On the empty shells of washing machines, watercolors are anchored like polyps. A shimmering curtain evokes light refracted by the water’s surface, seaweed, or a sea nettle’s tentacles. The ornaments and patterns of the drawings seem as if they could extend in all directions, flowing beyond the edges of the paper before the viewer’s very eyes. Like jellyfish that a polyp forms by dividing itself into new segments, the ornaments are separated from their origins. Themes of dislocation and placelessness permeate the exhibition Prima Quallerina – a portmanteau combining “prima ballerina” with the German word for jellyfish, “Qualle” – in the Remise of the Kunstverein.
The ornamental forms in the watercolor series The Troubled Waters of Ethnic Heritage are borrowed from Westerwald and Bolesławiec pottery, as well as from carpets, curtains, wallpaper, and playing cards. These are symbols without status.
They overlap each other, detached from their material basis and from their geographical as well as personal circumstances. Markues directs the viewer’s attention to the ornamental, transforming its supposed uselessness into a method of painterly questioning. Instead of an authentic illustration of his own biography, Markues deploys a double displacement: The expectation that the artistic production of minorities should consist of marketing their own biographies is only apparently fulfilled by the drawings, while being unrestrainedly exaggerated by their individual titles.
The curtain, Window, refers to the technique of radar jamming known as “Window”, in which metal-coated strips are dropped from aircraft to hinder their detection. The curtain’s Chroma Blue coloring is used in digital image processing to isolate objects in front of blue screens, freeing them to be inserted into any scene. Markues thus transforms the interior of the exhibition space into a broken projection screen on which origins can no longer be determined.
Four readings of literary texts will activate the space during the exhibition. What is common to each of the texts is that the protagonist is leaving their ancestral milieu for the first time. They are first generation drifters – Prima Quallerinas.
Markues works as a visual artist and author in Berlin. His artistic work includes paintings, drawings, installations, and curated readings. Prima Quallerina is his first institutional solo exhibition.
September 24, 2020, 4 pm / 6 pm
Nadira Husain and Markues read The Bastard by Violette Leduc (German and French)
October 1, 2020, 7 pm
Ulrike Bernard reads Beside Myself by Sasha Marianna Salzmann (German)
October 8, 2020, 7 pm
Alicia Agustín reads The Artificial Silk Girl by Irmgard Keun (German)
October 18, 2020, 4 pm
Thomas Love reads Dawn (Xenogenesis) by Octavia E. Butler (English)
Due to limited capacity, you are encouraged to register for the readings in advance by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curator: Raoul Klooker