Cool deep-house beats, wine and beer, projected GIF moving images, and a hip Berlin flair: The new SAP art exhibition under the motto “Young Talents” opened in October at SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany.
SAP curator Alexandra Cozgarea selected the works of 12 students of the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK), in cooperation with Berlin’s galerie burster, to feature in the exhibition. The UdK Berlin offers the full spectrum of the arts; among its most famous graduates are Guenter Grass, Kathrin Sonntag, Max Raabe, and Norbert Bisky.
The young artists featured in the SAP exhibition, nine of whom traveled to Walldorf to arrange their works of art themselves, are students of Fine Arts and Design. Paintings, installations, video, and virtual reality works are among their exhibits, but one theme unites them all: shape and color.
“This exhibition is intended to make it easier for the artists to enter the profession ‘artist,’” Alexandra said in her opening speech. The young artists have the chance to present their work to a broad audience, gain their first experiences of the art market, and network with their peers and visitors.
Miriam Schwarz, curator of galerie burster, echoed this theme, noting that to become established in the art market is not an easy task these days. The exhibition enables the young artists to grow in confidence and build a network, she said.
Themes and Aesthetics of a Young Generation
The exhibit is a true multimedia experience for the visitor. Entering the International Training Center, a video installation by Hara Shin immediately catches one’s eye. GIFs — short, repetitive video sequences that are mainly used in social media — are projected onto a wall in a continuous loop. In quick succession, clips featuring cats are strung together with film and television sequences. It is difficult for the viewer to turn away for fear of missing something. It should remind the viewers of themselves, clicking from one clip to the next, trance-like, always on the lookout for new visual stimuli, wrote Miriam Schwarz in her description of the artist.
The exhibits are often multi-part, play with space and color, and allow the viewer a glimpse into the themes and aesthetics of the artists’ generation. A video, for example, shows the artist Sabrina Labis painting her face red with lipstick, beginning with her mouth until her whole face is covered. Sequences of Photoshop editing and make-up tutorials punctuate the video, suggesting perhaps a silent criticism of the beauty industry.
Many of the works, such as the acrylic paintings by Caroline Steinke, were created in elaborate steps. “I need up to six months for the larger pictures, because I have to wait until each layer of paint has dried,” the artist explained.
In her series Different Worlds, Aline Schwörer uses an epoxy resin casting process. At first sight, her works, which hang on a gray concrete wall, seem fragile. But take a second look, and you notice small insects and plant seeds, linking her art to nature. She explained to visitors that she sees landscapes in her works. Epoxy resin is also used for conservation purposes, preserving not only the insects and plant seeds, but the color as well.
There is also something for technology enthusiasts: With the help of a virtual reality (VR) headset, artist David Amberg enables his art to be experienced in a three-dimensional space. When a visitor puts on the headset, they feel as if they are standing amid mountains. The longer they wear the headset, the less they are aware of their physical location.
André Biener, country and innovation network manager for SAP University Alliances, connected the new exhibition to SAP in his opening speech. SAP also supports young talents by collaborating with schools and NGOs.
Exhibit artists include David Amberg, Walker Brengel, Hannah Sophie Dunkelberg, Andi Fischer, Sabrina Labis, Marlen Letetzki, Gar Schlingheider, Felix Schröder, Aline Schwörer, Hara Shin, Caroline Steinke, and Sarah Wohler.
The exhibition is open through February 22, 2019, at building 5 in Walldorf, Germany, Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. CET.
Photographs provided by Klaus Kirchner. Top image features Sarah Wohler, Color Scheme, 2018