzerland (1913)-, serve as historical reference. The interplay between familiarity and unfamiliarity an indeterminacy of the visual world can perfectly illustrate Robert Walser’s novel.

Marcel van Eeden used in his great drawing “Celia” (2006) long passages from Robert Walser’s “Der Spaziergang”. In Zink’s exhibition he shows the series “Herisau – Wil, 23.April 1939”, 2012. The work is inspired in a walk of 28 kilometers taken from Herisau to Wil by Robert Walser’s admirer and later guardian, Carl Seelig on 23rd April, 1939 materialized in his writing “Walking with Robert Walser”. Van Eeden uses text fragments from Carl Seelig’s report in the installation presented here. As it is usual in his work, the artists refers to events before his own birth in 1965.

Jana Gunstheimer approaches the person of Robert Walser in a sort of indirect portrait. For many visual artists, the writer, who lived between euphoria and despair, has became a fascinating person. He withdrawn himself in the protection of asylum in Waldau near Bern in 1929. In the last years of his life, Robert Walser lived fully retracted and no longer wrote. This state of isolation is what Jana Gunstheimer transfers to drawings with an atmospherically charged interior similar to a burnt house.

The work “Adieu ihr schönen Worte”, 2010, by Natalie Czech refers to a quote by Ingeborg Bachmann, but it has special validity in terms of the biography of Robert Walser: „Adieu, ihr schönen Worte, mit Euren Verheißungen. Warum habt Ihr mich verlassen, war Euch nicht wohl?“

Very free translation from me, original text in German. Text source:

‘Bilder vom Terror’ @ C/O Berlin, November 19th 2011

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Images of Terror. Quotes”The games must go on!” Avery Brundage. ICO President. 1972 && “Show you’re not afraid!” Rudolph Giuliani . Mayor of New York . 2001

A masked man looking over a balcony. An airplane flying into a skyscraper. Hearing these descriptions, we immediately picture the scenes in our minds. We know exactly what events are meant. Pictures possess a tremendous power. Not only do they capture the decisive moment; they also influence public discourse, demanding reflection and response. Particularly after catastrophes and traumatic events, the ubiquity of the images makes the events themselves seem omnipresent, inescapable. Pictures of terror have an enormous, enduring power that holds the viewer in its thrall. They burn themselves deep into our collective memory. The exhibition “The Uncanny Familiar” curated by C/O Berlin examines the meaning of photography in our contemporary visual culture by exploring the visual processing of images of terror in recent decades. The events in Munich in 1972 and in New York in 2001 establish the temporal framework for the exhibition. Through the artistic confrontation with these events, political images are called into question; and the archival images presented lay bare the construction and illusion of photography.

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This exhibition was organized to commemorate the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001, and is curated by Felix Hoffmann for C/O Berlin. It features approximately 200 works fromSpiegel magazine’s photographic archives and around 30 artists, including Thomas Hoepker, Dennis Adams, Michal Kosakowski, Coco Kühn, Fiorenza Menini, Thomas Galler, Thomas Ruff, Simon Menner, Peter Piller, Christoph Draeger, Thomas Hirschhorn, G.R.A.M., Walid Raad, Gael Peltier, Naeem Mohaiemen, Michael Schirner, Sarah Charlesworth, Mikael Mikael, Robert Boyd, Johan Grimonprez, Luuk Wilmering, Pascale Couvert, Natalie Czech, Reymond Depardon, Michael Schäfer, Marc Volk, and Malte Wandel.

What is the logic behind the use and dissemination of pictures in our modern media culture? Has the digital age heralded in a new kind of terrorism aimed at capturing the public attention? When does an event take on global importance and how strong a role do the media play in conditioning and synchronizing such events? Often it is only by confronting the images of terror that the structure and function of the journalistic photograph becomes evident. The media’s images of terror were and are more than mere depictions of situations or events beyond themselves, or pictures that simply document occurrences. They do more than simply convey meanings through their unique aesthetic properties. They are pictures with the capacity to shape reality.