Photo Credit

KERSTIN BRÄTSCH

MIMIKRY

Coming soon – Opening: January 20, 2023, 7 PM

Upon entering the rotunda, viewers are surrounded by MIMIKRY, an expansive installation by Hamburg-born artist Kerstin Brätsch. The site-specific work reflects on a period of Earth’s history that forms the scarcely tangible context of human existence. Rocks, sediment, and fossils become a functional part of the café’s interior as wallpaper, window curtains, translucent room dividers, and sculptural tables. The past is pulled into the present—an impression reinforced by numerous depictions of dinosaurs. The past, whose deposits Brätsch reconstructs using contemporary materials, includes planetary prehistory as well as her own work history. The title of the installation, designed especially for the Fridericianum, also picks up on this dovetailing. “Mimicry” refers to the imitation of visual, auditory, or olfactory signals by living beings to deceive other living beings for the purpose of survival. In MIMIKRY, the artist performs this process figuratively upon herself. The patterns, ornamentation, and surface forms of the installation reference earlier works that themselves take imitation as their theme. There are echoes of the marbling from the series Unstable Talismanic Renderings (2014–), which simulate rock formations, among other things, while the surfaces of the table sculptures, made of cast stone and featuring polymorphic legs, are printed with motifs from the series Fossil Psychics (Stucco Marmo) (2017–), which resemble fossilized brushstrokes. Toying with imitation using diverse production processes and materials that reflect the most varied qualities, Brätsch sediments her painterly practice and explores artistic survival strategies. On the borderline between art and functional design, she meets the viewer with a twinkle in her eye as an eminently contemporary dinosaur.