at Autocenter Berlin Frank Altmann, Awst & Walther, Nina Beier, Eva Berendes, Stefan Burger, Martin Soto Climent, Adam Thompson
21 Mar – 5 Apr 2012

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Opening: 20 April 2012, 8 pm
Eldenaer Strasse 34a
D-10247 Berlin

This exhibition draws on seven artistic positions that each examine disparate methods of display, the intrinsic value of an object, and the hierarchies that are assigned to those objects in any given enviroment. The assembled artists’ engagement with the architecture of the exhibition room is rarely disruptive but more regularly enhancive. By making and installing works made of domestic or industrial (but characteristically simple) materials, the artists’ jolt the spectator’s perception of the known into the unknown or new, opening an investigation into what abstraction can represent today. From the personal to the political and/or social, “Stepping Stone” suggests that abstraction today is offering a dynamic platform to engage within the increasingly vast public realm.

Appropriation has significantly transformed from the shape it took during its contemporary rise in the 1970s. It has evolved into often something more intimate, relating to the self, the home, or even in this case to the artist’s subjective view of modernism in general. The artists who partake in it often make use of found materials or readymades, but they are no longer merely concerned about decontextualising the object’s original value by placing it into the framework of an exhibition. Instead, the presentation serves to redefine each artist’s practice and, more so, questions the object’s relationship between the material and its resulting form. Ultimately, what is investigated is how the idea shapes its own identity through display and its often-equivocal content, thus becoming its own, yes, stepping stone.

Frank Altmann (D), Awst & Walther (UK/D), Nina Beier (DK), Eva Berendes (D), Stefan Burger (CH), Martin Soto Climent (MX), and Adam Thompson (UK) use cement, steel, textiles, plastic, metal, wood, and paint in their artistic practices. A unifying strategy here is the working method with which the works are charged by their physically dominant characteristics. The simple gesture in dealing with the material itself becomes the initiating moment, in which the disparate works’ materiality opposes the installation room’s innate characteristics, and thus complicates the various hierarchies on view.

Photography: courtesy Roman März