September 14 to October 26, 2019
Potsdamer Strasse 97, 10785 Berlin
How to bring back the good life?
Very simple: hold your breath.
In any case this might be an answer when looking at the line etchings of Almut Heise. Inside the artist’s bourgeois West German living spaces, on view now at Galerie Klosterfelde Edition, nothing appears to be in motion.
The furniture and objects in the works BAR, KORRIDOR, MUSIKZIMMER, HERRENZIMMER and BOUDOIR function like silent placeholders for a long-faded idea of an elegant, bourgeois home or for a dream that perhaps still lives on in the mind but which has seemingly waited an eternity for its grand appearance beyond four small walls. It is a dream of peace, comfort, happiness and security. A dream that will finally be dreamt again in the late fifties and soon be brought back to life. It just does not withstand any disturbances or loud exhales.
Artist Almut Heise was born in 1944 in Celle. She grew up in this version of post-war Germany that she so precisely details in lines. Her etchings are thus images of memories.
As a young girl, she herself sat on soft-upholstered cocktail chairs. She knows what the Kalter Hund cake on one of her coffee tables tastes like and how the adults’ breath smells after pouring themselves another glass of liqueur.
Some say these years were a miracle. Pastel-colored prosperity actually supplanted the gray rubble and Heise’s interiors also look wondrous. Nevertheless, at seventy years of age, one cringes over the (home decor) culture of that time and the fragile yearning for the restoration of a bourgeois order. Most people in Heise’s vacuum-rooms are lacking faces. Only their clothes remain: uniforms, belt buckles, suits, ties, stiff skirts, stiff blouses. One would like to peer behind the heavy curtains and under the chic dressing tables with the thin legs. And see whether the rest of the faces are still there, along with the dust.
Text: Carolin Würfel
Translation: Erik Smith