Press Release

Brigitte Zieger: “Counter-Memories” 
Opening Reception: Friday, April 27, 2012, 7pm
Exhibition: April 28 through June 30, 2012

The Heinz-Martin Weigand Gallery is delighted to be presenting works by artist Brigitte Zieger at the first exhibition in its Berlin gallery.

Brigitte Zieger develops an oeuvre which, in a subtle manner, undermines aesthetic forms and decorative patterns. She employs a whole range of media, such as drawings, cut outs, video and sculpture. Though her works initially appear ideal and harmonious, this perception slowly falls apart upon closer examination – explosive charges lurk everywhere.

The artist bases her works on world events and the way in which they are perceived and conveyed by the media. She collects motifs online, uses press photographs from newspapers and television news, and incorporates these in her diverse “displays”. The intensity of their visibility varies, the viewer's processes of perception run at different speeds.

Brigitte Zieger: Counter-MemoriesIn her sculptural work, the “Anonymous Sculptures”, black, life-size figures stand on white pedestals in harmless, everyday poses. They seem strangely familiar, well known, as they are people featured in the media and frequently portrayed in the press. Heroes, like the “Tank Man” who confronts a column of tanks on Tiananmen Square in Beijing or the young woman who offers a flower to a soldier. When it comes to selecting her protagonists this collective memory is Zieger's point of departure. Walking around the sculptures reveals the fact that they are hollow, only half finished. They seem to invite the viewer to take their place, and thus take on the function of placeholders which appeal to our empathy and ask us to examine our own possibilities of action in everyday life.

Brigitte Zieger's works also challenge art forms dedicated to history, such as monuments or, ultimately, bas-relief. Brigitte Zieger selects the pictures of events, reproduces them, activates their memory, revives them in a field other than official history, for these are figures of resistance.

Brigitte Zieger: Motocycliste EndormiThe “Sleeping Motorcyclist” has its origins in a photograph from Woodstock which at the time was very famous. With the help of these discrete monuments Brigitte Zieger questions our present. The out-of-context visual sculptures help the viewer to explore his own utopian capabilities and determine how these activists would fare in the present day.

The large-scale “Eye Dust” drawings do not merely bear witness to a classical beauty, despite the fact that they are definitely conceived Brigitte Zieger: Eye Dust 3as a gesture of this nature. The shimmering surface is alluring, it consists of eye shadow, beguilingly feminine, but also threatening in its proximity to the metallic sheen which ammunition and weapons can have.
Voluminous cloud formations are drawn which, upon closer scrutiny, turn out to be explosions, smoke clouds and bomb bursts. In their special manifestation, they can also all be categorised in line with media history, in their depiction, however, they are isolated from their original context, so that formally they remain on the level of a mere physical phenomenon. Once more the reconstruction of their content is – mor or less consciously – carried out by the viewer.

Brigitte Zieger was born in Germany in 1959 and has been living and working in Paris since 1979. Her works have been shown internationally in numerous exhibitions and can be found, among others, in the collections of the Deutsche Bank and the New York MoMA. Her work has been the subject of numerous publications.

© Heinz-Martin Weigand Gallery
Translation: Alison Shamrock