MADE IN GERMANY
24. 10. - 1. 12. 2017
“Made in Germany”
Wht is a nation? Reaffirmed by laws, decorated with symbols, interwoven with collective memories and national myths – formally egalitarian community legitimates itself as such by applying a set of exclusion criteria. Architecture, in particular, when viewed as a relationship between people and social structures, plays a decisive role in the struggle for the interpretative power of national identities. The buildings are always representations and actors of nation-building. The Slovenian artist Suzana Brborović reveals the visual history of the occidental defence architecture, from the first protective fortifications to the military architecture of modern times and the present security architecture, by means of painting and deconstruction.
The ideal city of Plato or Dürrer, the utopian buildings of modernism, or planned cities such as Palmanova – all illustrate that the defence of borders, the idea of an ideal city and a loyal population form a symbiotic union. The "architectural unconscious" of the West, with its star-shaped layouts, geometric structures and straight forms, is presented by Brborović in large- and medium-format paintings to reflect on the continuity of this aesthetic and political history as well as its current power of action. On the canvas, the artist transcends temporal spaces by intertwining several layers of historical ground plans, incorporating patterns, motifs and compositions of the ongoing fortification of Europe. The images shift between rigid lines and spontaneous flowing forms, created directly through the artist’s gesture.
The motif of a bunker, the so-called flak tower, which during the Nazi dictatorship served as a robust border defence construction of the German Reich, permeates almost all the paintings of the exhibition. Sometimes it emerges as a floating object, other times just its outlines are visible. In some works, it can only be seen as a shadow or in the flight paths of its shells, which are reduced to powerful lines. The series of cuttings of original floor plans from the 80s suggest the Slovenian striped tricolor, which is in the process of fading. The fragile cutting of a flak tower in the form of a ruin is a pictorial abbreviation of a state caught in a moment of disintegration, gradually losing its territorial integrity. It is at the same time a rhetorical figure, which can provocatively represent Europe’s steadfast border policy.
In the exhibition, urban planning and national ideals in connection with border control and state control thus turn into a dystopia, which at first sight appears to maintain total control through border defence. The complexity of the resulting connections and overlaps, which can be linked to something new through their pictorial quality, bring to light the simultaneity of the non-simultaneous through their stratification. The exhibitions "Flags and Flaks" and “Made in Germany” thus opens up a heterotopic space that reflects and at the same time visualizes current social conditions.
Curator Kristina Semenova