The preview of the NordArt exhibition 2016 was held on the 3rd of June with invited guests. The sun was part of the show and those who thought a jumper or a coat was a must-have in the north of Germany, had to reconsider their knowledge in climatology.
The first sight at the venue in the little town of Büdelsdorf was a couple of giants apes welcoming the visitors, a good clue of the grand show lying within the place.
Once inside, each artist was handed a badge and a map of the place. Well the badge was usefull for officials to know who were the artists and come to talk to us. Remember that 90% of artists have light authistic behaviour when it comes to socializing. The main reason being that their way of expression is their artwork and not their chatty side. The badge made it easier for us to have people interacting with us. The map of the exhibition was also essential as I heard 4 artists were lost and never found again on the opening day during the first 2 editions of NordArt…
…I was told.
Carlshütte – Haupt Halle
Let’s start with the Carlshütte building which is a former steal factory that used to make manhole covers and cast iron garden furniture at the beginning of the 20th century. The size of the building allows it to display artworks of large sizes.
First to show their noses into that building are the little men:
Then we enter the Halle 1 -where Liu Ruowang‘s (Focus Artist 2016) wolves are-, but we will come back to that later. First we move to the large hall where a mix of photographies, sculptures and paintings find their place next to each others.
Walking into the place on that day left me a lot of room to think about some the pieces and to puzzle my scientific mind, like the CrissCross by Bernard Hosey. Where does it start, where does it ends?
Sometimes people don’t even realize they become piece of art by being at one point in one place.
What I found great about the way Wolfgang Gramm set up this exhibition lies in his vision. And I don’t say this because I am part of it. First of all he selects the art he loves with no pressure from galleries, art collectors or institutions. Also Hans-Julius & Johanna Ahlmann (hosts at the Kunstwerk Carlshütte) seem to put a lot of trust in his taste. Secondly, after talking with Lisa Buch I learnt how it works once they have received the art pieces: Wolfgang Gramm has already organized on paper what could be where and next to what. Looking at the number of work selected and the variety, it is already quite challenging. Then they start to put things in positions lying down the wall for him to modify his mind view and re-organize if needed. The result is stunning cnsidering there are so many different works. This gives a place of choice to the futuristic Speederman by David Černý.
Art is also a way to expose who we are. So I decided to join some individuals, quite aggressive ones, who reminded me of some housemates I had back in college. Honestly it really looked like the common kitchen in the house.
Most of the visitors are transported by the visual display of the exhibition and end up at the bus stop (where no bus will ever come) looking at the map, hoping to find the “You are here” red dot that they will never find.
The visitors who lost their way may end up in a Maelström at the end of the Hall as you can see below.
… but luckily there is a way out. Some might say it is a full rebirth. Coming out of the Maelström, here you are in the heart of the Darkmatter by Jang Yongsun. But be careful, I actually hurt my shoulder on one of these sculptures. Beautiful though.
Carlshütte – Halle 1
Now we can go back to Halle 1 where an inside installation by the Focus Artist 2016, Liu Ruowang, was invading the whole hall. Not only there were many wolves sourrounding the soldier, but the action took place on a mount of gravels part of the display.
Although the cast iron wolves seem quite aggressive at first sight, it appears that they are rather friendly, or frozen, and a nice walk among them seem like a good idea to move to the rest of the exhibition. We will find more sculptures in the Sculpture Park and smaller paintings and artworks in the ACO Wagenremise in the middle of the parc. Great things deserve a little effort to be seen.