As long as the invisible infrastructure functions, water flows through pipes and data through fibreoptic cables, the underground is of interest to few of us. But anyone who has lived in Frankfurt for a while might remember the slogan 'Under the pavement lies the beach'. It was a motto of the '68 protests and declared another world imaginable and possible—but only if we manage to look under the stones. We have taken up this poetic call for change because we continue to see a need for political action, but also because looking into geological depths and times allows us to understand the end of epochs and the beginning of new ones through the traces of the past. In our exhibition, dinosaurs become actors in financial scandals, stones meet glass facades, and tourists send greetings from the edge of the volcano. Humans have managed to shape large parts of the world according to their wishes. But the climate catastrophe shows on the one hand the consequences of this and on the other hand that not everything can be controlled by humans. Natural and human history cannot be separated from each other. Even the largest dinosaurs became extinct in the end and volcanic eruptions, as uncontrollable whims of the earths system, remind us of the possibility that suddenly everything will change.
—Sara-Lena Maierhofer & Flo Maak
Sara-Lena Maierhofer and Flo Maak have shared a studio in Berlin for many years. Last year they jointly curated the exhibition New Anatomies, in which they explored questions of identity, gender, and desire based on a photographic work by Ulrike Ottinger. For the joint exhibition Unter dem Pflaster they developed new works in a mutual exchange: Sara-Lena Maierhofer shows photograms and photographic experiments, Flo Maak photographs and assemblages.
Press release courtesy Bernhard Knaus Fine Art.