For the start of the season we are presenting the new Keoitt series by Berlin-based artist Lena von Goedeke.
Keoitt - this is the word the Inuit have for the phenomenon that marks the starting point of the exhibition: the Aurora Borealis. Lena von Goedeke traveled to Inuit country in autumn and winter 2018-19 to sharpen her perception of the visible and invisible beauty of places in an extreme environment, places where outer space comes especially close to our own habitat: Spitzbergen is directly south of the Polar Cusp, a region close to the magnetic North Pole, where the solar wind comes into direct contact with the ionosphere, as a result of which here and only here you witness the rare phenomenon of a daytime aurora, the polar light that can be seen in the south from Spitzbergen.
Interacting with scientists and in the course of several expeditions, the artist had the opportunity to collect data and material. She spent the winter in Longyearbyen, the northernmost town in the world, finding out all about the social and geopolitical particularities of life in the Arctic.
In addition to her very personal experiences and deliberations on the phenomenon of the all-embracing darkness of the Polar night, so-called Keograms form the basis of the new series. The Keograms are a special way of representing the phenomena in the visible heavens as a diagrammatic sequence - and Lena von Goedeke has transposed them into large-format paintings. Keograms as the painterly depiction of a period of time, the duration of observing the heavens, oscillating between abstract painting and the pre-determined representation of data; in this context, she draws on the greats in the history of painting. The beauty of scientific description melds here with immersive large formats.
In the form of fragile paper cuts and uncanny wall objects, Lena von Goedeke gives us a sense of the context, the danger and the special perception innate in a long night in the Arctic:
'crystalline structures, gun fantasies made of Latex, icy fingers and matt-black landscapes are juxtaposed to documentary photographs of the scenery and beauty of a first, weak, blue dawn at the end of the Polar night.'
Press release courtesy Bernhard Knaus Fine Art.