Lena Inken Schaefer - Stabsichelbogen / February 25 - April 5, 2014
Opening: 22.02.2014, 6-9 pm
This solo exhibition by Lena Inken Schaefer has evolved from a process of diversion and reunification, whose starting point is a banknote from the german period of inflation in 1923, the same that was already used for the "5.000-50.000" work as a template of the endless series of drawings. However, in "Stabsichelbogen" (Rodsicklearc) the process starts with a minimal gesture, where the same 50.000 Mark banknote turns around and some patterns are cut out, enlarged and finally reproduced by the artist, who paints them onto cotton paper. The outcome of this, is the drawing "50000", which transversely extends through the two chambers of the Krome Gallery, as if it was a dissecting or offering table. The contemplative and symmetrical images, which became extended by pressing in a pane of glass, are composed of forms such as rods, sickles, arcs, circles and drops. The original pattern of the banknote was increased from a few centimeters to a length of six meters, as if, during an archaeological investigation, someone was inspecting traces of a past time under the microscope. The same individual shapes that make up the ornament are the basis of two other works in the exhibition.
The video "Stabsichelbogen" shows a mobile that has arisen precisely from these individual forms, which slowly rotates the shadowless silhouettes around its own axis and around each other.
This results in new connections, even if only for a brief moment.
It is as if the characters have been hit a few times by a gust of wind, but it is not clear where this wind comes from. Probably by an external movement, perhaps some person from outside passes through the frame of this mobile and, as a result, the movements of the individual elements are minimally accelerated. This kind of slowness - in the drawing, as well as in the video - looks like an attempt to mitigate the pictures, which were otherwise being associated with pictures of the period of inflation, for example the rapidly spitting printing machine. After the money was devalued by inflation it is now placed in a new context.
At the back of the exhibition is the work "Erdkarussell", which consists of a slide projection with a series of 66 drawings, where seeds, flowers, thickets, tools, antlers or horns, bones, rain or blood, shells, eggs, houses, bodies or waves are shown.
Lena Inken Schaefer let these 33 individual mobile figures be cut out from steel in two different sizes, in order to use them as a character template. These are the basis for the free association drawings about the culture, history and the origins of money. They are displayed in the exhibition as a photographic slideshow.
The individual slides are volatilely changing and standing in contrast to the static presentation of the large drawing in the center of the room. The illustrations remain open on all sides to complete and to continue – there seems to be an equally close focus on the cultural history, e.g. the starting material (the banknote) itself, as well. It remains unclear if it explicitly matters what it is made for and how these are then related in time; whether it is a period of several hundred years or only a few minutes. While the starting material has a specific historical reference, the trace is lost here between the fern, eggs and rain.
An enlarged plaster model of a conventional chewing gum is lying on the reception desk of the gallery. It is entitled "strong, professional, extra" - it’s the slogan of the chewing gum brand Wrigley's, but in a different order. Lena Inken Schaefer sees the title as a similar kind of exaggeration and potentiation in writing, as it is also used in paper money. Furthermore, chewing gum (like paper tissues) is probably one of the most passed on and given away items.
water color on cotton paper
ca. 600 cm x 60 cm
ca 16" loop
strong, professional, extra
plaster, watercolor, foam
ca 24 cm x 11 cm x 7 cm