Affaren, a retrospective show of work by Gerd Rothman at Galerie Handwerk, Munich.
What a show! I left those doors with a feeling of satisfaction … a bit like having consumed a good, nutritious, delicious and satisfying meal.
I guess one thing I realised was that I entered the show without any particular expectations. It was definitely on my must see list and I had heard great things but also felt like I might step into what I knew, what I had seen already. I have always liked Gerd Rothman’s work but I left that day loving his work and feeling both excited and inspired, like I had once felt seeing his work for the first time as a student.
Being reminded of the breadth of his practice I now look back and think how could I have forgotten; forgotten those stories he collects, the exploration through other disciplines, the relational aspects he explores, the personal. Sure not all of these elements were forgotten but often they seemed to be overshadowed by a mixture of the objects strong visual presence and my over familiarity with his work. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we rely so heavily on our sight and how this sense as well as aesthetics can overshadow subtleties embedded underneath/within objects. This show seemed to bring these subtleties to the surface; it highlighted the personal and brought a meaningful warmth to the eyes/the viewers sight. I think this was achieved a lot in part to do with the atmosphere that was created within the show itself and of course by the fact that the subtleties existed within the works/practice in the first place. The democratic crowning images on the wall (not to mention tacked up with humble masking table), the personal everyday framed portraits in the room, the projected anecdotes/feelings/responses from wearers/owners on the wall and the images, research, achieve and workings from the workshop. All these ingredients reminded us of the personal and everyday stories, of the human content that sits behind the work, of the rituals surrounding these objects and their function/use and brought this to your attention when viewing the objects.
A beautiful exhibition … Thank you Gerd Rothman (and Galerie Handwerk) … what a treat!
Oh and check out the diorama … fantastic!