OPEN SPACE 1 | They Rule the Valley

Ellen Bornkessel, Ruth Hommelsheim, Werner Huthmacher, Bettina Lockemann, Ulrike Ludwig, Jens Lüstraeten, Sabine Schründer, Sergio Zevallos

Opening: Friday, 9 March 2007, 7 p.m.
Exhibition: 10 March - 05 April 2007

We are pleased to announce the opening of Loris — gallery for contemporary art with the group exhibition Sie regieren das Tal (They Rule the Valley), presenting work by Ellen Bornkessel, Ruth Hommelsheim, Werner Huthmacher, Bettina Lockemann, Ulrike Ludwig, Jens Lüstraeten, Sabine Schründer, and Sergio Zevallos. Loris is a new artist’s cooperative gallery under the direction of art historian Imke Ehlers. It concentrates on artists working in photography, video, and installation. 

The title of the exhibition Sie regieren das Tal refers to the tension between social landscapes and individual localization. The eight artists address the various functions and responses to urban or rural space, as well as strategies of observation and questions of the distribution of power. The space that emerges in the works is ambiguous, eluding clear definition. The works look at places, their social significance, and the possibilities of individual use and interpretation. 

The photo work Exposition #7 by Werner Huthmacher focuses on close up fragments of animal bodies. It refers to man’s attempt to have absolute control over nature, which is only truly successful in a museum of natural history. Ruth Hommelsheim’s photo shows a landscape After Nature focusing on the suspended state of an industrialized rural area’s indefinable quality. Ellen Bornkessel’s photographic series Play (I-VI) is a documentary tale. Oscillating between documentation and dramatization, the urban backdrop functions as a stage and the young people in the pictures like actors. In Sabine Schründer’s work Intrude (into) II, the increasing surveillance of our social landscape “illuminate” strategically spotlights that rob the darkness of its power of concealment. In Bettina Lockemann’s Code Orange, white vans keep appearing, recalling dubious surveillance strategies. As vehicles that can be used by either terrorists or law officials, they are evidence of how ambiguously images can be used by the media. Ulrike Ludwig presents Spaces that are empty of function and objects. What remains is the architectural infrastructure needed for the flow of information, recalling the relationship between information and regulation. The video Five Bottles and a Football by Jens Lüstraeten is a contemplative review of the pieces and piles of waste left behind by society, which become tragicomical actors in a designed cultural landscape. Sergio Zevallo’s portraits recall police mug shots—manipulating them in his Maps series adds an additional variation of localization, and questions the identifying recognizability of passport photos.
Ruth Hommelsheim, Sergio Zevallos

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