Artist: Leon Eisermann
Exhibition title: A Long Goodbye
Curated by: Christina Gigliotti
Venue: Polansky Gallery, Prague, The Czech Republic
Date: February 28 – April 20, 2019
Photography: Jan Kolsky / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Polansky Gallery, Prague
How does trauma function? What is trauma and how does it seep into the body? It comes in minor forms, it comes in major blows, and sometimes you know you have it and sometimes you never quite figure it out. Sometimes you discover it later or recognize it as such when a new fact or problem appears.
Does trauma become a bodily function, learned over the years by a repetition of unpleasant events? Can one become traumatized by listening to other people’s traumas, like a post proxy trauma disorder?
Can a entire country have a trauma? Does an urban environment work like a body? And is the change in a cityscape similar to an operation on the inner organs? Can a war cripple a city, and can the entire thing, every street, storefront, and courtyard be contained with post-traumatic stress disorder after being blown into bits and pieces? Do people learn it from the architecture, once it seeps in?
How long does it take to get over trauma? How do you pass it down, or break the chain?
The country I was born in no longer exists. Does the city grow up, like a small child into an adult, or has it always been old? Did it die? Was it killed? Was it born again and now a teenager, forever young?
What does a wall do to a country? What does it do to a city? How do you live with the absence of a wall after it comes down? Walls keep the cold out.
Did the ideas of former systems get swapped out and folded into the new system? Do they grow together like cabbage? Like a net? Like a brain? Like a structure that becomes more beautiful and complicated when divided down the middle?
When the system doesn’t work for the people, they protest for change. They make demands, but what if the goal is unclear? What if the goal is less ambitious than the outcome? What if the outcome is too much, too different than what was hoped for?
He told me I was wrong. They weren’t protesting the wall–they were processing the ideas. Asterix ins Politikbüro. They got even more than they asked for. Or much less.
After a breakup, feelings turn to resentment. New ideas appear. We should not be together. Wait, what?
A reunification can also be like a breakup—and a breakup can be a reunification back to an old self. Unless you lost yourself along the way.
Leon Eisermann(b. 1987 in Berlin, lives in Berlin) has throughout his career experimented within a variety of media, however, has always returned to drawing, painting and sculpture. His works include airy characters and references to pop-culture, but can also be recognized by his use of skewed perspectives and flat plains of color. He studied in the studio of Thomas Zipp at Universität der Künste in Berlin, Germany, and with Judith Hopf in Städel Schule in Frankfurt am Main. His work has been included in exhibitions at PS120, Berlin (2018), Gillmeier Rech, Berlin (2018), MeetFactory, Prague (2017), Karlin Studios, Prague (2017), Garrett Grimoire, Vienna (2016), Trekhgornaya Manufaktur, Moscow (2015), and Alexander Levy, Berlin (2015).