The exhibition “Luc Tuymans – Edith Clever” is the prominent prelude of a new series of the Visual Arts Section at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, in which works by Akademie members from diverse artistic disciplines confront one another.
Belgian painter and curator Luc Tuymans – an art scene star recognised for his significant figurative style – has initiated a dialogue with German actress and director Edith Clever, an icon in theatre known for her strong women’s roles. Prestigious loans, specially conceived works and performative interventions address the relevance and ambiguity of painted images and embodied texts in a world saturated by the digital. The exhibition addresses the representation and legacy of the past as well as the ubiquitous atmosphere of its dissolution.
In paintings rendered in a subdued colour scheme, Luc Tuymans transfers motifs of existing images from the most diverse historical, cultural and popular media sources. An underlying moral complexity and a confrontation with mechanisms of violence are concealed behind their calm appearances – also carried over in his references to the Akademie building’s history. In a series produced during the COVID pandemic that is richer in contrasts and more colourful than before, increasing political uncertainty is perceived with a new urgency.
Edith Clever’s work with language is based on extreme restraint. She strives to achieve an openness that allows her to be moved and shaped by texts. Clever turns her body into an instrument to make the texts’ power, poetry and beauty experienceable. In long monologues, she reduces means delivered side-by-side with precisely measured excessiveness. The artist has charted a path through her work in theatre and film. The Akademie der Künste’s Studio for Electroacoustic Music is developing a sound installation for the exhibition based on her voice.
Image : Left: Luc Tuymans, Candle, 2017, Oil on canvas, 134,6 x 108,5 cm, Courtesy: Private collection; right: Edith Clever in: Die Nacht, 1985, a film by Hans Jürgen Syberberg. 35 mm-Film, Colour and Black & White, 367 min. Courtesy: Syberberg Clever Monologe, firstname.lastname@example.org
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