press release

Preview: Thursday, March 27th, 7-10 pm

By invitation from Galerie Christian Nagel, Berlin-based artists Mirjam Thomann (1978) and Jan Timme (1971) present their first joint exhibition. Apart from a collaborative piece, independently developed works are brought into connection with each other in the New York gallery RENTAL. Both artists are interested in taking the structural, institutional and spatial parameters of the exhibition itself as the point of departure for their work. Though employing various means and media – such as text, ready-made, sculpture and installation – Thomann and Timme draw connections to the gallery context and the urban setting of the exhibition space.

In much of her work, Mirjam Thomann takes up pre-existing elements that have acquired a specific meaning within the institution of art. Through displacements and subtle modifications of, for example, pedestals, floor barriers and partition walls, she enmeshes the object, context and viewer on an aesthetic and referential level. Thomann is especially interested in architectonic interstices such as passageways, entrances and exits. With the aid of flexible objects relating to the formal vocabulary of Postminimalism, these interstitial spaces become central points of observation. In this way, Thomann is similarly concerned with the representative functions of (exhibition) spaces as well as with examining concepts of visual perception and cognition.

Jan Timme's installations, photographs, objects and ready-mades evoke memories of the familiar and everyday, yet simultaneously revoke an accustomed order and mode of viewing, so that transferences between context and referential field occur in an almost imperceptible manner. Referencing the formal language of conceptual art projects from the 1960s and 70s, the works are characterized by a reduced, often fragile and ephemeral materiality. The components of the installations are often literally and thematically related to the exhibition space, with internal references to art historical inquiries and the use of quotations drawn from film and music. All of these elements challenge the recognition of such structures to the same extent that they are directed towards the conditions of the situational perception and movement of the spectator.

Places and Names by Mirjam Thomann and Jan Timme
Galerie Christian Nagel at Rental, New York