EDGAR LECIEJEWSKI / MALTE WANDEL: SCHLANGENRITUAL
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Wie Feldforscher untersuchen Leciejewski und Wandel die Utopie der Schönheit in zwei komplett unterschiedlichen kulturellen Kreisen. Obschon die Arbeiten jeweils von einem ganz anderen Standpunkt entstehen, wird deutlich, dass der Kern der Arbeiten ein gleiches Zentrum hat: das Zerpflücken dieser Utopie, der modernen Mythologie.
Edgar Leciejewski (*1977 Berlin) experimentiert unendlich im Feld der Fotografie. Seine Arbeit wurde unter anderem in der Schirn Kunsthalle, dem Witte de Witt Center for Contemporary Art Rotterdam, der Kunsthalle Wien, dem Stadtmuseum München, dem NRW Forum Düsseldorf und dem Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig gezeigt und befindet sich in folgenden öffentlichen Sammlungen: Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, Zabludowicz Collection, London, Sammlung Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Köln, Stiftung F.C. Gundlach, Hamburg, UBS Art Collection, Zürich, BESart, Coleccao Bancon Espirito Santo, Lisboa, Staatliche Kunstsammlung Dresden, Sammlung Leipziger Schule, Sparkasse Leipzig, Sammlung Hildebrandt G2 Kunsthalle Leipzig, Sammlung SØR Rusche, Oelde, Sammlung Münchener Stadtmuseum, Stiftung für zeitgenössische Fotografie, Köln.
With SCHLANGENRITUAL Nicole Gnesa dedicates a joint exhibition to two of the most promising young German photographers.
Aby Warburg's report on the snake ritual (1895/1923) of the Hopi Indians is one of the canonical texts of modern times.
Warburg had traveled to New Mexico around 1895 to study Indian cults for several weeks, inspired by the then flourishing ethnographic research. Based on the importance of the snake as the lightning symbol of the Indian weather magic, he dealt also with the serpent in biblical and Greek mythology. In his comparative study, Warburg highlighted the structural similarities in the process of symbolizing the serpent.
Edgar Leciejewski shows works from his group Horizon in the exhibition Schlangenritual. The work originated in 2014 on Fogo Island / Newfoundland during an Artist in Residence program. They show sunsets for which Fogo Island is famous. Since Leciejewski was six months on the island, he had to deal with the almost cheesy, yet beautiful spectacle every day.
Leciejewski photographs the sunsets in a manner similar to a landscape portrait. He leads it to abstraction by shifting the horizon and removing the sky from its vastness by using the small format. Similar representations of different shots are placed side by side in a rhythmic grid. This decomposing abstraction and the unusual colourfulness lead to a hypnotic moment. Nicolaus Schafhausen adds in the interview of the publication Tones (Edgar Leciejewski, Tones, ed. by Alexandra MacIntosh, Nicolaus Schafhausen, Fogo Island Art, Berlin 2017): "I would say you have, in essence, a more abstract approach, more with an eye on the present, what's happening behind the scenes."
The fact that the portrait of the sky reflexively is meant to be a self-portrait is obvious. The look into the sky puts the human being in the center of the universe, everything seems to be equidistant from it to the infinity. Edgar Leciejewski comments: "CIRCLES articulate the sky as a bowl turned over above us. They acknowledge that we stand in the middle of a circle peering out at the world - each of us at the center of our own horizon's circumference. Circles never end when one travels around their circumference.“
Malte Wandel deals in Schlangenritual with architectures from Maputo, Mozambique. Far away from the suppression of the Estado Novo under the Salazar regime in Portugal, the Africa generation of Portuguese architecture was formed in Mozambique and Angola in the 1960s and 1970s. Architects such as João José Tinoco, Maria Carlota Quintanilha or Pancho Guedes influenced Mozambique's Tropical Modernism, modeled on the work of Oscar Niemeyer and Le Corbusier, with Art Deco influences and local building conditions creating their own style. The modern cement city Lourenço Marques (today Maputo) was built in the colonial period exclusively for the white population. Despite racism and racial segregation, Portuguese society in Mozambique believed in building a new reality.
Today, these architectures are symbols of failure. Malte Wandel shows the transitoriness of modernity in a time of postcolonial exploitation and blatant commerce in which visions seem to have no place.
The colonial cemetery Cemitério São Francisco Xavier on the Avenida Karl Marx, which has become very run-down, and the Prédio Tempo, are on focus. The centrally located skyscraper has housed the first major weekly newspaper in Lusophone Africa and produced some well-known photographers (including Magnum photographer Ricardo Rangel). In 2008, the newspaper closed down. The former editorial offices and the printing house have been empty since then.
Like field researchers, Leciejewski and Wandel explore the utopia of beauty in two completely different cultural circles. Although the photographs each come from a completely different point of view, it becomes clear that the core of the work has an equal center: the taking of this utopia, of modern mythology.
Edgar Leciejewski (* 1977 Berlin) experiments endlessly in the field of photography. His work has been exhibited in the Schirn Kunsthalle, the Witte de Witt Center for Contemporary Art Rotterdam, the Kunsthalle Wien, the Stadtmuseum München, the NRW Forum Düsseldorf and the Museum of Fine Arts Leipzig and is located in the following public collections: Museum der Fine Arts Leipzig, Zabludowicz Collection, London, Ann and Jürgen Wilde Collection, Cologne, Foundation FC Gundlach, Hamburg, UBS Art Collection, Zurich, BESart, Coleccao Bancon Espirito Santo, Lisboa, Dresden State Art Collection, Leipzig School Collection, Sparkasse Leipzig, Hildebrandt Collection G2 Kunsthalle Leipzig, SØR Rusche Collection, Oelde, Munich City Museum Collection, Foundation for Contemporary Photography, Cologne.
Malte Wandel (* 1982 Heidelberg) observes since 2009 Mozambique and its temporary workers, who were sent to the former GDR. On innumerable journeys he documents the interaction of Mozambique in the former GDR and the former GDR in Mozambique. Malte Wandel has already exhibited in many renowned houses such as the Museum of Modern Art, Carinthia, the Museum Folkwang in Essen, C / O Berlin and the Museum of Photography in Braunschweig. He is the recipient of numerous young talent awards such as the renowned Documentary Photography Prize of the Wüstenrot Foundation and the Museum Folkwang Essen, the scholarship for Artistic Photography and Electronic Media of the City of Klagenfurt and the Province of Lower Austria, the Vattenfall Fotopreis (together with C / O Berlin), the Fellowship VG Bildkunst, and the International BFF Award & Reinhart Wolf Prize. His work Sarah, Miguel and Jamal is in the collection of the Museum Folkwang, Essen.
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