Artist: Loretta Fahrenholz
Exhibition title: Circle Navel Nil
Venue: Lumiar Cité, Lisbon, Portugal
Date: April 24 – June 27, 2021
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Lumiar Cité, Lisbon
For her first solo exhibition in Portugal, the artist and film-maker Loretta Fahrenholz premieres a tour video produced in collaboration with K8 Howl and Jak Ritger (TRLLM) for the album ‘No Home Record’ by the American artist and musician Kim Gordon. Installed at Lumiar Cité, this collage of street scenes from various US states forms the backdrop for a series of photographs taken during the artist’s summer 2020 residency in Lisbon. The images on the plasma screen showing the film merge with the medium – and large-format photographs, creating an installation that encompasses the space, the effects of which unfold both inside and outside the gallery.
The photographs were created using a technique developed by Fahrenholz herself, whereby the subjects captured – here a group of young women – are fragmented to the point of being almost unrecognisable. Together with the exhibition’s title, this process of deconstruction references aspects of art history and the rapidly changing social conditions in the first two decades of the twentieth century. The title itself is borrowed from the poem Hell’s Wisdom by Dada artist Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, whose texts were produced using similar techniques to those of avant-garde painting – fragmentation, changes of perspective and corporeal disintegration. The power of Fahrenholz’s photographs lies in their combination of semi-abstract, medium- and large-scale motifs, reminiscent of expressionist work, and subtle references to a period of collective trauma, turmoil and alienation in the past, extended to our present day.
Loretta Fahrenholz lives and works in Berlin. Her recent solo exhibitions include ‘A Decade that Exploded’, n.b.k., Berlin (2021); ‘Rubber Breasts Willing to Bring Teacups and Roll Away Fire and Bombs’, Company Gallery, New York (2020); ‘Small Habit Revolution’, mumok, Vienna (2018); ‘Two A.M.’, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2016); ‘Three Women’, Kunsthalle Zürich (2015) and ‘kbo-Isar-Amper-Clinic’, Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis (2015). She has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including at Fundación Banco Santander, Madrid; Kunsthalle Bern; MoMA PS1, New York; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Kunsthaus Hamburg and White Columns, New York.