4 March - 7 May 2017
|Friday, 3 March at 7 pm
|Galerie der Gegenwart
Access via Westfälischen Kunstverein, Rothenburg 30,
|Tuesday-Sunday, 11 am-7 pm
In her current work, Münster-based artist Lena Dues concerns herself with modes of perceiving the world, her artistic practice focusing on concepts of nature. For the Galerie der Gegenwart, Dues has created a large-scale installation titled “Aquarius”, employing notions of the display window as kind of an aquarium as her point of departure. It combines, amongst other things, motifs from zoology and aquaria with the symbolic language of astrology. The title also makes reference to such subject matter in recalling the song of the same name from the cult musical “Hair” (1968), revolving around the hippie movement. The song informs us that, “this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius”, hailing the beginning the current astrological era, which had already begun in the middle of the 20th century and is due to continue for about 2000 years. The artist refers once again to the Aquarius zodiac with the assistance of the internationally standardized digital Unicode character, on the space’s end wall.
Within the space itself, various objects and materials are arranged in a manner evoking a laboratory environment: monitors display underwater shots of shrimps and scans of plants; exotic plants drift freely in space; a small aquarium of living brine shrimps, bred by the artist herself, is housed in utilitarian shelving; found and home-grown crystals, together with coloured liquids in plastic containers are located in further shelving, suggest experiments in the natural sciences. Whilst the function of some objects is clearly legible, the exact function of others remains unclear.
Although the natural science displays and experiments exemplify how humans endeavour to understand the world in terms of its physical nature, the astrological imagery refers to rather more esoteric explanatory models. Lena Dues’ work may be read as surveying the ambivalent behaviours of an increasingly secularized society, in which the existence of a Creator may be repudiated but spiritual ways of living nevertheless proliferate. This suggests that humanity is continuing on its search for answers, of situating itself within the world and legitimizing its existence.
Lena Dues is engaged in an on-going exploration of the tension between the artificial and the natural, both in her wider artistic practice and in “Aquarius” specifically, whilst at the same time, in her selection and combination of materials, addressing aesthetic questions.
Lena Dues (*1989, Berlin) lives and works in Münster. She graduates as a master student under Henk Visch from the Kunstakademie Münster.
The exhibition is curated by Jenni Henke and Marijke Lukowicz.
Photos: LWL/Hanna Neander
A co-operation of LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur and Westfälischer Kunstverein in the Galerie der Gegenwart
RADAR is a new exhibition format of the LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur and Westfälischer Kunstverein. The name of the series alludes to keeping an eye on current artistic productions. Being displayed are works by younger, still largely lesser known artists who have been noticed and appear "on the radar". The exhibited works provide insights into the artists’ current areas of work, with experimenting, failing and trying out serving as important aspects of the cooperative exhibition concept. With RADAR, the two institutions are – for the first time – entering into a spatial, conceptual and content-related cooperation.
Friday, 3 March at 7 pm
Open till 10pm
Thursday, 16 March at 7pm
Guided tour with the curators
Thursday, 27 April at 5pm