Auf Rosen gebettet / In a Bed of Roses
The group exhibition "In a Bed of Roses“ with works by Stefan Roloff, Deborah Sengl, Yukiko Terada and Jörn Groothkopp presents various approaches to the fight for survival in our global world and focuses on the topic of (the loss of) home.
Stefan Roloff confronted this fight at the age of 16 when he left the walled-in city of West Berlin. He narrowly escaped the Fascist police in Franco-Spain. Existential experiences as a migrant in Mexico and the USA formed the German-American artist and continue to influence his work.
The large-format ink drawings and paintings on exhibit are part of the project “Ark O Platz”, a planned monument on Oranienplatz in Berlin's Kreuzberg district. It was inspired by the refugee protest movement. Part of the show is a model of that monument which Roloff created in the form of a boat. Here, he uses the term Ark according to its original meaning in ancient Greek where it signifies the “origin of action”. The monument will provide space for the self-organization and integration of migrants, free from religious or political influences. The realization is planned for 2017. The project is supported by Akademie der Künste.
Deborah Sengl’s work "Home Story" is also concerned with gaps in human society created by increasingly split realities. The figure of the homeless—disrooted, fallen (or pushed) from his natural living environment—is placed next to a selfie girl equipped with luxury brands. But she is equally cut off from the stable base of a secure existence. Her self-image, the status symbols and selfie posing speak a clear language of loss of meaning, alienation and inner desolation.
Berlin-based Japanese artist Yukiko Terada approaches the topic in her own subtly indirect and poetic way. Her work "Birthday Flowers From Fukushima" refers to the forced relocation of residents near the nuclear power plant Fukushima after the tsunami triggered the meltdown—a combination of natural and human-induced disaster. For the birthday of her mother on March 12, 2011, she had ordered a pot of Japanese Wisteria flowers via internet from a florist in Fukushima. When on March 11 the earth trembled and the tsunami and a nuclear meltdown were triggered, the flowers were already in the mail and the florist had lost everything. The flowers continue to bloom every spring. Terada connected the withered petals with strings to locations on a world-map marking the points where nuclear power plants are in operation or under construction.
Jörn Grothkopp's painting "The Island" shows a strongly abstracted landscape scene, seen somewhere south of Tokyo on the Japanese coast. The isolated, functional building on a hill, bathed in moonlight under a blue night sky, appears like a lunar base, the first station of a new settlement in space, the beginning of the colonization of a new planet. The image captures the moment at which suddenly our own planet seems unfamiliar and foreign again, cast in an eerily un-cosy light. And with it our life on it, regardless of where we are, is revealed as insular, spatially and temporally limited, ephemeral, and—possibly even in a cosmic sense—essentially nomadic.