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Friday, April 19, 2024

Fassades – Scotty | 01.03.-13.04.2024

Editors’ Choice

SCOTTY initiates on 1 March 2024 an exhibition on the annual theme “Habitats”. Participating artists: Liesbeth Bos (NL), Matthias Stuchtey (D), Liesbeth van Woerden (NL). Habitats are fragile living spaces. In the show Liesbeth van Woerden is curating she wants to focus on places intended for human residence: the urban environment, the immediate physical environment we live in “Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.” Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities, 1972 Based on Calvino’s text fragment FACADES is chosen as title for the exhibition at SCOTTY. Facades characterize urban environments. They act as faces of the city. What do the facades conceal? Do the facades obscure our view? Do facades offer us room out of sight? Can we exist without having a facade? The three participating artists each explore the concept of ‚Facades‘ from a different perspective. Working methods, materials and techniques also differ, which will result in a layered, versatile exhibition. The purpose of this: artistic visions and statements collide, rub off, reinforce each other, enter into a dialogue.

Title image: © Liesbeth van Woerden, Triptych “Isolation” (Klein), 2017, mixed media (photos on MDF, wallpaper on styrofoam, photo frame), 30 x 50 cm

Liesbeth van Woerden:
Cities confuse Van Woerden; Their size, their smoothness, facades that conceal what is really going on. In urban environments a lot is intangible, invisible and alienating. Is it possible to withstand this habitat? Cities attract Van Woerden; The abundance of human traces. Artifacts that have been used, thrown away, neglected or lost. Can one draw conclusions from this civic information overload? What do outdoor details reveal about what happens inside. Van Woerden collects loose residues and uses them as ‚raw materials‘. The city serves as a research field, an urban playground. In her studio v.W. creates her artworks by isolating, enlarging, reducing, combining, arranging and/or eliminating. Up to a point where prospects emerge: Familiar and alienating, funny and disturbing, visible and invisible. Sediments of faded ambition and human inability. ‘Isolation’ is a series of triptychs which deal with our assumptions on what is hidden behind facades. The installations, actions, videos, photographs and objects by Liesbeth van Woerden arise from her fascination for the commonplace. Everyday life is a source of boredom but intriguing at the same time, with its unbearable routine and its reassuring rituals. Everyday life as something to hold on to in a globalizing world, but also as a restrictive and physical burden. A commonplace which gets more and more infiltrated by ever present (new) media. The commonplace is always there, everywhere and for everyone; no one can escape. Van Woerden tries to catch the mysteries of the commonplace in order accomplish ‘A Transfiguration of the Commonplace’. Banal things, actions, questions, moods on a micro-level and everyday macro-level input are combined, mixed and investigated. Representation, perception and meaning are put under pressure. The works are shown in project spaces, galleries and in public domain. Materials and techniques are not fixed, but selected by their functionality in a specific artwork.

Liesbeth Bos:
The art-project Panta Rei is a research about the never ending change in a city. Like Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher, talked about uninity of opposite parts. He thought nothing in our world stays the same. In other words you don’t argue with someone who tells you the bottle is half full while you think it is half empty. Things appear in all different ways, they chance in time and eventually disappear. This counts not only for us, but also for all things in universe and maybe for universe itself. All things we think about are in fact instable objects, constantly developing. Heraclitus compared them with flames, they look like objects, but in reality are a process. Heraclitus contradicted the comforting thought that things are stable and permanent. Life itself and the universe never stop changing. This law of change reigns everywhere. You can’t escape. Back to the art-project Panta Rei: A city is a chain of buildings, all different in shape, design and size. Every building has its own purpose. To keep a city up and running is a complex business, an ever on-going process. A building once built for a special purpose, will be used differently when the next owner moves in. There are always building-projects going on in the city. They seem binding links in the real development of a city. At the same time the building work is hidden from us by colourful building clothes. So Heraciltes inescapable law is visualized by making an inventory of and showing building sites hidden by the colourful cloth. Liesbeth Bos produces fragmentary installations which reveal structures and current questions on society in a continuous search for balance. Her motivation is to find a balance between the fragmentary and impulsive world on the one hand and moments of reflection and beauty on the other. The more you look for extremes, the greater the danger of losing your balance; but at the same time you feel more intensely that you exist, that you can do what you do with heart and soul. In her artistic process Liesbeth Bos reveals the deeper structures of the original image. Extremes are connected, the plain and the complex, the abstract and the concrete. Seen at a glance, variations on a theme, but each successive works penetrates deeper into the essence of the question, automatically leads to the next question and tries to answer it. A whole is created, a new reality, in which the concrete and the poetic meet each other in a balance of their own.

Matthias Stuchtey:
The works of Matthias Stuchtey surprise with their conspicuous, idiosyncratic design. He makes the heavy light, combines what is light in block-like arrangements, and astonishes with his unmistakability. He often works with found materials or furniture leftovers whose parts he disassembles, rearranges, and then recombines anew. Interest in and knowledge of materials enables him to create works of a refreshing liveliness and unmasking simplicity. Curiosity and playful behavior circle what is beneath the surface of the things. The disassembly and rapprochement of the individual parts accompanies the process of artistic coming-to-oneself. The connections among the components, the cluster formations, convey to us something about the connection between space and human living conditions. As symbiotic as the relationship between artist and work of art seems to be, that’s how alienated the relationship is between the person and his surroundings. That’s why Stuchtey reflects on the relationship between housing, homelessness, and lack of a homeland, the insecurity due to the loss of certainties, but also the feeling of emptiness as a phenomenon accompanying affluence. His manifold form agglomerations counter this in a kind of searching motion. The questions about the relationship between work of art, construction, and life purpose thus orient themselves toward the architectonic as an expansion of the self. Stuchtey offers something that is less and less frequently found in this combination in the visual arts: an understanding of architecture as a complex picture of corporeality. For him, the material of the recapitulated and projected existence as part and whole, interior and exterior, opened and closed, cheerful and tragic is the sole graspable and therefore unassailable material that there is in this world.

(Christoph Tannert)

Curator: Liesbeth van Woerden


Opening: Friday 01. March 2024, 7 pm

Exhibition : Friday, 01. March – Saturday, 13. April 2024
Fr 3 – 7 pm
Sa 2 – 6 pm


Oranienstraße 46
10969 Berlin
U8 Moritzplatz

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