SALIX FILM/VIDEO INSTALLATION, PHOTO SERIES, 2013 „Formal“ (Salix series), Endura Ultra photograph, 180 X 240, 2013 The Salix series (2013) traverses an almost dystopian farmhouse
„Chapters of Violence“, 17.02.2023 – 10.04.2023
The dialogical exhibition of the two artists spans nine rooms, each with its own scenography in the situation of a classic Berlin apartment in an old building.
‟The artist is present.” With this announcement, galleries, art associations, and museums invite visitors to openings and hope to attract more public interest. But the artist is present anyway through their art. A question is much more urgent: who or what else is present? Ghosts of the past? For example, narratives of assault, emotional blackmail and structural abuse of power. This is what „Chapters of Violence“ brings to light.
The artists Veronika Christine Dräxler and Patrick Alan Banfield initiate a joint process of reflection and reappraisal at galerie weißer elefant, which deals with misogynous structures in the exhibition business that go far beyond the boundaries of the gallery spaces. A process is conducted from multiple perspectives: female, male, and institutional. The artist’s experiences result from power structures created by the culturally programmed imbalance between men and women. These power structures, in turn, are based on collective traumas, which are the exhibition’s target. The trauma is present. Power structures, especially those that promote gender inequalities, exist everywhere. They are camouflaged in patterns that culture and society reproduce.
What is camouflaged must become visible.
Personal experiences of trauma are related to inherent social conventions and hierarchies presented in the exhibition „Chapters of Violence“. The exhibition is a glimpse of the process of disclosing collective traumas that led to the construction of the same institutional frameworks within which the exhibition itself takes place. At the same time, the combined works of Dräxler and Banfield examine the inherent ambivalence of the symptoms of social trauma: What is the relationship between toxic masculinity, softness and vulnerability? At whose expense can a healing process take place, and who „pays“ for it – in both an economic and emotional context? The exhibition is an installed arrangement that integrates all individual works and spaces into an overarching concept. Banfield’s extensive cinematic oeuvre and his installations of media-based art correspond for the first time vis-à-vis Veronika Christine Dräxler’s works: performativity meets cinematography, object meets media art. Additionally, new textile works by both artists have been created in collaboration with the Swiss company ZigZagZurich | 4spaces.
The exhibition has been developed in a process-oriented manner with the aim of integrating female, male and institutional perspectives on structural injustice. How does masculinity contribute to intersexual inequalities? To what extent do institutional frameworks consolidate injustices founded on these inequalities? And what does a form of toxic femininity look like? As in a nervous system, the gallery and former living spaces relate to each other, and are interwoven like subjective and intersubjective narratives whose boundaries are dissolved in the exhibition. The place where this abstracted dichotomy appears most strongly is also the converted gallery space: a home.
New artistic contributions, collaborative works, and individual works are created for the exhibition. Together with Patrick Alan Banfield, Dräxler has approached the gallery space filled with stories of violence and developed a parallel structure with equivalent stories that are told in installations, photographs, video works, sculptures, (wall) paintings and sound works.
Text by Marcus Boxler
Ausstellungseröffnung “Chapters of Violence” – Ein Aufarbeitungsprozess in der galerie weisser elefant on berlin.de
Abgründig und doppelbödig: die Ausstellung Chapters of Violence on Kultur Mitte Magazin
Gegen den Machtmissbrauch on Neues Deutschland