press release

In Kerstin Cmelka’s Microdramas we encounter condensed excerpts of classical drama. Sometimes the scenes are borrowed from the realm of theatre, cinema or literature, while sometimes they are taken out of traditional folksongs and popular culture. Everything gets covered from fateful relationship dramas such as Henrik Ibsen and Michael Haneke, to absurdly improbable dialogues between well-known personalities, as in the case of a hotel room interview with Steven Spielberg and Bianca Jagger available on YouTube.

Self-obsessiveness, attempts to manage dysfunctional relationships, the desperation to break loose from assumed roles or everyday boredom are recurring situations that are portrayed in Cmelka’s performances and films. Cmelka does not use professional actors, but friends, colleagues and family. In doing so she consciously lets fictitious and actual relationships mix freely both on stage and beyond it. Human relationships and how we relate to each other therefore become, at one and the same time, the very core of the microdramas’ action and making. Rather than giving us the perfect reproduction of the original model, Cmelka’s Microdramas bring together a motley troop of archetypical behaviours that tell the story of a melancholic, inexorable and absurd human condition, put on repeat.

Kerstin Cmelka (born 1974 in Mödling, Austria) lives and works in Berlin. A graduate from the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste (Städelschule), Frankfurt am Main. Recent exhibitions include "Kerstin Cmelka, Nora Schultz: A wave of certain needs", after the butcher, Berlin, 2012; "Lavender Mist" (togehter with Martin Hoener), Galerie Eva Winkeler, Cologne, 2011; "Autumn Rhythm" (together with Martin Hoener), WestGermany, Berlin, 2011 and "Based in Berlin", Berlin, 2011.

Kerstin Cmelka

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