Germany & France | Take it Right Back: Works by Paula Doepfner
May 5, 2015 - Jul 3, 2015
FotoGalerie, Goethe-Institut Washington, 812 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
In her graphic and sculptural pieces, Berlin-based artist Paula Doepfner works with natural shapes, materials and products such as flowers and ice, alongside iron and glass, as material ways of conveying stories, processes, feelings, and utopias. Her often ephemeral works, such as sculptures from melting ice and flowers, allude to universal stories of fragility and transience, violence and resistance. Doepfner uses natural materials gently in precise processes that may denote decay, damage or corrosion, but lead to beautiful transformation. Renewal is possible; destroyed or frozen plants regrow.
Doepfner’s work goes far beyond a naive or futile romanticizing of nature and shows how, despite inevitable changes, manipulations, and processes, new narratives and new aesthetics form. Her works are always seeking for order in emotion and thought. She tries to capture the inconsistency and complexity of inner conditions and address the difficulty of understanding subjective experiences. The ambivalence between the effort of holding on to something and failing in doing so is central to her art. But this awareness doesn’t mean resignation – in each of her works the artist gets closer to an inner system of feelings and thoughts which gives room for hope.
Exhibition opening Tuesday, May 5, 6 – 8 pm with artist Paula Doepfner, Kirsten Weiss (Berlin-based curator) and Chanel Compton (Prince George’s African American Museum workshop curator).
Organized by the Goethe-Institut and the Alliance Française Washington leading up to the December 2015 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris, this series of events aims to contribute to innovative discourses for a better global future. Supported by a generous contribution from the Elysée-Fonds for German-French cultural programs abroad. For more information please see http://www.goethe.de/ins/us/was/ver/en14139578v.htm
Image: Paula Doepfner, For you I have been absent in the spring, 2012
Ice, thistles, bush, glass, ink on paper, metal