Artist: Anna Ostoya
Venue: Silberkuppe, Berlin
Exhibition Title: Alte Sachlichkeit / The Old Objectivity
Date: September 5 – October 29, 2016
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of the artist and Silberkuppe, Berlin. Photos by Timo Ohler.
In my new collages and paintings I used found images of utopian dreams that too often have turned into nightmares, and images of some of these nightmares. I have been thinking about the Neue Sachlichkeit artists of the 1920s who mined past ways of making art in order to address the turbulence of their present and to express their premonition of imminent disaster. I feel disturbed by the parallels between their time and the present in which I find myself at work.
Mud (2016), is a collage with a photograph of soldiers pushing a jeep. I found the photograph in an illustrated history of the World War II discarded in the lobby of my building. In the following collages I used other images from this book: a shot of the 1939 New York World’s Fair ‘The World Of Tomorrow’, a shot of Nazi troops passing the Arc de Triomphe, a shot of bombed Nagasaki, a shot of the UN General Assembly. Some photographs I cut into stripes to make an abstract composition.
I also used images from other sources: a dissected American Spirit cigarette box left in my apartment by a friend, a phone snapshot of the UN building, pictures taken from the Internet of the Tahrir Square, Poland’s Round Table, and the EU parliament, a photo sent by a friend of a recent pro-EU rally in Warsaw.
For my painting A Kiss (2016), I used a shot of a fraternal kiss between Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker. Among other things, this 1979 photograph represents the era of the Cold War when the world seemed to be organized around stable oppositions, clear divisions. It represents the world I was born into but of which I remember little.
For Alte Sachlichkeit (2016), I used a reproduction of a painting exhibited before mine at Silberkuppe. It is Keine Tradition (2016) by Michaela Eichwald. I painted her gestural abstraction as a geometric abstraction and I placed the stars from the EU flag in gold over it. Keine Tradition moved me with its darkness and force. Alte Sachlichkeit reflects the drama I feel in Europe today.
– ANNA OSTOYA