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Frauke Alina Becker
Location: EMDE GALLERY - Mainz
Frauke Alina Becker - flex
The gallery is very pleased to present the solo exhibition "flex" with ceramics, paintings and drawings by Berlin-based artist Frauke Alina Becker.
In her works Frauke Alina Becker is oriented towards the organic forms of nature. The artist gives special attention to singular, looping plant parts. With few exceptions, they can be described as consistent motifs in both her sculptural works, the ceramics, and her paintings and drawings. A central theme that her works formulate and which runs throughout her oeuvre concerns the relationship between nature and culture and also the question of how we want to live, and what role we ascribe to nature therein.
Despite the different media and the various materials, there nevertheless is always a distinct visual language and signature. It is characterized by an abstract-representational vocabulary and few, high-contrast colors. It is important that the motifs in each case are detached from their natural context and move away from their natural source of forms in the artistic implementation. They are new creations that open up a wide interpretive space.
Thus, the individually shaped ceramics shown in the exhibition, shimmering in warm earth tones, initially suggest organic creatures that populate the gallery space: Some are presented on the walls, others are part of an installation made of earth. Numerous associations are evoked - algae, rhizome root braids seem to appear in the partly soft and round, partly pointed and angular forms and the shiny surface. The structures are haptically appealing, they seduce to touch. At the same time, their shimmering surface sets them apart from the organic and, at second glance, they evoke associations of throwing stars and flames or even a kind of science-fiction flora that, depending on the viewer's point of view, seems to literally flow and constantly change. Nature is not depicted, but rather an idea is given of what nature might look like in a future world that is increasingly manipulated, changed and determined by humans.
This contradiction (inherent to the ceramics) between organic creatures and creatures from the future, nature and culture or technology, is also found in Frauke Alina Becker's paintings: Her pictorial worlds are mostly composed of two contrasting hues and feature dark green, almost black, plant-like organic structures that seem to proliferate beyond the pictorial space. They stand out clearly against the light background, so that there is a constant oscillation between foreground and background - similar to the conundrum paintings, in which, for example, one perceives either two faces or a vase, but never both at the same time. And similar to the ceramics, the flat application of paint with few details contrasts with the organic forms and seems virtual, reminiscent of typically digital, smooth "brushstrokes" without texture, which is precisely what makes her painting contemporary.
In other paintings shown in the exhibition, we find weightlessly floating shells and fossils with tentacle-like outgrowths depicted, meticulously rendered by the artist against an almost neutral blue background. The blue appears like a maelstrom, magically attracting the viewer and giving them the feeling of being physically immersed in the image, as it were. Some of them are provided with jeans cut-outs - also reminiscent of creepers - as a sign of expanding the imaginary pictorial space.
However, Frauke Alina Becker not only circles around questions of perception and representability or the complex and ambivalent relationship between nature and culture. Elementary is furthermore the exploration of central aspects of human coexistence such as touch, movement, closeness and distance, and what meaning and effect these have. This becomes particularly clear in her paintings and drawings, which are combined with individual words and texts. While in the paintings the fragmentary texts appear in a field at the side or bottom edge, in the drawings - some of which are cast in resin - they often extend across the entire picture surface. Again and again, looping, organically shaped letters with outlines that fray jaggedly toward the outside, join together to form individual words or text fragments such as "Come close," "together," or "I licked it, so it's mine"; again and again, they deal with body parts or call for a specific action. At the same time, they allow for space, they leave things unsaid and elude unambiguity. In this way, certain, sometimes contradictory emotions are triggered, fragmentary worlds of feeling are evoked, the view is drawn to the ambiguous potential of language, its many possible meanings, images and associations.
Frauke Alina Becker's works can above all be read as metaphors for both human coexistence and the fragile coexistence of nature and culture. Similar to climbing plants that grow upwards or downwards, sideways or in circles in adaptation to their surroundings, we too are in a constant process of transformation in our relationships with others and with nature. We are part of a constant change, caused by new technologies and many other personal and social developments, which - as the exhibition title "flex" already suggests - require an ongoing adaptation.
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