Aleksandra Mir

Never Never Landscape

Press Release, c/o - Atle Gerhardsen, Berlin, Sept 2004
By Kirsty Bell

c/o Atle Gerhardsen, Holzmarktstr. 15-18, S-Bahnbogen 46, Berlin - Germany
10 Sept - 23 Oct 2004
Edgar Bryan, Roe Ethridge, Dara Friedman, Mark Handforth, Tony Just, Aleksandra Mir, Rivane Neuenschwander, Laura Owens, Kirsten Pieroth, Jack Pierson, Klaus Weber
Curated by Kirst Bell

‘Before it can ever be a repose for the senses, the landscape is the work of the mind. Its scenery is built up as much from strata of memory as from layers of rock.’ Simon Schama

Landscape is a mental territory whose boundaries are hard to determine. It may be populated with the familiar, but the logic of the everyday is abandoned. Gravity gives up; topographical facts are embroidered with hand-crafted fancy; real journeys are undertaken by fictional characters; falling leaves are loaded with anxious metaphorical meaning.

Minutely observed natural phenomena or details of an urban backdrop shed their banality and point instead to fantasies and fairytales, becoming ciphers for a distant hazy paradise or illusive dream. A moment is recaptured in highly-charged pastel colors; a pastoral scene presented in a floating bubble; a hallucinatory hinterland exists only in the sound of falling water.

In the works assembled here by artists from New York, Berlin, Los Angeles, Miami and Belo Horizonte, the idea of landscape is often addressed obliquely. A politically neutral zone, it reads more as a sign of escapism than a striving for documentary realism. Landscape is, perhaps, not only the work of the mind, but also a state of mind.