January, 21, 2023 – February, 2027
The Fridericianum presents MIMIKRY by Kerstin Brätsch, the most recent work in its series of interventions. Specially developed for the rotunda at the heart of the kunsthalle, the complex, expansive installation by this Hamburg-born artist forms the new surroundings of the café located there. It follows café installations realized by Brätsch at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2019 and the LUMA Foundation in Arles in 2021.
MIMIKRY reflects a piece of Earth’s history whose colossal dimensions form the scarcely comprehensible context of human existence. Rocks, sediments, 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 the artist’s own work history. The installation’s title 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 survival. In MIMIKRY, the artist performs this process figuratively upon herself. The patterns, ornamentation, and surface structures of the installation reference earlier works that themselves take imitation as their theme. These are, on one hand, the marblings from the series “Unstable Talismanic Renderings” (2014–present), which simulate rock formations, among other things. On the other hand, these are the motifs reminiscent of petrified brushstrokes from the “Fossil Psychics Stucco Marmo” series (2017–present), which at the Fridericianum are printed onto polymorphic tabletops of cast stone that rest on colorful iridescent legs. Toying with imitation, materials reflecting the most varied qualities, and diverse production processes, 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. Hence, MIMIKRY not only invites visitors of all ages to linger. It also offers audiencesan unusual engagement with time and temporality, as well as with questions about the nature of art.