Oyster
Dusk and dawn look just the same (group)
PiK - Projektraum im Kunstwerk, Cologne, DE
October, 2019
Curated by Layla Burger-Lichtenstein, Susanne Mierzwiak and Kerstin Renerig



Sanna Helena Berger has created a work in layers. At first approach the spiral structure appears sculptural, with dominant materiality, an immediate presence in the room. A first layer unfolds and an entrance appears. The material shifts in sheets of opacity. From the outside, peering into its centre attempts to penetrate the skin of the structure to uncover the core. From the inside, blanketed in the centre, distortion appears as you attempt to look out.

This is the Oyster.

The Oyster is a deceleration, a slowing down of the extrinsic tempo, here is something softer and essentially porous than the room into which you entered. The Oyster is the corridor that bends into the soliditious centre where the core of the work can be heard. The chair is the hard plastic presence which is idle and futile without the soft presence of the body, the ear.

The Oyster is the environment and the architecture which acts as supportive rhetoric to the monologue heard inside. When inside the voice of the author is heard and the abstraction of elements may seem and sound entirely coupled to the material structure in which it sounds. But the support structure from which the work derives is the body. A centre which inside holds another body. Just as you are in the entered state of listening. 3 days prior to the exhibition opening in which this work is shown, the due date is held. A pregnancy entirely unexpected but uncontestedly enrapturing in all that is being. This basic fact of being and becoming undeniably leaks into the centre of the work. The monologue is a reflexive voice, a voice which does not only enter into the subject of the one being but reflects on the self as well as the other. The choice which concerns the singular as well as the global. It defies the idea of the fruit of the loom as sacral centre of self and moves away from an entirely prescribed idea of being with another being. Instead it reflects, not only on change and the changed self but the oscillating attitudes of engagement and disengagement.

The structure and monologue does not only question the internalised roles of being and becoming but also externalises that which is temporarily hidden, the centre of the Oyster and the attempted split of self with the listener, not held at bay but invited into a cohabitant de-acceleration which is the basic condition needed to embody, to not only enter but to engage.

The hard shell and the soft and porous oyster sounds the sound as image of self and the reflective yet-to-be-self. In lieu of the pearl, this image ripples like the soft and liquid pool into which the finger dips, prodding the projection of the other. That is the potential potency of the oyster, exposed to scepticism to sacral supremacy.

The shipment of the structure is an exercise in trust, trust thrust upon the curators as a situation of circumstance. Unable to be present because of expectantly becoming, the erected presence of the structure is another layered fold of the work. The assembly of the Oyster is deliberately left on view, an act of construction shared with the audience. The surrendering for the potential for personal perfection, entirely left to others. An a-typical condition of capitulation of control.





Monologue
Documentation PiK
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