Skarabäus press release

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Picture 535

Gitte Schäfer, Molo, 2007
Mixed media
H:121 cm, Ø: 27 cm

Gitte Schäfer
Skarabäus
January 20th – March 3rd 2007

Opening Friday January 19th from 5-8 pm

It is a pleasure to present the German artist Gitte Schäfer’s second solo show at the gallery.

Collecting, sampling, copying, integrating, assembling and rebuilding, Gitte Shäfer’s work process starts at flee markets. Or looking through old books and magazines. Her installations of sculptures, drawings, and paintings are a unified whole where each little part has a long history of its own. One drawing is a remake of a drawing her grandmother did as a young woman, showing farmers coming home from the harvest. A found head-collar of a horse that is twisted in a very beautiful movement is simply hung on the wall. And the sculptures start off with for example an old spinning wheel or a wood tripod, ending in a strangly shaped mineralstone or stuffed goose. An old oak basin on long slim legs contains green eggs.

Like a visual and physical poem of surreal metamorphoses, walking in Gitte Schäfer’s installations unfolds the imaginary stories of things. Stories of bygone days and long lost persons and places. Reminding us of something familiar from our childhood, the summer house, a journey, an old tavern once visited, and yet impossible to place exactly in time. The treasures of scrap and discarded objects once part of somebody’s life, has been saved from the bins and insured a new existance. Now as art objects, past is made present and future.

Gitte Schäfer tells a story of beauty and wonders in the cast away trash. Not unlike the scarab beetle (the title of the show Skarabäus is German for scarab): though rolled and born in a ball of dung, it emerges shimmering and glamourous with its shiny green and black back. The Egyptians immortalized the scarab beetle as sacred. They believed that it represented their sun god, Ra, who rolled the sun across the sky and buried it each night. The scarab beetle became so sacred that it was put on unique stones to wear as jewelry. The scarab shows us that magic and beauty can sometimes be found in the most unlikely places.

Gitte Schäfer (b. 1972 in Stuttgart, lives and works in Berlin) currently has a solo show at FRAC Bourgogne. In 2006, she showed solo at Chez Valentin, Paris and received the German GASAC award.


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