Paint Jam London does Kunst with Agathe snow’s show at Guggenheim, Berlin.

Agathe Snow, Three Cross BalloonAgathe Snow’s show  ‘All access World’ visually satisfied me the moment I walked into the colorful room, decorated top to bottom in magazine cuttings and quasi recognisable sculptures. It reminded me of my bedroom wall as a teenager but with a much more poignant meaning that Bros’s song lyrics or Bros topless. The cuttings are all of world monuments and traditional symbols that we have come to collectively associate with various places. Agathe points out ‘everyone takes the same photo of the Eiffel tower’, we have collectively prescribed notions of what to see in a place, to the point where those cultural symbols dominate our conception of those places, almost chaining us in our experience and conception of a place. As an artist Agathe wants to explore her relationship and the human relationship to these great structures and integrates the narrative of  her visits by littering photos of her and her partner all over the different monuments on what I can describe as country mood boards on walls. As these monuments are often great and powerful in appearance, she describes the difficulty in truly relating to the structures as an ‘only me’ human being, represented both by photos of herself and small cultural entities such as rats and even fried chicken thighs…

In her desperation to relate and make them accessible to all, she created her own monument sculptures, based on her perception of the real thing but integrated with her experience of the place and by choosing materials that made them hers; A lot of the monuments look like cuddly toys with cultural jokes, creating a much more inviting aesthetic than the original materials.

The sculptures are also on wheels and can be moved from country to county within the exhibition, questioning land ownership and our collective understanding of their placing. Agathe notes that some places have no monumentsat all, the ones that exist seem to be concentrated in certain areas. The mobility of the monuments in her show redress the balance of world power by their ability to be moved to other places. she says:

‘I wanted to redistribute recognisable landmarks, break things apart so there’s less tension in one place’.

The power of a monument can create a lot of tension for it’s meaning and symbolic hold onto an ideology, even being used as symbols of an actual birthright; this makes me think of religious temples in Jerusalem. By moving the sculptures in her work, she is playing also with dissipating of the tensions they hold.

Finally, ‘all access world’ has also been set up as a company that creates personal monuments for people, ones that are more accessible and meaningful on a personal rather than purely cultural level. These monuments are an appreciation of authentic perception and the cultural structures in which we are born; they twist and recreate what we have been given, but what we have been given remains the subject matter, the meaning generator.

Mine would be a Big Ben made of jelly, with tennis rackets as clock hands, bushy eyebrows and big arms that hug you.

Paint Jam London was very glad to see a kids workshop happening right at the centre of the exhibition, meanings again being reinterpreted and made into ones own.

I strongly recommend this exhibition if you have the time to pop to over to Berlin. Alternatively watch her interview

Agathe Snow

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22 Feb 2011 by admin, No Comments »

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