Lena Henke at Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt







e-flux


The Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is presenting Schrei mich nicht an, Krieger! (Don’t Shout at Me, W…
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May 06, 2017
Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt

Lena Henke. Schrei mich nicht an, Krieger! (Lena Henke. Don’t Shout at Me, Warrior!), © Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, 2017. Photo: Wolfgang Günzel.

Lena Henke. Schrei mich nicht an, Krieger!
(Lena Henke. Don’t Shout at Me, Warrior!)
April 28–July 30, 2017

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Römerberg
60311 Frankfurt am Main
Germany

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The Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is presenting Schrei mich nicht an, Krieger! (Don’t Shout at Me, Warrior!), a spatial sculpture by the artist Lena Henke. In the work specially created for the Schirn Rotunda the sculptor reacts to the specific conditions of this freely accessible public space.

“The Schirn’s Rotunda is a very special place. It is open to the public and serves as an exhibition space, meeting place, and at the same time an important architectural element linking together the historic city center. Lena Henke understands how to rethink this space with its multiple capacities and specific characteristics. She has created a holistic, walkable spatial sculpture that dissolves the boundaries between inside and outside and hones our view of this place,” says Dr. Philipp Demandt, Director of Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, about the installation.

In the two opposing entrances to the Rotunda, Lena Henke positions two aluminium sculptures that are open at the top and filled with sand. It is not clear at first how this sand came to be in and on top of the objects. Henke guides the viewer’s gaze through a system of colors, which accentuates the architecture upwards to the open windows of the circular galleries surrounding the Rotunda. There sand is also placed and trickles outwards and into the sculptures through coarse-meshed metal rolling grills. The visitors can stroll round the galleries and walk through the sand, hence influencing the circulation as well. At the same time, from up there the form of the objects in the Rotunda becomes visible: they are two oversized eyes. The association of sand in the eye—an unpleasant feeling involving discomfort and pain—suggests itself. Bringing together Surrealism and Minimal Art, Henke transforms the Schirn Rotunda into a walkable and constantly changing
spatial sculpture in which inside and outside merge.

“Lena Henke examines the systems and structures of urban life in her complex spatial sculptures. As a sculptor she uses space as both material and framework, heightening and staging it. She develops her own formal language from her study of theories and aesthetic strategies of modern and recent art history. The remarkable features of her works in public space lie in their continuous transformation as well as the active influence of surroundings and viewer on the installation,” comments Katharina Dohm, the curator of the exhibition, on the artist.

In her works, Lena Henke combines topics such as architecture, public space, and urban planning with subjective experiences. The change of perspective is an important element in her works and essential for the insight into things and into life itself. Her works can be read as a self-confident statement of contemporary art, which is given additional expression in the powerful title of her work for the Schirn.

Lena Henke (born 1982 in Warburg, Germany) lives and works in New York and Frankfurt am Main. She studied from 2004 to 2010 with Michael Krebber at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. Her sculptures and installations have been shown internationally in numerous solo exhibitions, including at the Kunstverein Braunschweig (2016); the S.A.L.T.S., Basel (2016); and the Kunstverein Aachen (2012). In 2016 she was represented both at the 9th Berlin Biennale and at the Montreal Biennale, and the previous year her works were to be seen at the New Museum Triennale in New York. Henke has also participated in group exhibitions, for example at the Socrates Sculpture Park, New York (2015); at the Kunsthalle Bern (2014); at the Künstlerhaus Graz (2014); and at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (2013). Her design for the work Ascent of a Woman is currently shortlisted for the “High Line Plinth” in New York.

Director: Dr. Philipp Demandt
Curator: Katharina Dohm
Press contact: Pamela Rohde (Head of Press/Public Relations):
presse@schirn.de / T (+49 69) 29 98 82 148
Press material: www.schirn.de (texts, images, and films for download under PRESS)