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Ericka Beckman's first solo exhibition in Berlin opens at VW (VeneKlasen/Werner)
Study for YTB Wheels and Gold, 1982. Oil stick on paper 76 x 100.5 cm 30 x 39 1/2 in

BERLIN.- VW (VeneKlasen/Werner) is presentinf Ericka Beckman, an exhibition featuring three film installations and a body of drawings shown for the first time. This is the New York-based artist’s first solo exhibition in Berlin.

Beckman was trained at CalArts in the mid-1970s and her work draws inspiration from a number of sources, including the developmental psychology of Jean Piaget, as well as American sport culture, Hollywood films, and 1960’s cartoons. Bound together by a narrative based on game structures, architecture and memory, the three films Cinderella (1986), Hiatus (1999/2015), and Switch Center (2003) cover the last thirty years of Beckman’s production.

Switch Center brings life to a defunct water purification plant in the outskirt of Budapest. A mysterious woman interacts with the robust Soviet Modernist architecture, whose staged workers, spinning film animation, pay homage to the filmmakers that opened this century as the 20th century closes down.

Hiatus, here installed in an unprecedented double screen including uncut original material, follows a young woman in an immersive online game wherein her avatar confronts a beguiling cowboy caricature attempting to convert her garden into his pharma enterprise.

Cinderella is a musical reinterpretation of the fairy tale. The narrative is broken apart and set as a mechanical game, where Cinderella never succeeds in satisfying its requirements.

Tension Building is a composite of linked architectural spaces, utilizing both actualized and model environments. Shot at the Harvard University Coliseum and the Municipal Stadium in Florence (built in 1935 by Italian modernist architect Pierluigi Nervi), Tension Building draws its energy from the rigorous physical production methodology, which matches the spectacle that this architecture was created for.

Tension Building and other films are being screened in the gallery´s cinema.

Ericka Beckman (b. 1951, New York) lives and works in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Art of The Highline, NYC (2015), the Los Angeles Filmforum at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2014); Magasin Centre National d’Art Contemporain de Grenoble, France (2014); Tate Modern, London (2013); Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland (2013); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2013); and The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2005). Recent group exhibitions include “America Is Hard to See” at The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2015); “The St. Petersburg Paradox” at the Swiss Institute for Contemporary Art, New York (2014); “Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama - Manhattan, 1970 – 1980” at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2014); and “The Pictures Generation, 1974 – 1984” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2010). Her work has been featured in major international exhibitions including the Shanghai Biennale (2005); and the Whitney Biennial, New York (1991, 1987, 1985, 1983).

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