Artist: Anna-Sophie Berger
Exhibition title: Duel
Curated by: Susanne Mierzwiak
Venue: Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, Germany
Date: September 4 – November 22, 2020
Photography: Mareike Tocha / images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Bonner Kunstverein
Synthesised currents of opacity and clarity flow through the sculptures and installations of Anna-Sophie Berger (b. 1989, Vienna). As an attentive observer of her surroundings, Berger selects and recontextualises familiar objects from everyday life in order to put their social attributions and purposes to the test. Her subtle and poetic configurations not only reveal the simple fact that there is no such thing as an object without society, but also question our response to imposed structures, norms and regulations.
Duel, Berger’s first institutional solo exhibition in Germany, presents a body of new works developed for the Bonner Kunstverein. Conceiving of public space as a complex entity that combines various interests and ideals, as well as represents processes of social negotiation, the artist transforms objects and architectural elements into a spatial interplay.
Two mobile sculptures, composed of distinct modules, take on the Do-It-Yourself logic of market stalls and street vendors by incorporating improvised and space-invading constructions used to expand their sales area. A purpose-built in-between space, in turn, is borrowed from a building code for construction sites in New York, alluding to the increasing discrepancy between public space and inaccessible areas caused by privatisation and real estate speculation.
Berger continues this paradoxical relationship between function and use in a collection of found and manipulated readymades. While their condition can be read as the result of destruction and decay, Berger instead explores the inability of these objects to fulfil their prescribed purpose, as a starting point for alternative forms of action.
Anna-Sophie Berger (b. 1989, Vienna) has held solo exhibitions at Cell Project Space, London (2019); mumok, Vienna; Kunsthaus Bregenz (both 2016), Ludlow 38, New York (2015). Her work has been presented at Kunsthalle Wien (2019, 2017); S.M.A.K., Ghent (2018); Kunstverein München; Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover (both 2017), Salzburger Kunstverein (2016) and at the 9th Berlin Biennale (2016). She lives in New York and Vienna.