Three years since her exhibition Stendhal Syndrome with Circle Culture, a showcase that included an installation referring to the artist's presentation during Biennale di Venezia, Katrin Fridriks is back in Berlin with a new show produced in collaboration with AvantArte. Coinciding with Berlin's Gallery Weekend, Icelandic artist will be presenting WASTE, a conceptual exhibition that will be inaugurated by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson on April 26, 5:30 pm at Circle Culture.
Fully focused on the environmental issues, the climate change, and the upsetting pollution and waste disposal problems around the globe, the new body of work is directly connecting to her most recent Waste edition that was produced with AvantArte. Taking the leftovers, the waste of her painting process, as the base for exciting new pieces and concepts, the artist is pointing the importance of revaluation of what we consider waste and the endless possibilities of recycling and reusing.
With every step of the process being an important gesture that could possibly inspire global change, the new show is focused on sending a universal message of our strong link to the nature and our dependence on its resources. The works exhibited are prints of the photographs of her studio space floor, screenprinted on gold and silver emergency blankets. Not new to using the reflective surface to accent her creations and message, the new pieces are reinventing other recurring elements, such as micro and macro perspectives or her signature leak and fractal painting techniques. Employing the basic first aid kit item as the canvas for the new pieces, Fridriks created an instant sense of urgency and importance to the subject she's touching with this body of work. With two colors symbolizing cold and warmth, the opposites which are continuously shifting sides globally, the artist and her team developed a complex narrative that leads to the presentation of this powerful oeuvre.
Starting with custom designed invitations as an introduction, and ending with the gallery presentation, the artist is taking the visitors on a thought provoking journey by simply indicating the elements that can be associated with the subjects she wants to start the dialog about. Although her work always implied natural forms or the landscapes of her native Iceland, the use of foil as canvas relates to the hi-tech time we are living in, time of accelerated space exploration progress, reminding us of the great cosmos we are part of. The exhibition itself comprises of 68 examples of prints on foil, fitting the packaging that are sent out as an invitation for this event. Evidently resembling the original packaging of an object used to save human lives in most extreme situations, the pieces are striking reminders of the emergency to preserve our environment.
The show will also include small sculptural pieces that will showcase the concept of Waste editions through semi-figurative pieces representing masks, as well as premiere the Wasted Pills series that is bringing up the sensitive issue of pharmaceutical and biohazardous refuse disposal.
This conceptual show will be held simultaneously with a painting showcase that will be hosted at Hotel de Rome Berlin. Both the exhibition and related events on Gallery Weekend in Berlin are part of Icelandic embassy's program on the 100th anniversary of sovereignty.
Text by Sasha Bogojev, 2018