In her work and research projects, Maria Eichhorn, winner of the Käthe Kollwitz Prize in 2021, is engaged in a continual critical questioning of the operating system governing the arts at the interface between history, politics and society. She focuses her concepts and work on the artistic transformation and active exposure of categories such as capital, property and restitution, which she shares with the audience in highly condensed and reduced presentations. For the exhibition Nothingtoseeness, the artist created a wall text that relates to the Akademie building at Hanseatenweg, but which will no longer be visible once the exhibition ends.
The artist created the first wall text as a bas-relief in the Shin Shin Gallery in Berlin in December 1989 using theorem no. 294 from Remarks on Colour by Ludwig Wittgenstein. Since then, she has created wall texts on various topics and in different sizes, but always using the same technique: these include Die ungeöffnete Post des Max Foster, Amsterdam, 1996 / Vienna, 2011; 7 grudnia 1970 (7 December 1970), Łódź, 2004; l’acédie l’orgueil, la gourmandise, la luxure, l’avarice, la colère, l’envie / hovmod, griskhed, misundelse, dovenskab, frädseri, vrede, vellyst, Paris, 2009; and 1 place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris, Paris, 2013. The wall texts with postal addresses are located in different private collections in Germany and Austria and are in an ongoing state of development, expanding as each new address is added to the group of works.
Eichhorn’s wall texts are made up of numerous layers of white paint applied directly onto the wall; the colour used for the relief corresponds in shade and texture to the colour of the wall. The successive application of layers of colour lends the bas-relief its sublime quality. Paint is applied with the help of a text stencil that allows the contours of letters, punctuation marks and numbers to be drawn onto the wall as fine pencil outlines. The number of layers applied depends on the texture of the wall paint. The viewer discovers the relief upon approaching the wall.
In the exhibition:
Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin, 2011/2021
Postal address, wall text, bas-relief, white emulsion paint on a white wall, manual application of paint with a brush in multiple layers, Typeface: Jigsaw Regular
Dimensions variable, here: 55 × 215 cm
Fabrication of the wall text: Monika Stalder
Courtesy of the artist + Galerie Barbara Weiss