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Gary Schlingheider & Marta Djourina

Press release


Gary Schlingheider & Marta Djourina – VOCAB

We are pleased to present VOCAB, the first duo exhibition with Gary Schlingheider and Marta Djourina at galerie burster berlin. Both artists graduated as master students at the Universität der Künste Berlin under Prof. Christine Streuli.

Both Schlingheider’s and Djourina’s artistic practise has its origin in painting. Both positions are united by a dynamic formal language of spontaneous gestures that go beyond the 2-dimensionality of paper or canvas and continue their presence in space. Using their respective individual vocabularies, both Schlingheider and Djourina allow line and space to be inseparable.

In Gary Schlingheider's works, both the steel objects and his paintings, aesthetic reduction and powerful minimalist formal language meet. He moves between installation, sculpture and painting; between space, form and color. He uses both of the latter specifically in their intrinsic value, thus allowing countless moments of contact both within the pictorial and installation space as well as with the respective surroundings of his works.

His works proof his ability to release a form of emotion and meaning, to isolate it from all ballast. Reduced to their essence and freed from any emotional kitsch, their unlimited possibilities of interpretation open up.

In her works, Marta Djourina deals with the visualization of the hidden and the fixing of ephemera: "It is a kind of photography that does not record reality in front of the camera, but looks inside. Sometimes the image is created by the interplay of light and shadow between light source and lens in the enlarger, sometimes folded photographic paper is exposed with different light sources and reflects the graphic action on itself. The traces that emerge are not direct but abstract consequences of the interaction between light and paper.

In the most recent large-format works, the camera takes on the dimensions of the space that the light has to pass through until it falls on the light-sensitive material. Within a few minutes a performance takes place in which I interact with the light.

My physical gestures describe the image and capture the fleeting movements. In the dark room I become part of the apparatus: with my hands I swing light bodies and imprint my trace into the paper, rapid and wide movements, from corner to corner, from edge to edge. I physically walk the length of the large format, as if I were recording my trajectory and the fragile relationship to my immediate surroundings with fine lines".
 Thus VOCAB (short for vocabulary) unites two artistic positions with a common starting point - painting, which nevertheless differ significantly in their respective processes of creation and media used. And yet they meet again in a common, abstract language of colour and form made up of spontaneous gestures, resulting in an uncompromising aesthetic.

Gary Schlingheider (*1983 in Detmold, lives and works in Berlin and Ostwestfalen-Lippe) completed his studies at the Berlin University of the Arts as a master student of Prof. Christine Streuli in 2017, winning the Meisterschülerpreis des Präsidenten der UdK Berlin and the Diffring Prize for Sculpture in the same year.

Marta Djourina (*1991 in Sofia, Bulgaria, lives and works in Berlin) completed her studies at the Berlin University of the Arts as a master student of Prof. Christine Streuli in 2018 and was nominated for the Meisterschülerpreis der Präsidenten der UdK Berlin, the Förderpreis Junge Kunst and the Märkische Stipendium the following year. Her work has been shown at the Goethe Institute in Sofia, Bulgaria, among others.