Olaf Nicolai, La Lotta, 2006. The Sander Collection, Courtesy Galerie EIGEN + ART Leipzig/Berlin, Foto: Uwe Walter, Berlin
RITORNELL. Nine Stories
22nd November 2008 – 25th January 2009
Halil Altindere, Fernando Bryce, Patricia Esquivias, Deimantas Narkevicius, Olaf Nicolai, Ola Pehrson, Romana Scheffknecht, Erzen Shkololli, Amelie von Wulffen
Ritornell (refrain) refers to the recurrence of a motif, an instrumental phrase played at the beginning, end or middle of a piece in concerto grosso; the refrain. For Deleuze/Guattari1, the refrain signifies an “in-between”, the sphere between order and chaos: “A child in the dark, gripped with fear, comforts himself by singing under its breath. […] The song is like a rough sketch of a calming and stabilizing, calm and stable, center in the heart of chaos.”
The Ritornell (refrain) assists in the creation of a “territory”, a “home”; however, it is also possible to set out from it once again, which facilitates “movements of escape”.
In this exhibition, Ritornell is a metaphor representing nine artistic works in which the recurrence of motifs and reiteration play a part. The motifs themselves originate from various discourses, from history and the present day, and from everyday life as well as politics. The “stories” contained here are both real and fictional and concern the reporting format of contemporary media as well as that of traditional fables or stories. In their creative adaptation – using diverse media such as sculpture, drawing, video, photography and painting – it seems that something is set in motion, a “ritornell” via which these motifs are transposed using poetic, sometimes ironic means from the historical into the present day, and so made productive in terms of current experience.