Pauline M’barek. Forms of Tangency
31.10.2014 — 04.01.2015
Opening: October 30, 2014, 7pm
The Frankfurter Kunstverein honoured Pauline M’barek by presenting a comprehensive survey of her work. Born in 1979 and based in Brussels and Cologne, the artist has been the recipient of numerous art prizes, and in 2014 she was awarded the prestigious Karl Schmidt-Rottluff Fellowship.
Her multi-media installations invert the customary relation between subject and object, thus bringing about a confrontation of different spatial conditions and relations, optical phenomena, and political determinants. The subject matter of her sculptures, drawings, and video and audio installations could be described as the perceptual apparatus itself—sight, hearing, and touch. This also includes objects and media, in or through which a reality perceived as authentic is manifested: a display case, or a mount for an object. Different axes and perspectives relating to spatial experience and content unfold in the exhibition–which was specifically conceived for the space of the Frankfurter Kunstverein–and are activated by the physical movement of the viewer.
The series of works assembled in the exhibition are centered on places, moments, and forms of tangency and how they are materialized. Tangency, understood as an instance of vagueness and ambiguity, is translated by the artist into plaster casts of the negative space between two touching hands, for example. Using those shell-like intermediary forms the invisible space between the hands is given formal definition. She also deals with the definition of empty space in a video work where two hands wearing white gloves explore various black objects in front of a black background. Only through the touch of the gloved hands do their contours become visible, making it possible to guess their nature.
M’barek’s works investigate points of transition between knowledge and perception, the observer and the observed, the exposed and the hidden, eye and hand, enabling one to experience the relativity of one’s individual perceptions.