press release

Opening: 31 January 2008

The intensely narrative work of Alice Creischer (Berlin, 1960) is shaped around a quest to find instruments to visualise the forms, moments and situations in which the history of capitalism and its operating principles become tales of exploitation, exclusion and distortion of the basic principles of western democracy.

Having researched the phenomena by which financial corporations are established and operate in different parts of the world, Creischer uses installations, drawings, collages, articles and texts to explore the relationships between official policy (as represented by governments’ actions), business (the huge finance and banking corporations) and culture, in which figures and new types of alienation and manipulative perversion have their origin. Her ethical position leads her to take a critical stance towards the crisis of contemporary liberal governments and fatalistic attitudes towards financial, political and social crises.

Amongst other initiatives that Alice Creischer has worked on is the project exArgentina, produced in collaboration with Andreas Siekmann and presented in 2004. The project is a visual and narrative account demonstrating that the economic and social crisis that hit Argentina in the 1990s was caused by the operations of international lobbies with vested interests in the region.

The exhibition at MACBA will be structured around two of Alice Creischer’s most important recent works: L’atelier de la peintrice. Allégorie réelle déterminant una phase de sept années de ma vie artistique ("The Painter's Studio: A Real Allegory Defining Seven Years of My Artistic Life"), produced in 2000. This work (which forms part of the MACBA Collection) is a reinterpretation of a painting by Gustave Courbet in which the artist portrays himself as the central figure amid leading representatives of French culture and politics in 1855; in her reworking, Creischer depicts leading figures in the Republic of Berlin in the 1990s.

Secondly, her Apparat zum osmotischen Druckausgleich von Reichtum bei der Betrachtung von Armut (Apparatus for Osmotic Compensation of the Pressure of Wealth During the Contemplation of Poverty, 2005) is an installation featuring sculptural elements attempting to reconstruct the artist’s own experience in a journey to India in 2004 where she saw situations of the most severe poverty. The contrast between the feelings this arouses and the sense of belonging to a world whose wealth is in inverse proportion is devastating. A selection of videos made by Alice Creischer in cooperation with other artists will complete this exhibition at MACBA, as well as many drawings and collages related to these productions.

This exhibition has been carried out within the framework of Transform and with the support of the European Community.

… for the osmotic compensation of wealth pressure
Alice Creischer: works and collaborations
Kurator: Bartomeu Mari