Klemm’s, Berlin

*Project as part of ART-O-RAMA’s residency program

For ART-O-RAMA 2017,  Klemm’s has conceived a duo presentation with artists Fiona Mackay (*1984, Great Britain) and Émilie Pitoiset (*1980, France), who have produced new work on site during ART-O-RAMA’s residency program, reverberating to the direct environment and given means. Klemm’s has chosen both artists since it is in their artistic practice to turn the space they present their work in into a narrative setting – yet with completely different media and approach.

Émilie Pitoiset produces artworks that ‘activate’ a series of characters and fictions through an on-going narrative that deals with the exhibition as a format, including elements such as film and performance. Her work is infused by figures such as Woolf, Ackerman, Robbe-Grillet, Flaubert, Huysmans and Fassbinder that she mirrors and leads astray into a subtle “eroticization” of the every day life. She plays with uncanny scenarios that unfold a surrealistic visual grammar that is both enigmatic, ‘noir’ and decadent.

Her images and sculpted or painted objects often conceal convex narratives summoning the viewer into a role game whose scenario has not yet been revealed. Everything here is dual and unstable: the exhibition, seemingly immobile, becomes the locus of a scene being played, or already played, in which objects become actors. In a mix of fetishization and embodiment, these ‘transfer objects’ contain repetitions of past acts and latent scenarios for fictional rituals. In her room-filling installations as well as in each individual work she raises the questions of how we can work with ‘desire’, ‘the mechanism of absence’, the ‘physical unconscious’ and nevertheless the ‘missing act’? And how can we recapture the language of eroticism?

Similar in approach but visually completely different is the work of Fiona Mackay: her work can be best described by envisioning a possibly but not necessarily connected sequence of ‘events with painterly means’. These undertakings evolve in the realm of an exhibition or in relation to a given place or space. The beginnings lie between personal narration and the commonly used sign-systems or associative terms, words and objects as ‘roots’. In a blunt gesture, without a sketch but intuitively Mackay applies directly onto the canvas individual cycles between figuration and abstraction. The artist develops syntactic bodies of work that reverberate in the exhibition space like sound waves – being radically open to subjective perception. The works, intense and luminescent, reveal an uncommon marriage of solidity and fluidity, monumentality and domesticity, the earnest and the whimsical, achieving a maximum impact with limited means.