Hard core, soft edges, 2023
With artist Jelena Fužinato for the exhibition Promising Premises, curated by Cleo Wächter und Lusin Reinsch
Video: Ilaria Biotti
Photo Credits: Ilaria Biotti and Juan Sáez
On the right terrace of the Bärenzwinger, the evolving installation of Jelena Fuzinato and Patricia Sandonis can be found. “Hard Core Soft Edges" is the collaborative exchange process between both artists, rendering visible new, undetermined and open-ended results.
In preparation of the site-specific work, rainwater was collected from the Bärenzwinger, to mix the concrete used for the sculptures. Together with collected objects (such as natural fragments, urban waste and scattered trash found in and around the Bärenzwinger) this fusion forms the base of solidification of their collaboration. A large conversational drawing is placed under and draped around one of the objects, waiting for the audience to read the private and public histories it depicts.
“Hard Core Soft Edges” borrows its visual language from that of a construction site, and the choice of objects is based on the presumed needs and wants of the space, creating stairs (for possibly descending to the mote) and a replica of one of the decorative stones. Small lingering objects enhancing the existing architectures, mark the fine line between intention and un-intention, and are waiting to be picked up (on) or left behind.
In both its execution as in its form, the work touches upon visibility/invisibility, use, meaning, memory and the question of authorship. Resonating the temporality and ephemerality of the city landscape, it too remains open for influences throughout the exhibition, and could be read as a future ruin or a monument for the present.
A broken glass bottle, bravely balancing itself upright. The sound of an ambulance wraps itself into a song. Wet glass pitches a frequency when touched. Rainwater, softly mixing with sand, slowly becomes more and more steady, until it has formed into concrete. A beech leaf, about to unfold, many are about to follow.
Gleaning, most simply put, is the act of gathering what was left on the land after the harvest. What is collected there is what has slipped through the established structures. It is a practice that is hopeful, takes on a considerate attitude and was, in Central-European tradition, done in groups.
Because Gleaning is first and foremost a way of perceiving. It means keeping your senses open. Looking for the disregarded, something deemed unimportant at first glance. It balances between viewing and evaluating. When doing so we practice being attentive.
The group exhibition Promising Premises presents different artistic approaches towards the concept of Gleaning, touching upon the relation between gathering and memory in urban-rural spaces.
In the modern day, the meaning and attitude of the practice might continue, but has been transformed and extended, as portrayed in Agnés Varda’s documentary film „The Gleaners and I“. One picks up a potato, an object, a thought and thinks: How can this be used? In times of (in)tangible scarcity, economic inflation, political uncertainty and a deep climate crisis, perhaps we can reach for this practice to connect with our social and ecological environment. Sometimes it means leaving something behind, holding space.
In five contemporary positions the group exhibition takes the ideas of Gleaning off the field and looks into their translations in the artistic realm. Through installations, sculptures, photographic and sonic works the participating artists display a vast array of artistic gleaning: from scouring archives and adapting existing works, to developing new ones.
They shift thematically between the urban and ecological, the archive and the current, the self and the collective, rigid structures and the soft organic currents in between, and all engage with space and place, or ways to it, through it.
The title Promising Premises alludes to the hopeful wandering, through the (city)- landscape, inviting the audience to notice, to re-evaluate the familiar. To wonder on beech leaves, broken glass, murmuring, fluidics and concrete. And thus, to enter spring as gleaners themselves.
Curated by Lusin Reinsch and Cleo Wächter