Group Exhibition / Artist Talk
Behind the Appearances
Vera Lehndorff & Holger Trülzsch
Opening: Friday, September 11, 2015, 19h
Exhibition: September 12 – October 31, 2015
Curated by Thomas Grötz
Thursday, October 8, 2015, 20h:
Artist talk with Vera Lehndorff and Holger Trülzsch, hosted by Thomas Grötz
The Berlin exhibition venue BOX Freiraum is pleased to present Behind the Appearances featuring works by Vera Lehndorff and Holger Trülzsch.
Working together during an intensive period of collaboration lasting from the early 1970s to late 1980s, the artists created an extensive body of work of specially-composed photographs. Vera Lehndorff, who originally studied at the University of Art and Design in Hamburg, was, at the beginning of their collaboration, known as Veruschka, the internationally celebrated fashion model. In the 1960s, she played an important role in shaping the public presentation of her diverse persona.
Holger Trülzsch studied painting and sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and was influenced by ZERO artist Otto Piene as well as the Situationist International of Asger Jorn. He was also a member of the band Popul Vuh in their early, electronic-oriented phase.
Highly diverse individual influences and experiences coalesced into an extensive photo series, which can be read as a synthesis of painting, photography, and performance / engaging with the body. In this image series, Vera Lehndorff appears as an interface between individuality and the world. The meticulous, fresco-like painting of her body and its elaborate staging shed light on themes of gender identity or the complex subjects of man and nature, or man and environment.
In essence, three photo series were produced, characteristic examples of which are on view at BOX Freiraum. The 1972 series Mimikry Dress Art (Mimicry Dress Art), depicts in an ironic and exaggerated fashion the stereotypes and media representations of male and female idols: the nonchalant rogue, the androgynous popstar, or Veruschka, becoming Vera while undressing. A somewhat different approach is taken with the series Oxydationen (Oxydations) from the late 1970s, which presents people within decaying architectural contexts. A body painted primarily in rust colors is inserted into corrosion, decay, and ruin. The legacy of modern industrial culture also plays a role in the final series Sirius. Here the body is not presented in an empty, abandoned sphere, but in its opposite: in the bewildering accumulation of colored fabrics and clothing discovered in an Italian warehouse.
The photo series by Vera Lehndorff and Holger Trülzsch have been presented in international exhibitions since the 1970s. BOX Freiraum now makes viewing the collaborative works in a new light possible, the urgency of which allows them to stand on their own, but which, or for the first time today, can be read in the context of multiple relationships: in connection with the material metamorphoses and reality questioning of the Surrealists, in relationship to the body interventions of the French Lettrists and the Viennese Actionists, or to the need, expressed in body and performance art, to symbolically relate the body not only to architecture but also elements of nature.
Through these and other potential connections the viewer encounters fundamental, existential motifs. An additional theme is loss or the elimination of individuality, which is a prerequisite to merging with other, broader contexts. Furthermore, also present is the question whether one remains trapped in the circle of external appearances or whether something more substantial is concealed “behind” this.
In addition to the collaborative works, BOX Freiraum also presents a small selection of current works by Vera Lehndorff and Holger Trülzsch.
Vera von Lehndorff and Holger Trülzsch have presented their works together in renowned international institutions including: Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, STARAK Foundation, Warsaw.
They are also represented in the following public collections: Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris; Kobe Fashion Museum, Japan; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur; Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo, New York
Thomas Grötz, born 1965, lives and works as an author, artist and curator in Berlin.
The BOX is a free-form venue for exhibition and cultural events. The BOX Freiraum also provides artist studios spaces, making it a lively production site for art. The initiator and director of the BOX Freiraum is architect Carolina Mojto.