Susanna Kulli

Shila Khatami

08 Jun - 18 Jul 2013

Exhibition view
Die Würfel im Fallen
8 June – 18 July 2013

Galerie Susanna Kulli presents Die Würfel im Fallen / The Dice in Mid-Fall, the third solo exhibition of the Berlin-based artist Shila Khatami (1976).

On the one hand, the title of the current exhibition at Galerie Susanna Kulli refers to Khatami’s perennial fascination with geometry between serious abstraction and light-minded decoration, which can avail itself of design and crafts without ever stopping at one of these aspects. The artist charges the historic forms of modernism with new energy by applying a peculiar palette that runs counter to the rigor of modernist utopianism and will strike many beholders as familiar from the realm of folklore. This deliberate openness to different approaches and influences is the distinguishing feature of Khatami’s art: she does not shy away from concepts and ideas that seem alien to art and its élite aspirations.

At the same time, Die Würfel im Fallen, reminds the beholder of the suspended situation that is his own: the dice have been cast and are in mid-fall; the outcome of the game is not yet determined but can no longer be changed without breaking the rules.

Die Würfel im Fallen may also be read as expressing a combative stance. Legend has it that Caesar, stepping across the river Rubicon, which formed the boundary of Rome, said alea iacta est, “the die is cast”; a sign that, at this particular moment, there is no way back, though the consequences of the decision are yet unforeseeable.

Khatami responds no less resolutely in her art. In Initialen, she scratches her initials into the lacquer in the vigorous manner we know from Zorro. The spontaneous gesture disrupts the industrially prefabricated grid structure of the fiberboard and leaves an almost violently autographed work for the beholder. Other works in the exhibition address issues in art that are no less prominent than the matter of the signature; consider Madame, for which Khatami assertively broke down the perennial preoccupation of all arts with the female nude to its minimum—its (hot) spots.

1999–2004 Fine Arts, Düsseldorf Academy of Arts, with Axel Kasseböhmer and Helmut Federle 1997–1999 Fine Arts, Academy of Fine Arts, Munich

2012 until it ends there is no end, Clages, Cologne / It’s parallel lines / that will never meet, Galerie Samy Abraham, Paris / 2011 Von Punkt zu Punkt und machmal daran vorbei, Treize, Paris / 2010 Topspin, Galerie Susanna Kulli, Zurich / Superblues, Center, Berlin / Über Bande, Clages, Cologne / 2008 bits and pieces, Galerie Susanna Kulli, Zurich / Ping Pong, Clages, Cologne / 2007 Flying dots, SOX, Berlin

2013 The Edge of Abstraction, Hopstreet, Brussels / Die Linie / The Line, Galerie Susanna Kulli, Zurich / 2012 Drawing Quote!, Pigna Project Space, Rome / Le Flair de l’Air, James-Simon-Park, Berlin / Non Objective, SNO Contemporary Art Projects, Sydney / Exploring Painting, Galerie Susanna Kulli, Zurich / Punkt-Systeme, Vom Pointilismus zum Pixel, Wilhelm Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen am Rhein / *Chronique—Carte blanche à Curiosité, Villa Noailles, Hyères / BYOB—(Entre)Ouverture, Palais de Tokyo, Paris / Choses vues à droite et à gauche, l’oiseau présente, Berlin // 2011 / Who is, Saarländische Galerie - Europäisches Kunstforum, Berlin / 2010 Ambigu, Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen *

Tags: Helmut Federle, Axel Kasseböhmer, Shila Khatami