From October 31, 2018 to January 13, 2019, the Frankfurter Kunstverein
presents the exhibition Reconnecting with the World featuring works by Hicham Berrada (*1986, Casablanca, Marocco, lives and works in Paris, France), Lucy Dodd (*1981, New York, US, lives and works in Kensington, US) and Sam Falls (*1984, San Diego, US, lives and works in Los Angeles, US). The exhibition is the first comprehensive presentation of works of the three international artists in a German institution.
The artists in the exhibition Reconnecting with the World, Hicham Berrada, Lucy Dodd and Sam Falls seek out our basic existential parameters and thus try to demonstrate our connectedness with an all-embracing whole, showing new ways of reconnecting with nature and the world. They create their works embedded within a historical moment of a progressing disconnection from physicality and the conditions set by time and space, perpetuated by the use of digital devices.
The different artistic approaches of Hicham Berrada, Lucy Dodd and Sam Falls meet common ground in their aim to understand the world by using the materials we find in our environment and mapping the relationships that connect them. The works of these artists unfold from a resonance with the materials that are part of our lives. They use natural phenomena, activate temporal processes, and work with organic substances. In their practice, time is stretched or condensed, the cycle of day and night is inverted and regularities within the world are put on display. The works develop by tracing the transformation processes that the respective materials undergo. Starting from an in-depth exploration of the materials behaviors, their works use arts capacity to cast humans into the structure of the world and sketch out a new kind of connectivity to the processes unfolding within it. The artistic works by Hicham Berrada, Lucy Dodd and Sam Falls are located at the intersection of aesthetic expression, applied sciences, and practical philosophy. In their poetic investigation of nature, they seek out forms capable of representing how everything came to be the way it is.
Until this day, art is the most promising place to produce relationships between the experience of human existence and our desire for a relationship to our environments. It has a unique ability to combine discourse, myth, and poetry, enabling a multilayered perspective on life, the earth, and what we know about them. In an age when seemingly endless knowledge about the earth is available as data, numbers, and accumulations of facts, a deeper understanding of the coherence of life seems to have been lost. Given the contemporary insights of the natural sciences, it has become more necessary than ever before to combine its complex knowledge with new narratives in order to create a sense-giving conception of humanity in dealing with the world.
Hicham Berrada, Lucy Dodd, and Sam Falls represent three different approaches to reading humans in a reciprocal exchange with their environment. This generation of artists feels a need to be meaningfully embedded in the world and works against the backdrop of the contemporary discussion about redefining human action in relationship to nature. What has traditionally been defined as nature has been fundamentally transformed by human intervention. The idea of nature only as a resource to be exploited, which has been disseminated since the enlightenment, leads to a culture in which technological progress has become the supreme solution. The incessant development of environmental maladies like heat waves, species extinction, and environmental pollution, which have been caused by this principle of economic environmental exploitation, seem to demonstrate the limits of this system. Philosophers, scientists from various fields, intellectuals, and artists are all pointing to the urgency of a radical cultural transformation.
How could such a drastic cultural transformation take place? Which role can be occupied by the arts, a discipline whose uniqueness and potential lies in changing perspectives and point of views on the widened fabric of our existence by way of a poetic language which goes beyond mere factual knowledge? Through their complex practice, the three artists in Reconnecting with the World give insight into possible ways of approximating the essence of the world and defining the place of human existence within the all-encompassing whole.
In the works by Hicham Berrada, scientific methodologies meet poetic imagery. His sculptures, videos and performances are the result of a complex research which employs the tools of physics and biology to determine the properties of different materials and organisms. This knowledge is then used to create intense dream scapes consisting of the elements of our reality which aim at tracing the nature of life.
Lucy Dodd arranges spatial environments in which her abstract paintings create enclosing installations that let the viewer become part of her extensive narratives. Through organic materials, colours and textures, she constitutes an elaborate system of meanings that give shape to a mythology of our existence. Her works combine art and life and interpret ways of accessing the world through all-embracing imageries and references.
The multi-layered practice of Sam Falls tracks the energies of nature and creates magical recordings of time and transcience through lengthy processes. His works are the result of extensive procedures in which environmental conditions like the sun, wind and weather affect his materials and produce self-authored images. They become traces of the absence of things and account for the all-encompassing processes that constitute our world through showing the disintegration of material.