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Exhibition “Merle Vorwald: DAUERGLOSS (permanent gloss)”

24/01/2023 h 16/04/2023 F Add to the calendar 2023-01-24 2023-04-16 Europe/London Exhibition “Merle Vorwald: DAUERGLOSS (permanent gloss)”

DAUERGLOSS (permanent gloss) is constituted of a fragmented scenario and a digital narration titled GGG-HQ (Ging nicht, geht nicht, geht doch Headquarter), which translates to “Didn’t work, doesn’t work, works Headquarters.” The work is engaging with right-wing extremism in Germany since 1945 – as a continuity from the Third Reich, to the Federal Republic, to the right-wing realities of the present, and as a formative part of her family’s history. Pulling material from historical documents, auto-fictional texts, recalled fragments of her memory, visual textures, GIFs, and found tweets, GGG-HQ weaves a digitally tangible story – a novelty in commemorative culture. Surfaces and textures from the present and the past accompany the narration; moving visual worlds of a fragmented fascism are impactful elements of a universe full of hysterical post-pop cultural hues.

For DAUERGLOSS, Merle Vorwald appropriates the biography of her grandfather, a Nazi unwilling to recant his right-wing extremist ideology after the end of the Third Reich. Her own upbringing in direct proximity is the starting point for this artistic research spanning three generations. “GGG-HQ as a research endeavor is to me like a perfect visit at the nail salon: a little painful, chock-full of endless personalized color palettes, and resulting in a protective layer that makes for an everyday unsolicited representation of the self,” Vorwald says about her work. Painted nails not only navigate through the telling of a post-German reality, they are also a strident echo of research and its digital state, and mark the artist’s realization of the necessity to break the ties linking her to her family – gained through the supposedly dissociative act of manicure. DAUERGLOSS is a tripartite scenario, taking the visitor on an imaginary tour of three West German scenarios or atmospheres. The tour combines elements of reprocessing and remembering with visual cues. The work aims to engage with the urgent process of self-translation and will be presented both in German and English through film, historical documents, texts, and images. MERLE VORWALD (*1980, Göttingen/ Germany) is an independent artist-researcher and production designer based in Brussels and Berlin. Her artistic practice finds its form across fictional writing, spatial installations and online platforms. Through poetic condensation, her practices aim for reduced precision and her visual contexts create absurd beauty realms of glossy, Camp materialities and their imperfections. Through these she explores historical fringe characters, the inherent political of autobiographical matters and investigates the potentials of fragility in collective work structures. As production designer she articulates an aesthetic position between art house movies, video art and commercial productions in the German film industry. She is interested in the tension and humor these opposite poles can create and uses them for her design work. Her work is always collaborative and often connected to Belgium.

Photo : Merle Vorwald, GGG textures, collage numérique, 2021

Practical information

IKOB – Museum of Contemporary Art, Rotenberg 12b 4700 Eupen IKOB – Museum of Contemporary Art

DAUERGLOSS (permanent gloss) is constituted of a fragmented scenario and a digital narration titled GGG-HQ (Ging nicht, geht nicht, geht doch Headquarter), which translates to “Didn’t work, doesn’t work, works Headquarters.” The work is engaging with right-wing extremism in Germany since 1945 – as a continuity from the Third Reich, to the Federal Republic, to the right-wing realities of the present, and as a formative part of her family’s history. Pulling material from historical documents, auto-fictional texts, recalled fragments of her memory, visual textures, GIFs, and found tweets, GGG-HQ weaves a digitally tangible story – a novelty in commemorative culture. Surfaces and textures from the present and the past accompany the narration; moving visual worlds of a fragmented fascism are impactful elements of a universe full of hysterical post-pop cultural hues.

For DAUERGLOSS, Merle Vorwald appropriates the biography of her grandfather, a Nazi unwilling to recant his right-wing extremist ideology after the end of the Third Reich. Her own upbringing in direct proximity is the starting point for this artistic research spanning three generations. “GGG-HQ as a research endeavor is to me like a perfect visit at the nail salon: a little painful, chock-full of endless personalized color palettes, and resulting in a protective layer that makes for an everyday unsolicited representation of the self,” Vorwald says about her work. Painted nails not only navigate through the telling of a post-German reality, they are also a strident echo of research and its digital state, and mark the artist’s realization of the necessity to break the ties linking her to her family – gained through the supposedly dissociative act of manicure.

DAUERGLOSS is a tripartite scenario, taking the visitor on an imaginary tour of three West German scenarios or atmospheres. The tour combines elements of reprocessing and remembering with visual cues. The work aims to engage with the urgent process of self-translation and will be presented both in German and English through film, historical documents, texts, and images.

MERLE VORWALD (*1980, Göttingen/ Germany) is an independent artist-researcher and production designer based in Brussels and Berlin. Her artistic practice finds its form across fictional writing, spatial installations and online platforms. Through poetic condensation, her practices aim for reduced precision and her visual contexts create absurd beauty realms of glossy, Camp materialities and their imperfections. Through these she explores historical fringe characters, the inherent political of autobiographical matters and investigates the potentials of fragility in collective work structures. As production designer she articulates an aesthetic position between art house movies, video art and commercial productions in the German film industry. She is interested in the tension and humor these opposite poles can create and uses them for her design work. Her work is always collaborative and often connected to Belgium.

Photo : Merle Vorwald, GGG textures, collage numérique, 2021

Practical information

IKOB – Museum of Contemporary Art

Our museum is located in the city of Eupen in the German-speaking community of Belgium, close to the German and Dutch border. Its programme focuses on emerging and leading contemporary art through the constitution of a significant collection – in progress – and temporary exhibitions – in dialogue. Thus, functioning as a discursive platform for contemporary art with its multidisciplinary and thematic exhibition programme and highlighting critical and socio-political issues, the IKOB attempts to reflect upon the matter of the frontier.

HISTORY AND FURTHER SELF-PRESENTATION OF THE MUSEUM

The IKOB – Museum of Contemporary Art began as an idea of the artist, art teacher and subsequent museum director Francis Feidler. The institution was conceived as a center for border-transcending exhibitions out of which a later museum collection could be successively built up – augmented by purchases and loans, as well as by donations especially from exhibiting artists. The first milestones for the Eastern Belgian art center were the sculpture exhibition Kontakt 93 at the park facilities in Eupen as well as the project Volle Scheunen (with 12 installations respectively in the Ardennes and the Eifel), which was realized in collaboration with the former head of the Documenta Manfred Schneckenburger.
The IKOB established itself quite early on as an internationally oriented exhibition platform as well as a promoter of the regional art scene. Already back then, the special characteristic of how the museum would like to be perceived and how it operates lay in its active approach toward artists in the region. They were often featured in pioneering exhibitions shortly before they achieved an international breakthrough. These presentations gave rise to the collection of the institution, which meanwhile comprises more than 400 works. In 1999, the IKOB acquired a fixed domicile in a commercially used building near the old Schlachthof. In 2005, the collection received official recognition, and the International Art Center of Eastern Belgium was renamed the IKOB – Museum of Contemporary Art.
The museum considers its proximity to international borders as a point of departure for serving as a cultural mediator between the various regions of Belgium and engaging in a fertile exchange with the artistic scenes in Germany and the Netherlands. Inasmuch as it invites visitors to investigate political, social and cultural developments in an informal atmosphere, it strives to make an active contribution to society – also in the framework of its exhibitions. In three to four large shows per year, the museum displays contemporary art in the best sense of the term, with the main exhibitions being accompanied by individual presentations of works from the permanent collection.
The IKOB, however, does not intend simply to organize and document contemporary art but instead, through the choice of themes and artists for its exhibitions, to discover and convey new artistic tendencies. Through a constant shifting of focus onto current themes that are handled by diverse artistic media, the museum moves in close contact with both the established and the up-and-coming art scenes. In 2018, the IKOB has celebrated the 25th anniversary of its founding; over the years, it has become a well-known name in the Euregio Maas-Rhine region.

OGuided tour by the director

On the last Sunday of each successive exhibition, our director Frank-Thorsten Moll conducts a guided tour that offers a final assessment of the closing show and a preview of the coming program.

OGuided tours for groups

Whether for young or old, birthday party or company excursion – we offer guided tours for all current exhibitions and collection presentations.

3 B

Practical information

IKOB – Museum of Contemporary Art

Rotenberg 12b
4700 Eupen

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