Eva Grün’s (*1975, lives and works in Vienna) pictures are distinguished by sketch-like, figurative and painted elements. The artist renders the world of images and commodities by the fleeting gesture of the collage. For her tusche drawings, she uses apparently worthless materials such as cardboard, toilet paper and newspapers – things that surround us always and everywhere. Her mode of painting, including experimentation with various techniques, deliberately invites randomness. This composition of banal objects is both an artistic playground and a program: the juxtaposition of representational tusche drawings with cut-outs from newspaper headlines suddenly produces something like immanent meaning. And yet the point is not to invent something anew but to outline a new story from the juxtaposed fragments, a story determined individually by each observer. Unnoticed everydayness, as in a frozen image, stopped in motion, lets the observer recognize details and look for them more intently. Unremarkable things are highlighted, torn from their context and made into something special by the power of a snapshot composition.
In her second exhibition at Galerie Römerapotheke in Zurich, German artist Jana Gunstheimer shows her latest work from the series “Über F.“ (About F.). She attracted a great deal of interest last year with her accomplished monochromatic watercolors. Gunstheimer (*1974, lives and works in Jena) studied art history and ethnology as well as art. In her artistic work, she parodies the language and methods of ethnological field research. Rather than pursuing field studies in distant lands, however, she focuses on acute crises of our civilization such as the unemployment, growing violence, control mechanisms and post-industrial desolation that accompany the primacy of economics over all aspects of life. On this basis, she develops a fictional scenario in bleak black-and-white images which reflect the disappearance of standards of civil behavior and the normal concept of work. The world conjured up by Jana Gunstheimer centers on the organization known as Nova Porta (www.nova-porta.de). Its mission statement points out: “The increasing brutalization, tendency to violence and their escalation in our society harbor a social potential whose power has hitherto been little examined. We ought to learn to make use of it “. Within this consistent corporate cosmos created by Jana Gunstheimer, the group of works entitled: “People without a social function (PWSF) – a model tested by Nova Porta“ has already been completed. Nova Porta uses this model to examine, on the basis of studies of PWSFs, how people behave when they are released from an active working life into inactivity. A second project entitled: “Ancestral Seat” examined the mechanisms operating in the executive suite of Nova Porta on the basis of a series of aquarelles. A selection of these two groups of works was shown in Galerie Römerapotheke in spring 2005; both series are accompanied by a monograph. The first issue of “Measures for overcoming risks” has just been published: an artist’s book in tabloid format that will appear in a loose sequence of eight issues over a period of two years. Jan Gunstheimer has won several prices and shown her work in numerous galleries and museums throughout Europe. She is represented in various international collections. The Art Institute of Chicago will present the first international exhibition dedicated to her work in 2007. In the current group of works displayed with the title: "Über F.", Jana Gunstheimer describes what happens when a member tries to break out of the organization. The chapter “F. makes his first wrong move“ with large-format scissor cut-outs made of rubber and a 10-meter long roll-picture on canvas sets the tone for the exhibition on the ground floor of the Gallery.