Mindy Rose Schwartz & Nina Wiesnagrotzki
August 8 - September 31, 2018
Room E-10 27 @ Center
"If the soul of the commodity which Marx occasionally mentions in jest existed, it would be the most empathetic ever encountered in the realm of souls, for it would have to see in everyone the buyer in whose hand and house it wants to nestle." - Walter Benjamin
Room E-10 27 @ Center is pleased to present a two-person exhibition by Mindy Rose Schwartz and Nina Wiesnagrotzki.
As the works by Mindy and Nina began to take shape for their Berlin exhibition, I was reminded of Emily Dickinson’s poem: “Hope” is the thing with feathers. The title illustrates the poet’s impressive ability to make unusual speculative associations by rendering the feeling of “hope” both inanimate and animal. The lexical confusion this provokes points to a flickering ontology that simultaneously reflects and attempts to bridge the gap between our deep-rooted alienation from nature. This disjuncture is echoed by our estranged relationship to our bodies, thoughts and feelings, which some commentators have argued are now the principal sites of production under the post- Fordist biopolitical regime. Similarly, the work of both artists shares in this Dickinsonian linguistic slippage, whereby sculptures and objects are imbued with, and sometimes haunted by, animal and anthropomorphic forms.
In the work of Nina, whether it’s film or installation, we see this expressed in a strange intersection of technology and mythology, where historically the animal and nature have a particular representational form. In the work of Mindy we see this in her exploration of the commodity form through her sculptural exploration of the objects and techniques of vernacular American decor.
Also common in both artists’ work—and a product of the post-Fordist regime—is a certain allusion to contemporary aesthetic judgments, such as those mapped out by Sianne Ngai in her book Our Aesthetic Categories: Zany Cute Interesting. They are what Ngai refers to as the system’s most socially binding processes, whether it is affective labour (Zany), circulation of information (Interesting), or consumption of commodities(Cute). For their exhibition at Room E-10 27 @ Center both artists will negotiate and play with these essentially hierarchal aesthetic categories with a presentation of drawings and sculptures.
- Thomas Butler
Mindy Rose Schwartz lives and works in Chicago. She is a graduate from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and The University of Illinois, Chicago with an MFA in Studio Arts. She was a recipient of the Helen Coburn Meier and Tim Meier Charitable Foundation for the Arts Award and is currently an instructor for the sculpture department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Selected Recent Shows Include: Balice Hertling, Paris (solo); Queer Thoughts Gallery, New York (solo); Slow Gallery, Chicago (solo); Terrain Gallery, Chicago (solo); Saint-Cirq Lapopie Biennial, France; How Deep is Your Love Cooper Cole, Toronto; Alien Head Key Chains at Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, GA; Alter Space at Four Six One Nine , Los Angeles, CA; and at Paramount Ranch III- Agoura Hills, CA. She is included in upcoming shows this Fall at AWHRHWAR Gallery, Los Angeles, CA and Interface Gallery San Francisco, CA.
Nina Wiesnagrotzki lives and works in Berlin. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts Hamburg and the medical schools of Munich and Hamburg. Selected Recent Shows Include: Tentacles Gallery, Bangkok; Falckenberg Collection, Hamburg; Komplot, Brussels; Chinese Seismic Investigations, Berlin; i:project Space, Beijing/China; Image Movement, Berlin; International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film; Visions Du Réel Nyon; Kasseler Dokfest; Eikon Museumsquartier, Vienna; Kunsthaus Hamburg; and Filmarchiv Austria, Vienna. Her experimental documentary Sansui, Landscape was awarded with the Marl Video Art Award, 2016. It is part of the 311 Documentary Film Archive of the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, which collects and provides access to films on the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011. She received the Hamburger Arbeitsstipendium in 2016 and is nominated for the Berlin Art Prize 2018.
With the kind support of Dezentrale Kulturarbeit Tempelhof-Schöneberg