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Dodo Dialogues




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Saturday, 5 September 2020 to Saturday, 10 October 2020
Friday, 4 September 2020 - 6:00pm to 9:00pm

In the group exhibition „Dodo Dialogues“ janinebeangallery will show the artworks of the five artists Anna Borowy, Dominik Butzmann, Kathrin Günter, Arny Schmit and Martin Stommel as a conceptual juxtaposition of humans and nature. The paintings of the artists Borowy, Schmit and Stommel feature both landscapes and animal figures as motifs albeit entirely sparing any human person. In contrast, the photographies by Dominik Butzmann as well as the collages of Kathrin Günter present humans as main actors, though due to their roles as ecological activists or―in the case of Günter―through their surroundings they are unmissably associated with flora and fauna.

In Arny Schmit‘s landscapes the technique alone very materially reflects disturbances. Schmit uses multilayered cardboard as a carrier for his oil colours, cutting it open at specific spots and mounting a fluorescent tube across above it. His motifs are rather un-idyllic realms, chaotic vegetation and rampant, perilous weather prevail. This atmosphere is created and supported by his deconstructive since ablating wipe technique which repeatedly skews and crosses shapes and layers of paint. The mentioned mounted fluorescent tubes on some of his works contrast strongly, encumbering the painted landscape with an epitome of industry and civilisation.

Animals only own the foreground in the paintings for the exhibition by Martin Stommel. The fluent shapes of animal bodies are dynamically interwoven with one another and an organic background. The animals are densely graduated into the pictorial space, their outlines are partially merged, still the painter accomplishes to express and emphasize the bodies and their movements by a reduced and concentrated application of colour. The works „Day 6“ and „Der kleine Garten“ („The Little Garden“) are derived from biblical themes, namely Genesis and paradise. Different to its classic models though, Stommel provides no depiction of the creator himself in humanoid guise. The animals― in the case of „Der kleine Garten“ extincted ones only―stick with their kind and are the self-sufficient splendour of the artworks.


In the paintings for the exhibition by Anna Borowy animals are also the sole protagonists and get along without humans. Their expression and stance of her creatures however feature astonishing and familiar human traits, emphasizing the soulfulness of Borowy‘s fauna. Her graceful creatures appear as moved by emotions, their condition is both physically and spiritually precarious. The painter however didn‘t set animals as mere placeholders for human characters but depicted them as beings of intrinsic value, respectively as animistic complements.


The collages of Kathrin Günter have in terms of content addressed diverse agents of environmentalism. For these „portraits“ of persons like Leonardo Di Caprio, Greta Thunberg or Jason Momoa the artist employed digital pieces of images from their Instagram accounts and combined these with pictorial elements of animals to a new fabric. The result are hybrid avatars of humans and animals outfitted with the symbols and gesture of their ecological commitment and positioned in front of a threatening background of forces of nature. Here the depicted personalities ambivalently and ironically reveal their strengths and weaknesses.
Kathrin Günter also reflects the potency of selfexpression and the cult of personality as a common projection in the social media. In this context in particular Günter has compiled a book with thousands of printed comments taken from the Instagram account of Greta Thunberg. Especially the reactions on her person illustrate the Janus-faced character and the abysses of social media: on the one hand in their capacity as very potent amplifiers and transmitters of a movement, on the other hand as a reservoir of human malice.


The photography by Dominik Butzmann of a crowd within a rally of „Fridays for Future“, with a group of participating children in the center, documents the immediate protagonists of this movement. Through this snapshot the spectator gains insight into a peaceful event, whose initiators and most important supporters remarkably are youths, signifying sincerity and candour. With all scepticism―justified or not―or even reluctance the viewer may have towards the „Fridays for Future“ movement, Butzmann‘s photography provides an opportunity for a recalibration of the perspective at least on the motifs and attitude of theses demonstrators – which is particularly relevant in times in which most parts of society take primarily divisive and confrontational stands regarding certain political topics.

Though the subjects of the paintings of the exhibition are entirely and independently effective, the lack of depictions of humans is striking, albeit the traces and implications  of human influence are manifest. The artworks realise the beauty and vulnerability of nature as well as empathy with the creature. This implies an answer to anthropocentrism, which can also be understood as a root cause for the negligient handling of nature. The photos and collages of the exhibition endorse the criticism of human hybris, although from a different angle. Here it‘s the authentically admonishing children of „Fridays for Future“ on one side and on the other are celebrities accompanied by animal avatars, commited to environmentalism discreetly or by the cult of their personalities. But the collages also reflect human vanity and impulse, which may still pose a hindrance for sheer altruism. As an ensemble and by the inherent or obvious juxtaposition of nature and mankind the works of the exhibition „Dodo Dialogues“ emphasize the necessary realisation of the symbiosis, in which both are situa

Curator :

Artist ( Description ): 

Anna Borowy, born 1985 in Uelzen, Germany, studied painting and liberal arts at the University of Arts Weissensee (Berlin) with Professor Werner Liebmann. In 2010 she completed her studies as a Master Student. janinebeangallery is representing her from 2009 on, her artworks have been featured in exhibitions nationally and internationally since, for example in the exhibitions „HotSpot Berlin – Eine Momentaufnahme“, Georg Kolbe Museum, Berlin; „Die Leinwand des Leibes – Körperkult als neue soziale Plastik“, artists association Walkmühle, Wiesbaden; „L’Esprit de Berlin – Talking Saint Tropez“, Museum Lavoir Vasserot, Saint Tropez; „Alles schön und gut?!“,  Herbert Gerisch Foundation, Neumünster and many more. Works of the artist are part of multiple national and international public and private collections.

The conceptual artist Kathrin Günter was born in  1971 in Lüchow-Dannenberg, Germany. She studied photography at unversity of applied sciences in Hamburg from 1993 to 1999. She was awarded several prizes, among others the International Teletext Art Award of the ITAF-Festival of the  international TV stations ARD, ORF and SWISStext
and den advancement award of the Professional Association of Photographers and Film-Makers (BFF). Repeatedly her artworks were featured at the ARS Electronica in Linz, Austria. She lives and works in Berlin since 2006.

Dominik Butzmann was born in 1973 in Göttingen, Germany. He works as a freelancing photographer in Berlin since 20 years. Among his clients are in addition to national and international journals and newspapers (DER SPIEGEL, Die Zeit, TIME, SZ Magazin) several political parties, government departments and associations.
He photographed Angela Merkel for her campaign of the federal parliamentary election of 2013, former president of Germany Joachim Gauck assigned him with the photography of a book cover.

Arny Schmit (born 1959) lives and works as an ar-tist in Luxembourg since 30 years.His paintings and installations are part of multiple art collections: among others the Ministry of Cultural Affairs of Luxembourg, the Institute Camoes of the Embassy of Portugal in Luxembourg, ULB – Brussels, Belgium or the private collection of Catherine Deneuve, France.

Martin Stommel was born in 1969. From 1994 to 1997 Stommel first studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich with professor Bernhard Weißhaar. In 1998 he changed to the University of Arts, Berlin (HdK) with Klaus Fußmann. In 2004 Stommel was invited by Prince Rainier III to exhibit his series of circus paintings in the Principality of Monaco. Since the 2000s the paintings of Martin Stommel have been shown in numerous exhibitions, among others in the Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg; the Kallmann Museum, Ismaning (Munich); the Museum Charlotte Zander, Castle Bönningheim; the Museum of the Cathedral of Trier and the Municipal Art Gallery Bonn. Further exhibitions took place in the Théâtre Princesse Grace (Monaco), the Lew Kopelew Forum (Cologne), the Catholic Academy in Bavaria (Munich) and at the Venice Biennial (European Cultural Center). Stommel‘s art works have been featured by several galleries on art fairs in Cologne, Karlsruhe, Berlin, Munich, Essen and Lübeck, as well as at the „Salon der Gegenwart“ in Hamburg and the London Print Fair in the Royal Academy. Art works of Martin Stommel are in public collections (i. a. German Business Secretary, former State Guest-House Petersberg, City of Wesseling, City of Ismaning, City of Bonn) as well as in many private collections, for example Grillo (Duisburg), Slifka (New York), Klöcker (Frankfurt), Barthlott (Bonn) and Zander (Bönnigheim).

0049(0)30 – 47056174
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Torstrasse 154 10115 Berlin

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