Duet/ Exhibition with Dana Engfer
November 2022, at sign CIAT, Berlin
It’s important to always be by the sea.
The sea is the element of love.
The Greeks say so,
Aphrodite emerged from the water.
Uncle Yanco, Agnes Varda.
The sea can be seen as a place of peril, challenge, loss and dispute; it can be thought of as an economic zone, a territorial claim or as an endangered terrain, the polluted home to aquatic life. But the sea can also be remembered as a place of desire, of longing, of freedom, of forgiveness, of memory and most importantly as one of connection. It is a place that gives life and indeed that is love.
For their first joint exhibition Dana Engfer and Yuki Jungesblut have chosen the Sea as their common ground for a playful and careful dialogue that is woven from new and old work, fragments, photographs and recordings, oscillating between innocence and wonder.
For <sign, CIAT>’s on-going dialogue format Dana Engfer invited Yuki Jungesblut and their exhibition <To the Sea, from the Sea> came together from the wish to construct an exhibition in a truly dialogic manner and as an homage to the Sea.
Both, Dana and Yuki, often turn to photography in their work process. Both have an interest in the ephemeral, in traces, in the passing, and both have a not further specified longing for that which is far away (and, occasionally, yet close).
So what started out as a very open and quite general inquiry juggling around some common themes – fog, floating, the elements, may be fire, landscapes, developed with more ping-pong, head scratching, play and the decision to go on a mission – in parallel: Fortunately, by mere coincidence both artists had independently decided to travel during almost the same time period, for initially different reasons. Dana’s journey took her to the North, towards the arctic, to Iceland and Yuki ventured towards the South, the Mediterranian, to France.
From these journey they developed their first two collaborative projects, for which each of them took notes by taking a photograph, curious what would come from their juxtapositions:
The first set came from them using their mobile phones to take photos, with the intended restriction of a point of time, assembled afterwards into a note-book:
<16 Uhr/ 4 p.m.>
and the second in a similar manner with a disposable cameras:
<One picture a day with disposable cameras>
The third collaboration came about like a sort of jamming session, with more than one reference and cross-reference to music – the exhibition itself, the distribution of the works in the space of sign, CIAT.
Carried by the lullabyesque Soundtrack of Dana’s video <Song for Seals, 2022>, which she had composed for the seals of Iceland, the individual works are connected by the visitor’s movement in space. Everyone is invited to spend their time at leisure, roaming what is there, letting their minds wander, as one often does when at the sea. Looking at what has been there for eons, much longer than humans and what will still be there when humans and all their grand desires are gone.
From the whale bones at the shore, to the whale’s fluke, to a the whale’s hand, to the human’s hand, to the whale’s trace when going under one line holds. From Neptune, to the crystals of salt, to other messengers of the Sea the other lines interweaves.
Come hither and see, let yourself be carried on the waves, that the sea brings and sings.
In ihrer ersten gemeinsamen Ausstellung erforschen Dana Engfer und Yuki Jungesblut als zwei Reisende das Meer als ein Element der Verbindung. Das arktische Meer der Westfjorde Islands trifft auf das Mittelmeer vor Südfrankreich und auf Echos vom pazifischen Ozean. In einem offenen Dialog teilen die beiden Künstler/innen ihre Erfahrungen mit dem Meer und spüren einem Gespinst von Fragen nach – Welche Geschichten trägt das Meer mit sich, welche Spuren verlieren sich, welche Verbindungen und Überlagerungen gibt es?
for general overview and more on agva ciat
For more details from Dana’s perspective:
Thanks to Dana for inviting me, Sim&Nic of sign CIAT for being great hosts, Moritz Otto for the poster and postcard design, and Neustart Kultur for support.