The exhibition SPIT presents a series of paintings and works on paper by Iranian-born Cologne-based artist Behrang Karimi. Karimi’s practice transports to a dreamy dimension of unsettling scenes and slow contemplative moments inhabited by fictional characters. It is ironically visceral, deeply seducing, similar to a late night conversation when language leaves space to the metaphorical. When figurative, it tells stories, which acquire significance in the observer, connecting to places and moments of affection.
Smell is the strongest sense tied to memory.
When abstract, it explores art history, its fascination with nature and deconstruction, eclectically embracing diverse positions. Operating in the realm of possibilities, each work differs formally, connecting to philosophical questions, artistic attitudes, and painting discourse. But the work deliberately escapes definitions and sets itself in the poetic. Let’s spit together to ward off the evil spirits. A cathartic gesture of affirmation. Colorful and dark floral motives, sketched trees and forests recur in the work as subject matter and imaginary landscapes inhabited by ghostly figures. Nature and its rounded forms and coexisting forces. We seek support whilst discovering our differences. The body appears and disappears, detailed or abstracted, fragmented into details, employed as meaningful anchors.
Equilibrium– a state of balance between opposing forces or actions.
Iconography and representation, is history repeating?
SPIT unfolds in chapters. It observes the human condition, history and its tendency to create categories as signifiers. There are also colors, not intended as spiritual connectors, as Kandinsky envisioned, but as theatrical backgrounds where action might unfold. Tragedy and comedy. Eros and Thanatos. Like working on a show at distance, during a pandemic understanding each other without presence, your vision mediated by a screen. It is a peculiar experience that you will grasp the sense of, only after it has passed. What creates meaning? A portal, a link to humanity and the seek to represent itself in and with the world.
SPIT will be accompanied by a publication envisioned as a dialogue at distance between the artist and curator, published by BRAUNSFELDER.
Attilia Fattori Franchini