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Malte Hagen Olbertz' State of Affairs at Kit Schulte Contemporary Art in Berlin
Malte Hagen Olbertz, Stand Der Dinge, 2011, 150 x 210 cm, l auf Leinwand. Photo: Courtesy Kit Schulte Contemporary Art.

BERLIN.- Kit Schulte Contemporary Art presents State of Affairs, Malte Hagen Olbertz tells stories of rooms filled with the forgotten, the abandoned and the hidden. Objects disappear in mysterious black areas and unexpected highlights suggest an abundance of forms behind it.

Human bodies are shuffled into the interior, sleeping, dreaming or dead? Objects and bodies are composed in a homogenous manner and create wonderful, almost natural compositions. There are partly dipped into complete blackness, for the artist, a symbol for the inspiring primal substance.

In urban 'non-rooms' we find piles of once used furniture: kitchen sinks, shelves, ovens, boards, pictures. In contrast to the classic still life, the compositions conceal an almost self-organized character: the sometimes loose configurations, which have not been planned intentionally do 'function' and here Olbertz can take a break from playing the composer. Camping, moving, cleaning up, packing and such, activate an impulse in Olbertz to create a picture of a single, or just a few, objects, which isolated and enhanced, produce an almost sacral impression. The viewer, not looked at, is invited to gaze and contemplate. The accumulation can be understood as a treasure, as a shelter, or as a dung pile, Siyphoswork, the Augeanstables.

Olbertz, on the other hand, plays very consciously with the picture composition and when bodies are involved, he packs them literally into a chosen assemblies and creates a timeless story.

Don't collect crumpled paper and stuff in the corners, that attracts mice' they told us as kids. So we were inspired to push together all kinds of things, in order to observe it over the course of several day, to witness the sudden creation of mice. Even a slight rustling, a tiny noise once in a while, was enough for us to become believers of this theory of creation.

Malte Hagen Olbertz was born in Dren, Germany in 1967 and lives and works in Berlin. He will be present at the opening reception.

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