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Of Clowns and Other Swine – Images of Ourselves. An exhibition at the Verein Berliner Künstler (VBK) | 12.11-04.12.2022

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Six international artists* will show images of themselves at the VBK from 12 November 2022. Two lyricists – the rock singer Jan Plewka and the actor Robert Gallinowski – think aloud about the works and create their own art in the process: word and sound. The exhibition “Von Clowns und anderen Schweinehunden – Bilder unserer Selbst” (Of Clowns and Other Swine – Images of Ourselves) offers a holistic experience around the question of who lives inside us and how the ongoing time of crisis has influenced this creature(s).

Image above: Sayyora Muin, “Ancestral Pole” detail, ca.160 x 250 x 250 cm, Mixed Media, 2022; Photo: Karime Benzakour-Knidel

“When we as artists deal with ourselves in our artistic work, it becomes intimate. It is about self-image and identity and we feel out the facets of our person: our honest self, our memory of ourselves, our hidden self, our censored self, and many more,” reports Frauke Bohge, Berlin artist and project manager of the exhibition “Von Clowns und anderen Schweinehunden – Bilder unserer Selbst” (Of Clowns and Other Pig Dogs – Images of Ourselves), which opens on 11 November from 7 pm at the gallery in the Verein Berliner Künstler (VBK) in Berlin-Mitte.

People talk about “inner pigs” or “giving the clown”.

“In the last two years, the human mirror has changed because of the pandemic. Our time alone and with others has changed. Many have been confronted with their own identity and self-image. For better or for worse. It was under these circumstances that the idea for the whole project was born,” explains Anna-Lisa Unkuri, a Swedish painter who now also lives in Berlin after stints in Australia and France.

Four other artist colleagues were involved in the project: Catherine Bourdon (France), Andrea Cataudella (Italy), Sayyora Muin (Uzbekistan) and Katrin Salentin (Germany), for some of whom the inner self-image was already an important motif. The artworks that spring from this inner dialogue can reach the viewing third parties in a second step. There they are: self-images, self-portraits, but also the personal roles and projections that can hardly be deciphered.

Musical Lyricism as a Tool by Jan Plewka
In all their attempts at decipherment, visitors can be supported by Jan Plewka, songwriter and singer of the band Selig and a visual artist himself. Plewka (together with his colleague Marco Schmedtje) contributes to the overall concept with his song “Wie ein Geist” (Like a Ghost), a lyrical examination of the exhibition theme. In it, he looks at the artists’ works and, as a curious outsider, expresses his thoughts and feelings in words and sounds. The photographer Sven Sindt, who has already made music videos for bands like Juli and the musician Jochen Distelmeyer, will produce a video for the Plewka song.

Alternatively, or building on this, visitors to the exhibition can also come back to the gallery on the evening of 19 November at 6 pm to listen to Robert Gallinowski’s “loud thoughts on the inner images of the artists”. The actor and poet will also read from his own texts under the title “Wohin ich bleibe”.

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About the VBK
The VEREIN BERLINER KÜNSTLER was founded more than 180 years ago. It is thus the oldest artists’ association still in existence in Germany. More than 1500 members belonged to the association, among them Adolph Menzel, Max Liebermann, Otto Nagel, Georg Kolbe, Heinrich Zille and A. Paul Weber. Since 1964, the association has had its headquarters on the Landwehrkanal opposite the Neue Nationalgalerie. In the listed building at Schöneberger Ufer 57, the association’s own gallery, with an average of ten exhibitions per year, acts as a platform for various exhibition formats and events, which are realised by the members on their own responsibility. In addition, the VBK cooperates with national and international organisations and realises art projects at home and abroad. Honorary members include Elvira Bach, Matthias Koeppel and Jonas Burgert.

The artists

Frauke Bohge
born 1983 in Berlin, deals with places and memories. Primarily at home in the genre of painting, she is now developing her preference for materiality on canvas and also works with concrete and textiles of different textures and origins.

DEEDS NEWS Frauke Bohge Foto Karime Benzakour Knidel
Frauke Bohge, “1993”, 70 x 50 cm, oil on canvas, 2022; Photo: Karime Benzakour-Knidel

Catherine Bourdon
a native of France, came to Berlin after studying at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Paris and the Faulte St. Charles (Sorbonne) and draws on distinctive stylistic elements or approaches from art history. In doing so, she acts across all genres and at the same time completely in accordance with the spontaneous gesture of the action painter: the subject is the occasion for the colour.

DEEDS NEWS Catherine Bourdon Foto Karime Benzakour Knidel
Catherine Bourdon “Vanitas”, 19 x 14 x 14 cm, oil, acrylic, synthetic resin, 2022; Photo: Karime Benzakour-Knidel

Andrea Cataudella
develops his painting between realism and abstraction with expressive elements. He dissects the human being, his psyche, his superego, brings the innermost out into the open and creates a shattering truthfulness.” Peter Schlangenbader The Italian Andrea Cataudella has lived and worked in Berlin for several years.

DEEDS NEWS Andrea Cataudella Foto Karime Benzakour Knidel
Andrea Cataudella, “A.C. (Self Portrait)”, 40x 40 cm, oil on canvas, 2017; Photo: Karime Benzakour-Knidel

Katrin Salentin
born 1980 in Düren, characteristic is the collage. Rearranged fragments of bodies and colours, cut out of contemporary catalogues, first analogue, then digital, grow into new surreal forms that stage themselves as irritating figurations in space.

DEEDS NEWS Katrin Salentin
Katrin Salentin, “Enfeebled Self”, 50 x 40 cm, digital collage, 2012/2022

Anna-Lisa Unkuri
Anna-Lisa Unkuri’s paintings take shape in a two-part process: the expressive and abstract part, driven by intuition, and the other, figurative, which strives for a personal narrative. The ideas often come from her own family albums and photographs, where signs are interpreted, black and white becomes colour and events take on new meaning. Anna-Lisa was born in Sweden, lived in Australia and Paris and since 2014 in Berlin.

DEEDS NEWS Anna Lisa Unkuri Foto Karime Benzakour Knidel
Anna-Lisa Unkuri, “I see you, do you see me”, 150 x 130 cm, oil on canvas, 2022;
Photo: Karime Benzakour-Knidel

Sayyora Muin
The fate of women: their dreams, hopes, fears are the main theme of Muin, who was born in Tashkent (Uzbekistan). She is always looking for different ways to tell her stories: sometimes in light, seemingly informal graphics, sometimes as objects in a sculpture installation or in the genre of photography, and always both universal and very personal.


Vernissage: Friday, 11. November 2022 07:00 p.m.

Exhibition dates: Saturday, 12 November to Sunday, 4 December 2022

Saturday, 19 November 06:00 p.m.

An evening with Robert Gallinowksi. He is an actor and reads from his own texts and poems on the theme of “self-images”.

Saturday, 3 December 04:00 p.m. to 08:00 p.m.

Musicians Jan Plewka and Marco Schmedtje have announced their presence at the finissage.

Wednesday, 16 November 08:40 p.m. on radio eins
Cora Knoblauch will talk about the exhibition on radio eins in the section “art aber fair”.

Verein Berliner Künstler
Schöneberger Ufer 57
10785 Berlin-Tiergarten

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