BORCH Gallery & Editions is delighted to present print projects by Tacita Dean, Ólafur Elíasson, Robin Rhode, Matt Saunders, Thomas Scheibitz, and Danh Vō.
The common denominator for all six is Berlin: The city they live and work in. This presentation aims to celebrate the city in a discreet but invigorating way, a ‘Welcome back, Berlin.’
ÓLAFUR ELÍASSON’s The yellow colour circle (2009) is the first of three works in Part II of his The colour circle series (2008–09), a suite of 9 different colour circles. The base of the series is The constant colour circle (2008), consisting of 24 equidistant hues based on the three primary colours red, blue and yellow and 21 interstitial colours. In the first part, Elíasson explores the 24 colours and their diametric opponents in the circle. The second part of the series is an investigation of the three primary colours themselves, while The colour circle series Part III consists of a black, grey and white colour circle.
The depiction of a colour wheel evokes associations of objective scientific research—the chromatics studies of Sir Isaac Newton or Johann Wolfgang Goethe may come to mind. But as a matter of fact, Elíasson’s The colour circle series is the product of artistic decisions regarding the 216 shades of the colours, the design, the length and width of the colour fields, or the distance between them. What presents itself as an image of scientific authority is indeed the result of a series of utterly personal choices, as individual as the artist’s fingerprint.
ÓLAFUR ELÍASSON (*1967 in Copenhagen) lives and works in Berlin and Copenhagen. He has been working with BORCH Gallery & Editions since 1995.
MATT SAUNDERS created a series of monotypes in 2018–19 by simultaneously transferring both sides of watercolours made on linen to paper. The prints carry the weave of the fabric as well as the subtle symmetries and asymmetries of front and back. The works continue the principles of reversal and doubling Saunders had explored in his previous print projects, yet they allow him to work quickly and experimentally, adding colour and transparency to the works. Saunders describes the figures as being ‘Suspended in their media or their moments. Most are from videos and some from daily life, but all are about now, drawn from the last years. I was thinking about intimacy and bodies being presented, some more charged than others, yet all seen through my own humble encounters with them.’
MATT SAUNDERS (*1975, Tacoma, WA) lives and works in Cambridge, MA, and Berlin. He has been working with BORCH Gallery & Editions since 2014.
ROBIN RHODE’s Pan’s Opticon Studies (2009), a suite of five photogravures, appears at first like a scientific study of optics. Rhode investigates different architectural and measuring calipers, heralded by Russian constructivists and El Lissitzky in particular, as visual extensions to the human eye. They evoke associations to both the visual range and the idea of observation but at the same time to the mechanics of the opening and closing eye, allowing or precluding acts of visual perception to influence thought. The title of the series is a play on ‘panopticon’: A circular prison building
conceived by the British philosopher Jeremy Bentham in the 18th century allowing constant surveillance of the prisoners from a central location without them knowing if they are being watched or not. Panopticon derives from the Greek ‘panoptes’—all seeing. Hence, the question arises if the Pan in Rhodes Pan’s Opticon Studies does in fact see everything after all.
ROBIN RHODE (*1976 in Cape Town) lives and works in Berlin. He has been working with BORCH Gallery & Editions since 2008.
TACITA DEAN’s photogravure series Palast (2005) comprises a sequence of six stills from her eponymous film, angled at the reflective surfaces of the bronze-mirrored windows on the Palast der Republik [Palace of the Republic]. The imposing structure with its 180 metres of windowed façade, nicknamed ‘the house of a thousand windows’, embodied the architectural style of the socialist government and housed the German Democratic Republic parliament between 1976 and 1990. Dean looks at the building close up, giving no sense of its vast scale. She focuses on the visual effects of changing light and reflections of surrounding buildings as the sun sets.
For years the building had been the topic of a heated debate; some wanted to destroy the symbol of the old hated regime, others believed the building should be preserved as a remainder of the city’s eventful history. The Palast der Republik was demolished in 2006–8.
TACITA DEAN (*1965 in Canterbury) lives and works in Berlin. She has been working with BORCH Gallery & Editions since 2001.
DANH VŌ’s photogravure 03.06.1965 (2015) shows an image taken during the first American extravehicular activity in outer space. Four years before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, during the Gemini IV Mission, Commander James McDivitt documented Edward White II floating outside the capsule in a series of images capturing the sublimity of the boundless cosmic environment. Vō acquired 150 glass slides derived from the original film from a sale of White’s personal collection. In the image he chose for his photogravure project, the astronaut is all but excised from the frame: a historical moment that is counteracted by the near-absence of the hero.
DANH VŌ (*1975 in Vietnam) lives and works in Berlin and Mexiko. He has been working with BORCH Gallery & Editions since 2010.
THOMAS SCHEIBITZ’ Untitled (2017) is part of a suite of 21 prints created in a variety of printing techniques as his first collaboration with BORCH Editions.
Scheibitz’ interest in the print medium encompasses both the complex, time-consuming production process, and the artistic possibilities arising from it: He is fascinated by the physical resistance of engraving lines into a copper plate, and by the alchemy of the etching process. He embraces the specific conditions of printmaking, like the reversion of the image when transferring it from plate to paper; a phenomenon he refers to as ‘mirrored thoughts’. Conceptionally, Scheibitz is intrigued by the tension between the fugitive, rushed nature of sketches or drawings and their permanent fixation on a plate.
THOMAS SCHEIBITZ (*1968 in Radeberg) lives and works in Berlin. He has been working with BORCH Gallery & Editions since 2016.