Julia Horstmann (born 1974) designs room constellations which expose varying layers of interpretation in architectural room concepts. Her interests include public as well as private buildings, their social and psychological impact, their underlying concepts and their sense of perception embossed by architectural photography. Along with paper cutting and photography, she designs wall drawings and free standing objects, which are combined to form an ensemble of mixed elements which in turn enable various aspects of the room’s configuration and sets conventional architectural images in motion.
For the installation Zwischen den Wänden at Kunstverein Braunschweig, she is focusing on representative glass architecture: spectacular projects such as the glass factory in Dresden and the omnipresence of glass shopping centres, cinemas and museums. Julia Horstmann examines the contemporary phenomena and lays them subject to amendment. Our fascination with glass as a building material can be traced far back in history, and is heavily connected to the hope for cultural revision: „Glass is bringing us into a new age: we pity the time of bricklaying.“ (Paul Scheerbart for Taut’s Glashaus, 1914)
In the last century, it has initially been the utopian visions of the expressionistic poet Paul Scheerbart and legendary constructions such as Bruno Taut’s Glashaus in 1914, which broadcast a new architectural style. But the aesthetics of glass-builds and their connected social concepts not only inspire expressionistic architecture towards utopian designs, but are also pursued, for example, in Corbusier’s constructions and are still just as effective today.
The expressionistic architectural order, which peaked in the image of the medieval cathedral, has a contemporary echo in the coinage of terms like cathedrals of the industrious culture, glass palaces or consumer temples. It is precisely these memory splinters, the fragmented, separated and repressed images that Julia Horstmann brings into the light. Emanated from architectural photography, Julia Horstmann creates paper cuttings, which leave the room open to new interpretations. Wall drawings and objects are further methods generating new perceptual viewpoints. She combines colourful glass mosaics with empty spaces, contrasts insight and illumination, unites the inside with the outside, has protagonists strolling, yet also obstructs pathways. Thus, she constructs a stage setting in which the individual elements generate stories, which make reflexive and multilayered room perceptions possible to the observer. As the theatrical insinuated rooms displace the observer, the part of protagonist and audience at the same time, fixed visual angles dissolve.
Zwischen den Wänden is Julia Horstmann’s first institutional solo exhibition. Further works are currently to be seen in the group exhibition Zidanes Melancholie in Kaiser Wilhelm Museum in Krefeld. Julia Horstmann lives in Berlin.
Zwischen den Wänden is the second part of the series of exhibitions Staging – the Cuboid as a stage, curated by Ursula Schöndeling, and focuses on the architectural insinuations of our daily surroundings.