Reto Pulfer Blitzzzustand
Eröffnung am Sonntag, 10. Juli, von 15 bis 19 Uhr
mit einer Performance von Reto Pulfer
Begrüßung: Martin Gorholt, Vorsitzender KunstHaus Potsdam
Einführung: Rahel Schrohe, künstlerische Leitung KunstHaus Potsdam
Finissage am Sonntag, 21. August, von 13 bis 17 Uhr
The exhibition as a breathing, organic entity: such is the “Blitzzzustand,” or “Flash State,” designed by the artist, author, and musician Reto Pulfer for KunstHaus Potsdam. Hand-dyed and printed fabrics, dried and living plants, sculptural works, paintings and drawings constitute an immersive landscape experience for the exhibition visitors. “Blitzzzustand” is an experimental search for new sensual and physical ways of relating people and environments; a search that brings into question the distinction between subject and object, humans and environment. Reto Pulfer, born in Bern in 1981, now lives in the Uckermark. His work has received numerous awards and has been exhibited internationally. “Blitzzzustand” is the first comprehensive presentation of his artistic work in Brandenburg.
Four years ago, Swiss artist Reto Pulfer, who is also an author and a musician, moved his life and work from Berlin to the Uckermark. Known for its exceptionally hilly landscape of many lakes, the Uckermark is also recognised for ecological agricultural practices and experimental horticulture. Since Pulfer has been living and working in the Uckermark, his work has gained additional relevance from an art historical and socio-political perspective.
Prior to his move, Pulfer’s extensive oeuvre had dealt in a variety of ways with the complex relationship of human beings to nature and the cosmos. Pulfer creates site-specific environments from worked textiles, everyday objects, and text fragments, which together he calls “states,” or “conditions.” In these states he has – from the beginning – integrated natural materials: mainly plants, woods, and stones, but also spices and tea. His practice encompasses a way of life and a kind of nourishment, the cultural characteristics of which he has made the subject of artistic investigation. In the Uckermark, Pulfer was able finally to create his own artist’s garden, wherein he observes the plants, animals, and insects that live there and the diverse cycles and rhythms distinct to that place. He experiments with wild and cultivated plants, with the symmetry and asymmetry of gardening. Over time, these experiments and observations, as well as the plants he has grown himself and the confrontation with their history, their biological and aesthetic peculiarities and possibilities, have entered into his artistic work.
Previously, Pulfer’s extensive body of work had already explored man’s relationship to nature and the cosmos in a variety of ways. Pulfer creates site-specific environments from worked textiles, everyday objects, and text fragments, which he calls “states.” From the beginning, he had also integrated natural materials – mainly plants, woods and stones, but also spices and tea – into these “states.” His practice also encompasses lifestyle and diet, the cultural characteristics of which he has made the subject of artistic investigation. In the Uckermark, Pulfer was finally able to create his own artist’s garden. Here he observes the plants, animals, and insects that live there and the various proper times of the place. He experiments with wild and cultivated plants, with symmetry and asymmetry in horticulture. Since then, these experiments and observations, as well as the plants he has grown himself and the confrontation with their history, their biological and aesthetic peculiarities and possibilities, have entered into his artistic work.
For his exhibition at KunstHaus Potsdam, Reto Pulfer has designed an immersive landscape that he calls “Blitzzzustand.” Fabrics – knitted, embroidered, hand-dyed and recycled – are joined together, tent-like; embedded in them are dried woods and plants. They are accompanied by paintings, drawings and sculptural works. In the large exhibition space of the Kunstverein, small, rich spaces form. Interconnected with one another, they asked to be discovered and offer space to linger and reflect. A breathing, web-like landscape, intuitively graspable yet complex, it was conceived and generated from the location of the Kunstverein and exists only in this singular form. For the exhibition visitor, it is a synthesthetic experience.
In the process, the visitor encounters elements of the Uckermark artist’s garden. Thus the patterns on the knitted textiles designed by Pulfer are composed of earthworm shapes, stylized leaves, and blossoms. Interspersed text fragments poetically refer to life in the garden and meander between animating and systematizing the experience. Other fabrics have been dyed with plants from the artist’s garden. Works on paper provide insight into Pulfer’s far-reaching thought and work processes and invite an exploration of the complex issues of symmetry and abstraction with which – including in horticulture – he is currently occupied. They show how Pulfer experiments with geometric patterns by means of combining, mirroring, and rotation, always in an attempt to create new ornamentation. Finally, the landscape garden installed in the courtyard of the KunstHaus, created from living wild plants, connects the inside and the outside and builds an additional direct bridge to Pulfer’s artist’s garden in the Uckermark.
In this temporary, “flash state” based on the complex relationship of humans to the environment, notions of form and order, of intuition and control, of fragility and balance are reconsidered. Relationships of interconnectedness that may often be obscured by the fictional framework of subject-object or human-environment can be experienced tangibly in this context. Pulfer’s “Blitzzzustand” creates a space in which the viewer can become involved in processes of becoming and can enter into the landscape.
The exhibition “Blitzzzustand” opens on July 10 with a performance by Reto Pulfer.
The supporting program for the exhibition “Blitzzzustand” was developed together with Reto Pulfer. Here the focus is on the connection to the art, culture, gardening and ecological farming scene of the Uckermark. On July 23rd, visitors are welcomed to a garden tour in Angermünde/Greiffenberg, at the Verein zur Erhaltung und Rekultivierung von Nutzpflanzen (Vern e.V.). Vern preserves about 2,000 different old-crop varieties and makes them accessible to the general public. It also preserves knowledge about the cultivation, handling and use of the crop plants. On the occasion of the garden tour, Katrin Rust will show the association’s garden and explain its propagation strategies. On August 21st, a workshop on Blaudruck printing (atextile printing process employing blue dye) with the artist Annika Rixen, who lives in the Uckermark region, will take place at KunstHaus Potsdam. The workshop is held in conjunction with the closing event of the exhibition, which features a discussion between Jan Lindenberg, Eberswalde University of Applied Sciences, Katrin Rust, Vern e.V., as well as Annika Rixen and Reto Pulfer.
On the occasion of the exhibition “Blitzzzustand” at KunstHaus Potsdam, the publishing house BOM DIA BOA TARDE BOA NOITE, designed by the graphic design studio H I T, is publishing the English translation of Reto Pulfer’s artist’s novel Gina, ein zuständiger Roman.
The exhibition “Blitzzzustand” is supported by the Swiss cultural foundation ProHelvetia and is a project within the framework of the theme year “Lebenskunst – Kulturland Brandenburg 2022.” It is created in close collaboration with the artist.
Text / Curator: Rahel Schrohe
Ein Projekt im Rahmen des Themenjahres »Lebenskunst – Kulturland Brandenburg 2022«. Kulturland Brandenburg 2022 wird gefördert durch das Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur, das Ministerium für Infrastruktur und Landesplanung sowie das Ministerium für Landwirtschaft, Umwelt und Klimaschutz des Landes Brandenburg.
Die Ausstellung wird gefördert durch: