Heidi Locher presents a new solo exhibition at TRACE Projects Berlin. Dispossession is part of the exhibition series Unimagined Surroundings, curated by Brunno Silva, which looks at the interplay of art and architecture via installation work. The series features solo exhibitions by Locher, David Ebner, Randi Renate and Henrique Lopes runs from 27 April to 6 May 2018.
Locher’s installation is a body of work that evokes a pre-existing structure: a hut in Lecce, Italy. Generations old, the hut has been adapted over the years by nature, by tools and by human hands. A photo-roman examines the structure in careful and evocative detail, disassembling and rebuilding the hut in a way that reveals its patterns and textures, and emphasises both its unique elements and its universality. Locher explains, “This little hut sitting quietly in the landscape, kept drawing me in, as it seemed to embody all the basic elements of architecture, basic but beautiful. Seemingly offering sanctuary and shelter, holding within its walls the whispers of people's hidden memory's and lives.”
“It is so interesting when one of your brightest students, who went on to build remarkable and radical houses, changes tack to become an artist. I believe that Heidi’s work as an artist has synthesised all her previous experience as a designer into an original mode of art and installation in a way that gives it unusual vitality and originality.”
– Sir Jeremy Dixon, Architect
The installation also features sculptural elements which centre around the threshold. A crucial element of the building in Lecce for Locher is the fabric which flutters over the right side of the building, which in its fluid movement is simultaneously a window, a wall and a door. Locher is interested in the fluidity of thresholds, as well as the conceptual thresholds reached when art and architecture intersect in the form of photography. She is also interested in the physical-conceptual intersection of sculpture and the threshold. A series of sculptural works communicate these thoughts about the threshold, replacing ordinary doors and ladders with dream-like sleek objects which open onto solid walls and whose doorknobs are almost unnoticeable.
A threshold is an aperture giving access to a space, and also a portal to past and future actions and traces. The relationship between thresholds and dream worlds is explored via a series of constructed thresholds which differ subtly and fundamentally from ordinary doorways and portals while remaining connected to them. Brunno Silva remarks, “Heidi’s artistic achievements strike a remarkable balance between architecture and art. Her effort across media is an invigorating take on what installation art can be.” A further component of Dispossession is a new digital limited edition artwork launched on the Sedition platform, which can be viewed on screens and digital devices.
Dispossession is an exploration of the elasticity of space and the multiple meanings folded into the structures we make and move through. A building is a city within a city; its components and construction methods echo those of the infrastructure in which it sits. A building is assembled; it does not grow continuously or extrude from the earth; those who spend time in it relate to it at times as a whole (the home, the workplace), at times (when work is to be done) through its parts.
Dispossession is on display from 27 April - 6 May 2018 at TRACE Projects, Mainzerstrasse 39, 12053 Berlin.