Agathe Fleury

September 11 – November 2, 2012

Curator: Silvia Ploner

Agathe Fleury,
Saint Sebastien (detail), 2011, Photo: n.b.k. / Agathe Fleury

For her exhibition at n.b.k. Showroom, Berlin-based French artist Agathe Fleury (b. 1976) developed a new complex of works by experimenting with material processes that refuse absolute control. In so doing, she explores the studio as a site of craftsmanship and methods of developing ideas through alchemistic practices. Fleury is interested in older techniques of craftsmanship and the approach to everyday materials. The works shown at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein are based on materials that are a constitutive part of the act of creation, but are rarely seen in the exhibition space or on the surface of objects. For example, the exhibition includes a series of photographs created using cyanotype (blue printing); the series shows residue from the process of creating other works. The photographic technique of cyanotype was invented in the mid-nineteenth century and used during the course of the industrial revolution for making blueprints and contact prints. Their distinguishing characteristic is their striking blue color, which results from the chemical exposure process using ammonium ferric citrate, ultraviolet light, and water.

The exhibition also features a wooden sculpture that emerged during the process of creating a different work, thus bringing the rear or the supporting element to the foreground. The third work on view consists of a copper pipe that has been discolored by applying heat. The heavy metal copper is considered one of the best materials for conducting heat and electricity. In the human body, it surfaces as a trace element in bones and muscles and is essential for the immune system and for healing wounds. By heating copper in the air, it changes chemically: it oxidizes to various colors and becomes malleable.