In these few years, there are public opinions saying that Berlin has been getting “spremely sharp”. At the beginning, when I just had arrived here, there were still conservertive, former West German unpolished sense, and only a flippant retrospective Eastern design had stood out. “It’s nothing great, just a rumor,”I thought. This was my honest impression at the time, However, I eventually had started encountering moments that made me feel like some passioned creators, who heard about the rumor and wanted to try their skills with a follower of a different school, getting together somewhere and making steady progress.

It was in the cafe in Prenzlauerberg that had an atmosphere like that, where I had met Dirk Holzberg, the organizer and the artist of the exhibition that I am going to introduce here today. Indeed, various musicians playing experimental music were gathering there. When I visited there with my friend that day, he was also there by chance.

As if those commotions in the town were none of their concern, there was an exhibition called “Nach der Natur (means ‘towards the nature’)” in Muenchehofe, the suburb of Eastern part of Berlin. The exhibition place was at about 15 minutes car ride from Friedlichshagen station, which is 10 minutes ride from Ostbahnhof station by S-Bahn (the railroad that connects the center of a city and the surburbs). The place was further ahead of a reserve for nature and an afforestation area. It was a two-storied house with a wide stairwell in a village that stands still in a calm scenery where stock farming was conducted. Including Dirk, there were seven artists exhibiting, basically focusing on installation.

As soon as entering the house, we coould see a stairwelled room. There dozens of vined plants growing towards ceiling from flowerpots. Listening carefully, there were a voice of someone. The voice is reading date and time irregularly and dispassionately.

Beyond that, there were some hanged tableaus with full use of computer graphics looked like as if many pine leafs were scattered on boards.

Towards this side, yellow plastic tapes made into thumb sized balls were piled in heaps. Each of those had subtlety different shapes; thus, each of those looked like as if they had their own life.

Artist of these three kinds of works were Rolf Giegold, Dirk, and Bettina Wachter respectively. These three works were the exhibits in the room, and its structure had an unity mediating between each of their interpretation about “nature”.

Entering the room on the opposite right hand side, there were green plastic sheets in ball shapes, tubes, capsules, cutting sheets, etc. They looked like casually left scattered. However, by looking carefully, there were a little model airplane on it. The structure reminds me the green earth by looking it over adjusting reduced scale.
In between the two rooms, there was a courtyard. Beyond on the yard, there was a thck pile of earth and sand, and a grass carpet was artificially lying down as if it was drawing a picture, (These two were works of Anke Goehring.)

The interior of this side, on the opposite side of a courtyard, there were some photographs lined up, and each of them looked like connected each other like a story. (Artist: Christian Mayrock)

As soon as going up to the second floor, there was a big box with a monitor in it. The box had two halls, and the monitor was set up on the inner side of the halls. On the four walls surrounding the monitor, there were tiled mirrors. The monitor projected a short looped movie, which a bear walking back and forth between a shed and the camera, on the screen. The mirrors were facing each other on the walls, so the movie on the monitor was reflected on the mirrors and there was a visual effect that was totally different from the original picture, which was beyond the imagination. (Artist: Dirk Holzberg)

Inside of the room on the left side, there was a work constructed with a long lacquer material and naked constructing materials. (Artist: Rebecca Michaels) What attracted me more was a sound heard from place where we can look over the stairwelled room. “This is a mechanism that a snail shell turns irregularity. Especially, it changes the speed depends on the amount of light. There are no regulations, though.”Ralf Schreiber at the exhibition place explained.

There were not many exhibits there, but each of works had good tensions and looked like it was an ambitious exhibition.

Nach der Natur
Date: 30th July – 21st August, 2005
Place: Haus A3XX
Address: Pappelweg 1d,15366 Muenchehofe

Text and Photos: Yoshito Maeoka
Translation: Kosai Kato

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