Rebecca Fortnum - Separations exhibition in Berlin
Childhood Pattern III: SEPARATIONS
Work by Hannah Finlator and Rebecca Fortnum
Private View February 15, 2014, 7 - 9 pm. Duration till March 9.
SEMMER BERLIN Eberswalderstr. 2, 10437 Berlin
Opening hours Mon - Fri 4 – 7pm, Sat and Sun 2 – 6pm and by appointment
In Separations, the third of a series of exhibitions on childrenʼs portraiture, we follow two internationally acclaimed artists into the territory of psychoanalysis and history. At first sight what unites them is the evident masterful accomplishment in the skill of rendering and the use of traditional techniques. However entering into both artistsʼ thinking, other parallels, as well as distinguishing features, unfold. At first glance, Rebecca Fortnumʼs children are larger than life, filling the picture plane with a detailed if at times veiled depiction of their features. With the repetition of the image comes doubt, as if to say: Beware! A portrait can suggest, but never truly reveal identity. The series of small silver points Dream depicts children with their eyes closed in double portraits. We can look at them very closely and they never look back. No blinking, no flinching. Being close to someone asleep makes us intimates. We are struck by their interiority. A larger series of drawings Wide Shut includes three large doubled portraits, each with a veil of colour over the image. The girls here are older and in each pair one has their eyes open. Between them they act out the duality of proper and improper, of communication and communicability, of potentiality and act.
The themes in Hannah Finlatorʼs recent body of work circle around individual history, and the history of painting. Her depictions of the present, future and past in paintings generally describe relationships, i.e. between siblings, spouses, lovers, ancestors and historic figures. In some cases the divided panels are permanently attached with metal hinges, in other cases a continuous landscape relates one panel to another, while some panels are placed close together for immediate comparison. The artist herself describes it like this: “Though the connections are not always obvious, visual cues as well as structural links support the basis for shared, yet separated, narratives. The inclusion of symbolic elements such as fruits, plants, and animals may recall encoding of iconography of the past, but are not text-book based, per se. While my portraits are intensified by representations of the past, the organization of setting encourages a new reading through contemporary analytical or psychological means. The past emerging as a template of the future, contemporary shifts altering the residue of the past, and the future imagined by both, is the main theme reoccurring in my current body of work.” Individual interpretations are of key importance here, as with the work of Fortnum.
The participation of Rebecca Fortnum is supported by ADRI.