HUNGER at Dortmunder Kunstverein, Dortmund

Within the exhibition, the interior is understood as an imaging of intimacy. Derived from the Latin intimus, literally “furthest from the edge; furthermost inside”, intimacy also stands for the interior self. And according to the German definition in Wikipedia, intimacy rules over the sphere of intimacy – “a personal area defined by the presence of either no other people or exclusive to particular people and not pertaining to outsiders. Private space, and therefore intimacy, is harmed by indiscretion. A violation of intimacy can destabilize humans emotionally.”
The omnipresence of social media alters our relationship to the world and to ourselves, and so the question arises of the collapse of intimacy as a condition of profound familiarity and the greatest security and closeness. The exhibition HUNGER takes this observation as a point of departure to present works that can be read and experienced like a resonating body.
Hunger as the expression of a basic physical need emblematizes lack and desire, something animalistic: Matranga’s skinned pieces of furniture like a hanging closet, reminiscent of Rembrandt’s Slaughtered Ox (1655); Spichtig’s personified globes that look as if they have gathered for a therapy session; the bottle of cooking oil squeezed into a rack and the ghostlike metal bars of Hiller; or the dysfunctional room dividers of de la Tour du Pin, at the same time reminiscent of a dressing room and a confessional booth. The diverse works displayed reveal forms of decay, exclusion, loss, dysfunction or danger. Nevertheless, the materials used — like Matranga’s skin- like silicone; Hiller’s sharp metal edges; de la Tour du Pin’s steel plates, perforated to appear transparent and creating a moiré effect when passing by; or Spichtig’s naive, gloopy globes — express a sensuality which in its best case exerts a force of attraction over the viewer.
Almost all of these works play with what one could call fetishism. Originally referring to the veneration of cult objects, in the exhibition it is moreover understood as an attraction, an obsessive projecting of emotions onto materials and surfaces. The creation of digital worlds paralleled to private life on Facebook or other social media leads to society in which the intimate becomes part of the public. In the ensuing process of standardization — via the continuous comparison to others — fetishism becomes resistance and a political vehicle, a maneuver of differentiation. In the works included in HUNGER, this tension or form of resistance is expressed in the shape of the objects, the material choices, and the particulars of their surfaces. They speak of lack, rupture, and the confusion they engender, thereby prompting questions about the ‘Agony of Eros’ and the disappearance of the non-public individual.

HUNGER with Clémence de la Tour du Pin, Marcel Hiller, Mélanie Matranga, Tobias Spichtig
Curated by Oriane Durand
Dortmunder Kunstverein, Dortmund
Through July 16