artist / participant

press release

'The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new'.

Samuel Beckett, Murphy, 1938

PIEROGI Leipzig is pleased to present three new solo exhibitions by artists Nadja Bournonville (b. 1983), Lutz-Rainer Müller (b. 1977) and Declan Clarke (b. 1974). With photography, drawing, sculptures and film all three artists, in their own way, deal with personal stories that have been caught up in grander narratives. The artists will be present for the opening.

In Galerie 1, Nadja Bournonville, 'One for every wish.'

In her first solo exhibition Nadja Bournonville presents the beginning of a project in three parts. Part one: 'One for every wish' consists of analogue photography, text based drawings on paper and a slide show. In this, she tries to build worlds that tell stories about her own personal and other's narratives. She sets out to test the limitation of life through transparent but elaborate body of work The second part will be shown at PIEROGI Brooklyn in 2009.

The initial starting point for the project was a small wooden ship. It bore a similarity to the wooden schooner Lefteria, that set sail in 1972 from the coast of Great Britain to Spain when it was hit by a French weather ship and sank. Bournonville's uncle,Magnus, went down with it.

According to Bournonville, this '…held the story I was looking for. It underlies them all, I guess it is not always necessary to know exactly where the stories originate from, everyone has their own and they are never that different, a shipwreck, lost love, accidents, failed dreams and a lot of hope…'. They all share in common the fact that they could just as well have been realized as a film, a book, poem or even, if you like, a painting. There is a timeless aspect to them in that they tell a story, but the imagery being used for telling these stories isn't only personal and thus open for interpretation and multiple understandings of the work.

All the images, which Bournonville thinks of as stages, sets, or even small rooms, originate from a specific story. An example is the photograph 'Keeping all my ships in the harbour', 2008, which shows a concrete wall where torn-off wall paper bears resemblence to a world map, attached to the wall are bark boats and beneath them two extended arms and the back head of a young woman. Bournonville states that this referances Virgina Woolf who admired a friend of hers for her ability to set sail out into the world while she herself kept all her ships in the harbour.

The handwritten text pieces are more personal in their initial creation. Here Bournonville writes about pressing issues more directly and without the possibility of editing as she goes along. A good example is 'Dear; Things as they are, letter to self', 2007, a 100 x 80 cm large ink on paper, which was sparked by the artist moving countries and after a few months of not being able to speak the language she began writing on one big piece of paper, about everything. How things has been, how they should or could have been, how they will, should or could develop. For an artist that works so close to her own past and memories one could claim that her whole development as an artist is embedded as a theory of everything in this text.

'One for every wish' is a mosaic whose part and whose whole are one in the same thing…and you had better not, so to speak, miss both the forest and the trees; and you better not worry about mixed metaphors along the way. 

The exhibition is accompanied by an exhibition catalogue. 

Nadja Bournonville (*1983) received her formal training at the Glasgow School of Art. She has shown at the Hasselblad Foundation in Gothenburg, 2007 and is currently part of the Leipzig International Art Programme Studio Residency. During the summer of 2008 she will be in group exhibitions at PIEROGI Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Galerie Gabriel Rolt, Amsterdam and Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles. Her next solo show will be at PIEROGI Brooklyn in 2009. She currently lives in Leipzig.

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Nadja Bournonville: One for every wish