EXPLORE/2016/Four Calling Birds
The exhibition Four Calling Birds curated by Mark Gisbourne falls within our thematic module DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE, which features artwork that offers new perspectives on the familiar or conventional.
Four Calling Birds is also a show of celebration to take place in the four-week periods leading up to and following the holiday season. The title of the exhibition derives from the famous English Christmas Carol The Twelve Days of Christmas, first published in 1780, which is chorally sung in celebration over the Christmas period.
Four of the five chosen artists represent the calling birds of the carol. Small paintings and works on paper by Ryan Mosley heighten the season’s carnivalesque atmosphere. Martin Assig’s works on paper reference the intercession for rewards. The drawings and sculpture of Angelika Arendt place emphasis on the filigree, detailed use of expression. Sandra Boeschenstein’s presentational imagination will be captured in a wall drawing executed in our drawing space and activated by means of three-dimensional elements. Each pursues and renews the fantastical and the imaginary, from carnival to ritual, fragmentary narrative to fancy, they bring into their practice of drawing a renewed and passionate engagement with the imagination.
What are the four birds calling to? They are calling us to the three-meter-high gingerbread house, a unique Yuletide project built specifically for SATELLITE BERLIN by the English artist Christopher Winter in the exhibition space. An edible sculpture, Land of Cockaigne becomes the rabbit hole itself, thereby referencing Alice in Wonderland as well as Hansel and Gretel and the medieval myth of Cockaigne–an imaginary place of extreme luxury and ease, not unlike the Heimat and activities to which we retreat during the holidays.
Throughout the opening on November 29th, visitors are invited to share in the sensory delights of sight––and taste by nibbling at the gingerbread house. The opening becomes a communal performance that will be recorded on film and, afterwards, projected onto the remains of the house for the duration of the show.
Christopher Winter's gingerbread house is kindly sponsored by the Leinemann Foundation for Education and Art.