The Gallery at LAWRENCE presents contemporary art in the context of migration and globalization. Whether paintings, photography, video, installations or design and fashion – there are no limitations to our media. Quite the opposite—interdisciplinary approaches that reflect intercultural ideas and concepts are highly welcome. Our curator, Petra Rietz, stands for quality and conceptual coherence—she herself being an educated photographer and longtime gallery owner, as well as an experienced exhibition organizer in Berlin.
The LAWRENCE Gallery is open during the restaurant’s normal business hours.
Video art by Madeleine Altmann
As we move through time and space, we become travelers searching and reframing ways to self identify. Humans adopt labels which define them and those around them. When labels are stripped of meaning then figures no longer belong to a certain race, gender, class or cultural identity.
Using 40 monitors in 4 rooms, VOJAĜANTO showcases estranged perspectives of moving people. 10 monitors on the ground floor show humans stripped of identity. Their movement across time and space become pictorial patterns with multiple images. The repetitive human shapes hypnotically draws in the viewer while their facelessness feels removed and alienating. Almost like a memory or a vision, the subjects are familiar without having a clear Identity.
This perspective of people is completely reversed in the main gallery on the second floor with an absence of human form. We see only traces of people having already moved through that space. Looking like an old ethnographic film, a video searches the frozen river for tracks in the snow as remnants of human movement. Photographs of tracks on the same frozen river become aestheticized symbols of human activity. Isolated in a smaller room, 27 monitors showcase waves crashing on a beach, a view witnessed by travelers throughout the ages. The repetition on the monitors matches the rhythm of the waves and acts as a hypnotic visual mantra.
Altmann may have come to terms with the issues of identity in the very last room. We finally see the recognizable figure of the artist. She is standing in a timeless idyllic setting, that resonates a persistent stillness but reflects a constant change. Many of the works take sculptural forms in collaboration with her German engineer husband Andreas Uthoff. Various technologies like pro-grade media players, embedded raspberry pi computers, 4k or HD displays, obsolete monitors and discarded computer screens from the e-waste pile are all imbued with timeless landscapes and ritualistic experiences.
Altmann has been active in visual arts for most of her life.
Starting in photography she moved on to television, interactive telecommunications and video art. Along the way she has exhibited her work around the world and accumulated a variety of accolades including awards from the American Film Institute and Sony Pictures.
Born and raised in Brazil and England, she moved to the USA to attend Hampshire College for undergraduate studies in film and video. She went on to receive a Masters of Fine Arts Degree from The San Francisco Art Institute and a Masters in Professional Studies Degree from New York University, where she received the “Interactive Media Pioneer Award.”
Along with her single channel installations, Altmann works with Andreas Uthoff to create the sculptural elements of the monitors on display. She now resides in Berlin.