Meet Gabriele Walter, one of our #UKGermany2018 'artists in residence'
As one of this year's 'artists in residence', Hamburg-based artist Gabriele Walter joined us for the opening of the much celebrated Eduardo Paolozzi exhibition in Berlin. Considered the father of British pop art, Paolozzi looked with a critical eye at the intersection of the human and the machine at the time of industrialisation.
An artistic response to Paolozzi by Gabriele Walter
"With my work "RAUMbodenlos" ('rooms without a floor') I am transferring Paolozzi's focus into the 21st century, a time identified by media and information society. In doing this I am looking for a unique language of form and iconography.
Paolozzi was inspired by the culture of the machine world in his works, while I am trying to show the dematerialisation and virtuality of today's society in the online world in my acrylglass works.
By combining analogue and virtual techniques and playing with light and transparency, I am creating hybrid spaces between reality and virtuality."
The Britishness of Paolozzi displayed by a German artist
"Inspired by 'Cool Britannia' from the 90s, I have combined the colours and diagonal aspect of the Union Jack. I've used things I've found, printed tapes and bags, that I've collected during my travels in the UK to create collages called TAPESCAPES and three-dimensional collages. If you look closely, you can find the English language popping up through different advertisements incorporated in the works. The typical dry, English humour can be found, and the ironed shopping bags are a small hint towards Brexit. Connected2#me is the title of a sculpture of civilisation trash, such as data cables, elastic bands, wrapping bands. You can see this as a satire of the anonymity of the internet.
The danger of virtuality
At first glance, it appears as if the internet is the first global network that tries to integrate all other cultural networks. But the initial democratic, participative media is changing. Filter bubbles and preselection endanger our self-determined Self online and hinder discourse, which is why people are more prone to manipulation. Predetermined and fragmented versions of reality are created online. My work can be seen as a criticism and the call for open spaces that allow diversity and discussion. Art is able to contribute to this call and my work aims at visualising the virtual reality in a tangible way.
The big contemporary issues, such as climate, migration and finance debates are far extending the single states. Open dialogue and cultural exchange are the way to go - in the German-British relation as well as worldwide!"