atb #89 | Quirin Bäumler, Isabelle Fein und Selou Sowe

Opening: Friday, February 18, from 7pm

Exhibition: February 19 – March 27, 2022

Open by appointment: after the butcher or +49 (0)1783 298 106. Please wear a medical mouth and nose protection.

About the Exhibition:

Quirin Bäumler, Isabelle Fein and Selou Sowe 

18 February to 27 March 2022 at after the butcher, Berlin

Everything is connected with each other. Some time ago we might have rolled our eyes in exasperation at this sentence, inhaling and exhaling in a contorted yoga pose. In the past two years, however, this wisdom has been made bitterly clear to us. How do humans, nature and technology influence each other, and what are the consequences for the macro and microcosms of the world? In this group exhibition, we look at that triangle from various axes of vision, zooming in on small, fleeting relationships and using a wide angle to grasp the power of globalization. The question of how the individual subject influences these connections is made material in the three artistic positions presented, as an interplay of control and chance.  

Let’s start with the microcosm: Isabelle Fein’s paintings and sculptures examine brief moments and constellations that either come to her by chance from the outside, for instance found photographs, or that she draws from within herself. Sometimes symbolist in nature, sometimes surreally humorous, her figures and animals emerge from the thin layers of pastel hues before us, communicating with us. Still lifes with brush, newspaper and cups of paint trace her work as an artist: it is a solitary but also meditative activity in which digressions from everyday life are intentional.  

Fein’s compositions carry something secure in them, which we can also discover in Quirin Bäumler’s sculptures. His three reliefs on view are made of hard plaster, showing lonely dreamy figures, animals or even a firmament of stars. Like screen monitors, they reproduce an excerpt—a still image from life—which Bäumler has alienated and fixed. While here the material has been cast, shaped and removed through a long, laborious process, his drawings are created intuitively, a psychogram of the moment. Predominated by motifs of death and mourning, we see the traces of two tragic pandemic years. 

Away from man, now, and towards the machine. Selou Sowe’s sculptures shimmer in a place between technical progress and industrial decay. They are objects that can hardly be classified: are we dealing with something organic or inorganic here? Is this thing still of this world or has it fallen from outer space? With a view to global connections and informatic achievements, Sowe’s video work shows the similarities between man-made systems and natural structures which have become clearer with advances in worldwide networking. In found-footage images overlaid with his own 3-D animations, an artificial voice-over raises the question of whether the demise of destructive power structures in a supposedly decentralized world would mean our salvation.  

This group exhibition is the first part of a long-term cooperation between After the Butcher and the young artists’ group Interspace Collective

Interspace Collective includes: Isra Abdou, Jamila Barakat, Frank Jimin Hopp, Heiko Thandeka Ncube, Selou Sowe, Mengna Tan, Laura Suryani Thedja and Alungoo Xatan. 

Text: Nadja Abt 

Translation German/English: Michael Baers  


after the butcher explicitly is in support of the open letter 

Who Owns the Public? on the so-called “Kunsthalle Berlin”/Tempelhof 

that you can sign here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScODqiG38AtCQt3BhOJim7qVGzDNJyYmrXAvbGFktu5W7uCSA/viewform