Since 30 March 2023, Kurt-Kurt has been showing the exhibition Travels in the City by the artists Sharon Paz and Rafael Ibarra. Staged and played with different media and strategies, the current project series Travels in the City turns art into a means of transport and the exhibition at the Kurt-Kurt into a journey. Artists are the ideal experts for journeys to places, through thoughts and processes to subjective and personal abysses. Working as travellers in a foreign environment and staging visual worlds and spatial images is part of their profession. Coming from different “backgrounds”, not born in Berlin but based and networked in Berlin, they whisk us away, open our eyes to virtual cityscapes or lead us into the “depths” of their own person.
Fig.above: Sarón Paz, 2023
Artist Sharon Paz (Israel) and artist Rafael Ibarra (Mexico) work in different media and explore two different poles with their newly developed works for the exhibition.
In search of the truth or the recognition of what is only supposedly real, Sharon Paz takes us into digitally created worlds. In her installation What do you see, when you look out of the window? in the back room at Kurt-Kurt, she presents a floor-filling projection with additional elements on the wall. The precise staging of space, video and language allows real objects and projected illusion to become one. In the conception, composition and realisation of her artistic “itineraries”, the artist cooperates with AI and composes artificially created places with images from reality and mixes augmented reality with AI-generated images. The densely “woven” image journeys are accompanied by spoken and written texts that immerse us in a fascinating interplay of digital and analogue life, of real and virtual city.
Rafael Ibarra’s journey takes place under water. In his performance A journey inward, he lies down with a heavy stone on his chest in a pool filled with water to travel alone to himself. The audience witnesses this existential journey, which does without movement. But precisely because the standstill becomes movement, the question of the meaning or even the meaninglessness of travel also arises. What Rafael Ibarra’s journey will look like, whether it will remain invisible or what images it will leave us with, depends on whether the individual visitors are willing to set out on the journey themselves. Rafael Ibarra’s performative works present themselves to us in simple images. His artistic strategy and his careful composition and dramaturgy of space, installation, image, body and story lead to the fact that the image, which is clear at the beginning, dissolves into a multi-layered mesh between real performance and subtle narrative, before it becomes clear at the end: The now/the fleeting moment is all we have.
Travels in the city offers different artistic routes that make one’s own perceptible in exchange and in the encounter with the other and allow it to be coordinated anew.
About the project Travelling in the City: Urban mobility, inspiring strolling, oscillating between cultures/subcultures, religions, social classes and communities, the search for living and working space, contemporary odysseys, personal and/or collective travelogues, finding home, historical traces, journeys in the mind, existential paths and odysseys, journeys of discovery. And above all, we think of the immense potential that travelling in the city has here and now. Physically, mentally, but also specifically in the current situation redefined by Corona and climate, the art of travelling in place, on the spot and for the place represents a new inspiration and challenge for artistic creation. The focus is no longer on travelling for art, the until recently almost unlimited mobility, but on the art of travelling in one’s own city.
This is where the exhibition series Travels in the City comes in, receiving and presenting the city with artistic, multi-perspective views by Sharon Paz, Rafael Ibarra, Maya Schweizer and Jan Köchermann.
In addition to city-specific themes, Reisen in der Stadt also questions the contemporary figure of the artist as a commuter between migration, permanent travel and the location of his/her works in clearly defined spatial situations. Especially now, after the experience of a lockdown and being thrown back on one’s own city or even one’s own room, new, different questions arise about the position and function of the artist as a traveller, as a commuter between places of creation and places of presentation. Legal values and norms of the production, presentation and reception of art shift and have to be renegotiated.
In this context, Reisen in der Stadt will artistically apostrophise the topos of the city and at the same time also confront and reflect on current issues in a wide range in the present.
Lübecker Str. 13
Thursday, March 30 – Sunday, April 30, 2023 / Thu – Sat 4 – 7 p.m.
Thursday, 20 April.2023 at 7 pm Richard Rabensaat with Rafael Ibarra and Sharon Paz.
Sunday, 30 April.2023 at 4 pm with performances Rafael Ibarra and Sharon Paz.