No Place Like Home
Opening: 16.09.2015 Opening Hours: 12-19h
Duration: 17.-26.09 - 21.-26.09. by appointment
Five oddly grotesque characters wander through an eerie landscape. One of them victoriously raises his fist in the air, another seems reluctant to continue. The ironic title of Sebastiaan Schlicher's large felt tip drawing derives from The Wizard of Oz, where it functions as Dorothy's magic formula to escape the Land of Oz. During Berlin Art Week 2015, guest gallery Maurits van de Laar from The Hague (NL) presents six artists in SMAC. For this exhibition, they have come together in Berlin, the international art scene's Oz.
Martin Assig (DE, 1959) combines shapes of faces, body and patterns with words and sentences, which are inspired by religious traditions, folklore, rituals and artists like Edvard Munch and Paul Klee. His detailed and colourful works emerge from daily observations. With different materials, like pigment, beeswax and charcoal, Assig creates intimate and personal realms in which sensuality and spirituality come together. In his paintings, Diederik Gerlach (NL, 1956) often refers to the past. He samples images from old travel catalogues and photo albums, but also cites from art history, particularly German Romanticism. Gerlach's recent series Zeichen consists of small landscapes and a single interior, each of them cut or decorated by different ornaments: from letters and numbers to light beams and text ribbons. They are like signs of past human presence.
For Nour-Eddine Jarram (MA, 1956), his homeland serves as a continuous starting point. He plays with the rules of Islamic culture, which forbids the actual depiction of man. This leads to silhouettes that nevertheless clearly refer to human beings, often placed in surreal landscaps full of ornaments and architectural shapes. From an insider's perspective, his ongoing series of watercolours recontextualizes familiar imagery of urban (migrant) society.
Family pictures, personal experiences and fictional images are equal components in the associative works of Dieter Mammel (DE, 1965). Refraining from his usual technique of painting with ink on wet raw canvas, making colors run and whimsically branch out, Steak is a classical oil painting. Mammel's restrained use of colour and cautious way of painting create a striking contrast with the direct and intuitive effect of his images.
Sebastiaan Schlicher (NL, 1975) makes drawings, videos and installations which portray individuals who struggle to make sense of life in a hostile or uninhabitable environment. Their attempts to find a home sees them drift from society, seeking refuge in a self-constructed reality. Schlicher often uses the alias Amerikan Teenager, either working alone or collaborating with independent artists and musicians.
Letters, in text as well as in form, are the start of a drawing for Koen Taselaar (NL, 1982). He creates ongoing series of drawings, in which his interests in text and image are connected. A constant factor in his work is an investigation for readability. His merging of visual elements leads to significant word plays like No Where, Now Here. Taselaar likes to think of creation not as an heroic act, but as something domestic - something that needs to be done.
Text by Yasmijn Jarram (art critic)