artist / participant
September 13 – November 10, 2019
Press conference: Thursday, September 12, 2019, 10 a.m.
Opening: Thursday, September 12, 2019, 7 p.m.
The human body and the various shells that, as skin and attire, define its relation to the world are keymotifs in Alexandra Bircken’s work. Many of her sculptural investigations probe the question of theboundary between inside and outside and how it can be imagined as a permeable membrane, interface,and suture.
For her exhibition at the Secession, Bircken has developed a number of new works. Deflated latex figuresin the stereotyped colours pink and baby blue scrutinize entrenched and simplistic understandings of gender. They are set in relation to various body fragments and prints on highly polished stainless steelshowing anthropomorphic knitted objects, a series that operates with the viewer’s self-reflection. Such encounters between disparate objects in a shared space are often also characteristic of individual sculptures by Bircken. For Motorradschaukel, for example, she has mounted a Yamaha R6 racing bike oncurved wooden rockers instead of wheels. The powerful machine seesaws back and forth like a rocking horse but goes nowhere, despite its fully functional engine. Bircken harnesses the physical and sensualqualities of her material assemblages as well as their symbolic dimensions to elicit sometimescontrasting chains of associations: the motif of the machine as an instrument of power and vehicle of an ecstatic sense of freedom is interlinked with connotations of childhood, craftsmanship and the organic.
Alexandra Bircken was born in Cologne and lives and works in Berlin and Munich.