Solo Show, Galerie in der Wassermühle, Trittau, 2019

exhibition view

As the title of the exhibition "It takes two" already opens, this is not just about dealing with the feminine per se or the constitution of the ego with a binary assignment, but also about a dualism, perhaps also of opposing pairs, such as the male and the feminine, the past and the future, the hard and the soft, the inside and the outside. For me, the work Oon masked and Ool masked embody this approach. They appear as hybrids or hybrid beings, and they need the self to be mirrored by others in order to be fully effective in their existence. This dualism, which we can grasp on a purely visual level, is condensed upon closer examination of the work. It is also about a meeting of the beginnings of European high cultures, the shape of the mask borrows from a head of a figurine of the Vinca culture, which began to develop around 5400 BC in Southeastern Europe and contemporary pop culture. The attached extensions are reminiscent of the hairstyle of the fictional Japanese pop icon Hatsune Miku, or the combination of the materials used even makes one think of the costumes of cosplayers.
Pop culture, rite and fetish mix, or rather the work leads from a spiritually connoted rite to the replacement or redemption through pop culture and veneration of a star. However, the experience or the constitution of the individual manifests itself, then as now, in ritual and in pop culture, through living out and experiencing in a collective. By transferring the original materiality of the figurine; from the matt, unchangeable stone, which does not question stability and stability, but can last for thousands of years, to the soft, glossy lacquer material filled with cotton wool, a visual language develops in the area of tension between negation and affirmation, with historical recourse and awareness deals with the present just as playfully as with what is conventionally perceived as beautiful.

exhibition view - Oon masked and Ool masked, laqucer fabric, synthetic hair, wadding, 2019

A similar moment of reception results when looking at the four fragmentary cloaks and fabric works on display. They appear in a color and a material that encourages us to ask the sculptures about their origin and their state of being, because here too reinterpretation and classic craftsmanship are combined. The quilted fabrics borrow patterns that skimmers use to skip. This technique is used to stretch or change animal skins for length or width using V and A patterns. Even in the younger Stone Age, fur was not only worn to protect against the cold, but also partly to adorn itself. The sense of clothing also changed over the millennia from simple protection against environmental influences to the expression of individual taste and belonging to a group. Generally speaking, every real piece of clothing has a certain size, which provides information about the body of the person who wore it; it can indicate social affiliation and is, at least in Western cultures, a gender indicator. The materials from which clothing is made are mostly soft and can adapt perfectly to the body shape, they can warm and cover. In terms of material history, fabrics have a female connotation because they are cuddly but also receptive. They absorb liquid, change color and are vulnerable. You are our second skin. Clothing therefore directly relates to the vulnerability of our body. By means of cuts or patterns, fabrics are adapted to the body in order to make it less vulnerable or to protect the naked skin. The patterns of the fabric work are disclosed here. The outlet cuts that furriers hide inside a fur coat are made visible here.
There is a dualism between the inside and the outside, the bare skin and the covering material, the protection and the vulnerability. The reinterpretation of the use of A and V patterns works particularly subtly - to the pointing and pointing triangle, which symbolize the female and male gender. Again, it is the couple, the duality, but also the opposite, which manifests itself as a whole. Through the mirror moments and symmetries of the geometric shape vocabulary, the works are also linked to the Vinca sculpture. The covering and revealing, for example of relics on special holidays, plays a role in religious or spiritual practices. But masking and dressing up are equally important. Groups of people still meet today, e.g. in Bulgaria at the Kukeri, a New Year's festival in which the masked male actors wear long fur coats and masks, i.e. become a hybrid between animals and humans, to dance and sing for the eviction of evil spirits in the collective.

Waning/Waxing-Crescent-Stola (Chest Fragment), quilted leatherette, 2019

Setting-Sun-Pelerine, quilted leatherette, 2019

Many of the contextual connection points of the Oon and Ool masked and the fabric works just mentioned are combined in Gomolava hybrid lines. The fragility, the shell, the lines, the surface and the brightness of the aluminum stand in contrast to their source of inspiration - a double-headed bronze age figurine from Serbia made of dark stone.
The entire sculpture is an expression of duality. The double head symbolizes in cultural history the duality in the eternal laws, such as creation and destruction, life and death, light and darkness, beginning and end, future and past, left and right and so on. Gomolava hybrid lines contains the line of the drawing and the execution as a sculpture. We also ask ourselves whether the figure is mirrored or whether there are two individuals who stand up for their togetherness but also for themselves, expressed through a subtle connection with the other and simultaneously pointing away from each other.

Laura Franzmann manages to combine complex theoretical foundations in light and beautiful but expressive materials in a very special way. The strong tactility of the works remarkably challenges visual perception and despite their material presence, the works do not appear as a fixed comment, but rather open up spaces of association between the work and an individual reading. Polytemporality, contradictions and simultaneities in the material are manifested with ease, and binary attributions and unambiguous coding are questioned. It is about exploring the self in dialogue with the outside. The ego in the mirror and the delicate connections to the other; which are approaching and moving away to duality.

Extracts of the opening speech by Sigrid Hermann

Gomolava hybrid lines, aluminium, synthetic hair, 2019

Gomolava heads, aluminium, outliner, 2019

musquash blooper, quilted leatherette, 2019