Von einer HU-Gastbloggerin

My friend Ellie and I went to the gallery Helga Maria Klosterfelde and used the exhibition „Accessories to an Event“ by Dan Peterman as a getaway to talk about photography and the accessibility of different layers and spaces of art. Petermans’ work itself follows a minimalistic approach and is created by using recycled materials or captured in photography. Right now we are in Woolworth, using the changing room as our personal platform to conduct this interview.

Q: So Ellie, what do you think about the art?

A: I quite like Dan Peterman’s Greenhouse series because we found out afterwards that the photos which where on film were apparently damaged in a fire that happened to his studio and we thought somehow he had painted on top of them or during the development process this happened to the photos because it reminded me of gouache paint. But it was an accidental fire which made them look even better than before. I quite liked his work and I also liked some watercolor paintings by another artist that wasn’t named. They were chaotic but you could definitely find certain elements in them. There were a lot of faces and they were cool.

Q: How do you feel about art being altered by an event happening in real life producing something more interesting? Do you think there is a certain philosophy behind to exhibit this pieces?

A:  I mean initially this guy didn’t mean for his photos to be damaged in a fire but the way they were altered was pretty great so he used that as his benefit. And I think it definitely added something to his work.

Q: Do you feel his art had a certain message that reached you or was it just nice to look at?

A: Well, the artwork was definitely very minimalistic so it’s sometimes hard to attach a message to that no matter how much of a message you put in as an artist. It’s very difficult to translate unless it’s a very poignant image of something everyone will understand. I think political messages in art are very important and useful to use but sometimes they don’t translate. So overall I think it was nice to look at. I feel that way about most art. Sometimes I don’t understand what’s going on but I appreciate what it looks like and also the effort that was put into it. No matter what art work it is I’m usually impressed by it anyway just because somebody put the effort into making it.

Q: Is political involvement that is somewhat reflected in art something you’re drawn to?

A: Yes, I definitely feel art is more approachable when I know what’s going on behind it. Like if I read the introductory that goes along with the exhibition then I can connect to it and feel more drawn to it. But sometimes I feel like it’s also nice to feel disconnected from art and just not know what’s going on.

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Q: I was wondering about the space. Do you feel like it feels somewhat unapproachable?

A: Yes, because basically the front room is very accessible, it’s very open with big windows and a lot of light but then there is a very narrow passageway leading into the next room. And in a way you feel like you are intruding somewhat which is an interesting feeling. Also because of the minimalistic feel of the person who is being exhibited right now, they kind of seem like personal photographs so it definitely works well in this space it is being exhibited in.

Q: Would you have entered the gallery if you walked past it on the street?

A: The thing is, I’m usually not in this area, so I feel like no, but if I had time on my hands and was in the right mood for art I’d definitely would have a look in. Because it’s a space you can look into easily and fast. You don’t have to think about the art too much and it’s still well presented and beautiful.

Q: What kind of art do you usually like or are drawn into?

A: I definitely like photography exhibitions. I don’t know, I try to visit art a lot but sometimes I find it hard to find exhibitions to go to. And as I said before I sometimes feel nervous going to them. So yes, photography exhibitions I’m into. I went to a photography exhibition with Charlotte at the Martin Gropius Bau and that was really really nice. But it wasn’t free, so that’s sad.

Q: Sad Times.

*both laugh*

Q: So my next question is whether you feel as if photography is more inclusive then classical art?

A: I definitely feel it’s more accessible because I feel like the techniques behind it are more accessible to me. Photography that is. Because I am always baffled by old oil paintings for example, like the technique that goes behind that is like crazy and I could never do that. But then photography is a lot closer to my heart I guess.

Q: And also about the connection with the space do you feel it’s easier for you to go into a gallery that exhibits photographs versus a museum that shows old paintings? 

A: Hm. It depends if I have to pay or not. *laughs nervously*

Q: Ok let’s say you don’t have to pay for either one. Which one would you choose?

A: I’d say I’d sooner go into a gallery exhibiting photography.

Q: Do you feel in our society it’s easier for people that are younger or discriminated against by certain social values to see themselves represented in photography and thus receive a feeling of connection?

A: Yeah definitely. Not even necessarily exhibited in gallery spaces but platforms like instagram where young photographers are being recognized even for shooting with iPhones or film cameras and then uploading it to Flickr or also putting it back on Instagram. It’s way easier for people to see themselves in photography that is happening now because for example in old oil paintings there is a lot of objectification of people with vulvas or people of color. Paintings by white people often portray them as stereotypes and racialize them.

Q: And do you feel like it is easy for you to access galleries that actually exhibit artwork that  for example is not made in terms of the male gaze? 

A: Yeah I’d say so. I mean I know some people who make art and quite a few of them have been exhibited. So it’s way easier to see small artists exhibited even if it’s only for a couple of days. If you know about it and you know some people it’s easy to find places to go to.

Dan Peterman: The greenhouse series, 2001. 18 C-prints 29 x 37 cm. Framed. Unique.

Dan Peterman: The greenhouse series, 2001. 18 C-prints 29 x 37 cm. Framed. Unique.

With this we end our short discussion and leave Woolworth. Luckily no one asks us what we’ve been doing in the changing room the whole time. If you want take a closer look at Helga Maria Klosterfeldes’ exhibition you can find the gallery at Potsdamer Straße 97 or read a previously written article here.

Weitersagen! Danke.

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