Category Archives: Performance/ Video

Ich höre den Schakal – Two Person Exhibition in Dachau 4 July

Katrin Schürmann and Imke Rust
will be exhibiting
at the Galerie der KVD in Dachau.
Opening on the 4th of July @ 19h30

Save the date! And please share with your friends in the area!


Hope to see you there! 😃 Ich freue mich euch dort zu sehen!

About the exhibition: (für den deutschen Text, bitte runter – scrollen)

Katrin Schürmann (1944) and me (1975) have a very interesting connection: we both grew up on the same farm in Namibia and we went to the same school in Swakopmund. We both are artists and both are now living in Germany.

Having met in 2017 at my exhibition in Munich we have kept in contact via email and exchanged memories and thoughts about the farm and our connection. Katrin Schürmann soon invited me to join her in an exhibition exploring this unique connection that we have.

After her studies Katrin Schürmann left Namibia to work in Germany and stayed ever since. In 1984 her mother sold their family farm Otukarru to my parents. So, just like Katrin, I spent a big part of my youth on the farm. Since my family is still farming there, I am also visiting as often as I can.

How do two artists of different generations relate to the same piece of land? How do the perspectives differ because of time,  memory and physical and emotional distance? Where do the perceptions differ? Where are they similar. How do the artists each deal not only with their personal histories, but also the colonial history? Especially in the current times, when it is important to critically question the history of land ownership in Namibia.

Both artists feel a strong connection to nature and Namibia’s vast spaces, the desert and the bush. Katrin works with abstract minimalism. Her monotypes and installations reflect the the barrenness of the land.

I am showing mixed media works, drawings and video works, which are mostly abstract figurative and explore my direct relation to the farm which I still call home. I am questioning the idealisation of and my ambivalent feeling towards the farm life. Current happenings, such as the drought, poaching incidents and the political call for land expropriation of white farmers, affect me directly and are expressed in my works.

Imke Rust ‘Rinderpest’ Mixed Media on paper, 68 x 82cm

Deutsch:

Wer entsinnt sich nicht an den Satz, der am Anfang des Romans von Tanya Blixen und einem sehr erfolgreichen Film steht: „Ich hatte eine Farm in Afrika“. Diese Aussage trifft auch auf die beiden Ausstellerinnen zu. Er prägte ihre Jugend.

Es ist nicht nur die Kindheit in Afrika, die Katrin Schürmann (1944) und Imke Rust (1975) verbindet – sie wuchsen auf derselben Farm in Namibia auf, gingen zur selben Schule in einem 300 Kilometer entfernten Dorf an der Küste, mitten in der Wüste. Dies alles stellte sich heraus, als sich die beiden Frauen zum ersten Mal trafen anlässlich einer Ausstellung von Imke Rust 2017 in der Pasinger Fabrik in München. Die beiden gehören verschiedenen Generationen an, die eine lebt heutzutage in Berlin, die andere in München.

Gemeinsam ist den beiden Künstlerinnen sicherlich die Liebe zur Natur, zu den endlosen Weiten der afrikanischen Savanne und der Wüste. Dieses drückt sich in der Arbeiten von Katrin Schürmann eher in minimalistischen, reduzierten Abstraktionen aus. Die Kargheit des Landes spiegelt sich in einfachen und direkten Darstellungen (Monotypien und Installationen) wider.

Ganz anders sind die Arbeiten von Imke Rust einzuordnen. Die gebürtige Namibierin, die erst vor kurzem nach Deutschland kam, weist auf politische Entwicklungen hin, bringt eine zwiespältige Reflektion zum Ausdruck, denn beide Künstlerinnen müssen sich heutzutage fragen, unter welchen Umständen diese Farm zur Kolonialzeit in Deutschen Besitz kam.

Imke Rust ist regelmäßig in ihrer Heimat und auf der elterlichen Farm. Somit ist sie immer wieder mit den aktuellen Geschehnissen dort konfrontiert. Ob Trockenheit, Wilderei oder die Forderungen nach Landenteignungen weißer Farmer – vieles berührt sie direkt und spiegelt sich in ihren Werken wieder

Imke Rust zeigt Arbeiten die auf der elterlichen Farm in Namibia entstanden sind oder in direkter Beziehung dazu stehen. Sie arbeitet multimedial und vorzugsweise direkt in der Natur, welches sie in Fotografien, Zeichnungen und Videoarbeiten dokumentiert und zeigt.

Für die geplante Ausstellung befassen sich beide Künstlerinnen mit ihrer Beziehung zu dem Land Namibia, aber auch dem Stückchen Land auf dem beide aufgewachsen sind und das für sie lange ihr Zuhause war. Wie sehen sie ihre persönliche Beziehung zu dem Land und seiner Geschichte? Welche Ähnlichkeiten und Unterschiede gibt es in der Wahrnehmung? Gerade in der jetzigen Zeit, wo Deutschland von den Herero zur Verantwortung für ihre koloniale Geschichte gezogen wird, ist eine kritische und persönliche Hinterfragung was es denn bedeutet „eine Farm in Afrika gehabt zu haben?“ spannend und wesentlich.

Mehr Information zu / More information about Katrin Schürmann:  http://www.katrinschuermann.de

Katrin Schürmann Monotypes 100 x 70cm

 

 

Floating Energy Video

I am so excited and grateful!

My talented husband, Steffen Holzkamp, has once again created a video to document my latest site-specific nature art installation. A big thank you also goes to Hans-Peter Wollmann, who has kindly provided us with his video material to use in combination with mine.

In this short video clip (1:49min) you can the ‘making-of’ and get an impression of the artwork itself.

But – it is still much better to experience it in person! If you can, please go and visit it.

I got so much wonderful feedback from the visitors while I was working there and even afterwards. All saying what a lovely surprise it was for them when they first noticed it on their walk through the forest. And then as they came closer and realised how long it was, how it was winding its way down the hill and crossing two paths, they got even more excited. It brought them so much joy, they said.

For those of you, who cannot go and visit the forest and my installation yourself, this video gives an impression, adding to the photographs in my previous post.

Enjoy! And do let me know in the comments what you think. I would appreciate it.

“Fremde Welten” Finissage (Reminder)

(For English, please scroll down)

Exhibition view ‘Fremde Welten’ Imke Rust at the Orangerie, Oranienburg

Erinnerung: Finissage

Die Ausstellung ‚Fremde Welten’ der namibischen Künstlerin Imke Rust ist noch bis zum 5. April in der Orangerie zu besichtigen.

Am 5. April, um 18:30 Uhr lädt die Künstlerin alle Interessierten zur Finissage ein. Bei einem Glas Wein kann man die Arbeiten noch ein letztes Mal sehen und mit der Künstlerin ins Gespräch kommen. Um 19:15 wird noch ein 45 minütiger Dokumentarfilm über die ausgestellten Land Art Arbeiten gezeigt.

Der Film ‚An Infinite Scream’ dokumentiert mit wunderschönen Bildern und Eindrücken die Entstehung der Arbeiten, verfolgt aber auch die politischen Hintergründe und wirft Fragen über Kunstfreiheit, Zensur und den Stellenwert der Kunst in der Gesellschaft auf. Steffen Holzkamp, Filmemacher, Musiker und Ehemann der namibischen Künstlerin, wird auch anwesend sein und nach der Filmvorführung gemeinsam mit der Imke Rust Fragen zu dem Projekt und Film beantworten.

Der Film wird in deutscher Sprache gezeigt.
Weitere Infos zu dem Film und eine kurze Vorschau gibt es unter https://aninfinitescream.wordpress.com/

Synopsis:

In der prallen Wüstensonne über 1000 Weißdornen zu Kreisen legen? Schwarze Müllsackrosen in die Sanddünen pflanzen? Oder eine halbe Tonne Salz  zu einer begehbaren Skulptur formen?

Die Landart Installationen der Namibischen Künstlerin Imke Rust folgen einem immanenten Anliegen: Der Sorge über den zunehmenden Uranabbau in Namibia und der Verschandelung der Wüste. Ihre Kunstwerke sorgen für Aufmerksamkeit, verstehen sich aber auch als ein symbolischer Schutz für das geschundene Land.

Kann Kunst etwas bewirken? Was kann ich tun? Mit diesen Fragen beschäftigt sich Imke Rust auf eindringliche Weise.

In 2012 in Namibia und Berlin gedreht, spiegelt der Film die  teils meditative Stimmung der Entstehung von Rust’s Landart. Ruhige Einstellungen bei der Installation der „Salt Circles“ oder reportagige Handkamera bei der Videoperformance „The Scream“ auf der Seebrücke am Atlankik: Schnitt und Montage folgen dem Tempo der Kunst.

Die Absage der gebuchten Rust-Ausstellung seitens der Kunstvereinigung bringt dem Film eine dramaturgische Wendung und verlagert den Schwerpunkt hin zu einer gesellschaftlichen und medialen Kontroverse über die „Freiheit der Kunst“ in Namibia.

So organisiert sich die bekannte Künstlerin mit Hilfe durch ein Netzwerk von Unterstützern ihre Ausstellung einfach selbst.

Starke Bilder an atemberaubenden Orten, sowie Illustrationen und Musik verdichten den Film zu einem eindrucksvollen Statement für Courage und Eigeninitiative im eher konservativen Namibia.

Die Filmarbeit in Namibia wurde teilweise vom National Arts Council of Namibia unterstützt.

Alle Arbeiten stehen zum Verkauf. Dazu bietet sich die Chance bei der Finissage oder wenn sie nicht vor Ort sein können, melden sie sich bitte per Email bei mir.

Adresse: Orangerie, Kanalstraße 26a, 16515 Oranienburg

ENGLISH:
Reminder: Finissage

The Exhibition ‘Fremde Welten’ by Imke Rust can still be viewed at the Orangerie (Oranienburg) till the 5th of April 2018.

On the 5th of April, at 18h30 you furthermore have a the opportunity to join the artist for a glass wine at the Finissage, to view the works and meet the artist. At 19h15 a 45min documentary (in German) about the origin and process of Imke Rust’s land art works which are on the display will be shown.

The filmmaker and musician Steffen Holzkamp, who is also Rust’s husband, will be present and there is time for questions after the film.

The film ‘An Infinite Scream’ not only shows the artist’s effort to raise awareness of the increasing pollution and destruction through Uranium mining in the Namib Desert, but also raises questions about artistic freedom, censorship and the power of art.

You can find a trailer and more information about the film under https://aninfinitescream.wordpress.com/

Artworks are for sale, either at the Orangerie or through contacting me via email.

The Comfort of a Couch (Fun Art)

Finally I can move my work space out of our living room and into the new renovated garage / studio space.

Suddenly we have space in the living room and are now looking for a nice couch which can double up as a guest bed. Ideally a couch needs to look good, be practical and it definitely needs to be ultra comfortable…

This morning when I started working and was looking for some images, I came across a spontaneous and fun ‘preformed photography action’* I did some time ago in a holiday flat, and decided to turn the photographs into a GIF (moving image).

Couch Testing by Imke Rust

Couch Testing by Imke Rust

Wishing you all a wonderful and comfortable day!

* Sometimes it is difficult to perfectly describe my art. I hope this term comes close, but am not sure. Often I do a performance kind of work, but without an audience. I document it through photographs or video. Yet the action is the central part and the photography just a way to share it with you. So it is neither pure photography, nor a performance in its original definition.

Namibian Video Art in Korea

Still image of 'Toxic Water' video artwork by Imke Rust

Still image of ‘Toxic Water’ video artwork by Imke Rust

How awesome is that? My video work has been selected for the Geumgang Nature Art Biennale 2016 (Video exhibition)!

I am so excited that ‘Toxic Water’ is currently shown in the Republik of Korea till the end of November 2016. If you happen to be around that part of the world, go and have a look!

You can find more information on the webpage of the Geumgang Nature Art Biennale 2016 .

My apologies for the having been pretty quiet in the past few months and now sending you some updates in a shorter time. I have planned another über-exciting one for Monday, so please bear with me. Things have been hectic and difficult on many fronts, but much has also led up to all the exciting prospects happening in my career at the moment.

I am so grateful for your continued interest and support and did not want you to miss out on this news. 🙂

Geumgang Nature Art Biennale - Invitation

Geumgang Nature Art Biennale – Invitation

Here are some behind-the-scenes images from the making of the video art work. Please click on the images to see a larger version:

Longing to Belong

69 Strands of (be)Longing, Fake and natural hair, branch and wire. Artwork created by Imke Rust at the ILAM, May 2016

69 Strands of (be)Longing,
Fake and natural hair, branch and wire. Artwork created by Imke Rust at the ILAM, May 2016

In May I had been in Maastricht as an invited artist to the International Land Art Maastricht Symposium. I had shared some pictures from this wonderful event together with an invitation to come and see the results, but I have not had the time to tell you more about the artwork that I created there. So today I would like to share with you some thoughts and images, especially for those of you, who could not see the work in person.

Artists were asked to propose an artwork that they would create in the park of the Chateau Jerusalem. The theme of the symposium was ‘Connected’. We had five days to complete the work, which then was on exhibition for the following two weeks.

This is the concept, which I originally formulated for my plans:

“I am exploring the ‘Connected’ theme through a material that everybody connects to African women: long, black braided hair. Although they usually are made out of fake artificial material, they have come to represent a certain identity (African), but at the same time they are also an imitation of another identity (western, long, smooth hair). In so many ways they are connecting different worlds. To me they are also a strong metaphor for belonging and identity. Hair and braids can also be used as ropes to climb to another life (Rapunzel), and relate to the migration of refugees to Europe.

As a white African I am intrigued by working with this fake hair, as a form to express the duality and paradox of my own identity and belonging. The combination of synthetic and natural materials, illusions created and the process of braiding are additional aspects, which I want to explore.”

69 Strands of (be)Longing, Fake and natural hair, branch and wire. May 2016

69 Strands of (be)Longing,
Fake and natural hair, branch and wire. Artwork created by Imke Rust at the ILAM, May 2016

I had some vague ideas of how I wanted to proceed, but since I have not seen the park and have never worked in this material before, I decided to stay open and flexible and just trust the process.

When I arrived there and saw all the grand and impressive plans from the other artists, my heart sunk. Maybe my work was too timid, too small, too unspectacular? And what if it does not work out in any way I had imagined? I had no chance to try it out before, so either it worked or it would fail… What could I do, besides just start and hope for the best? I started and was flooded with even more doubts. Am I allowed, as a white woman to make art with this kind of hair, which usually is only used by black women? Could I even dream of braiding as neatly and perfectly as those hairdressers back home in Namibia do? Aren’t they the real artists who can make the most stunning patterns and styles for their customers? Who am I to now want to use this method and material to create my art?

Well, I had a lot of time to think, while I braided. And every time the doubts and insecurities became too strong, I heard the inner voice saying: Just trust the process.

I remembered that one of the reasons why I initially wanted to work with braiding, was the repetitive process itself. Somehow it is a process that is fairly easy, but demands just enough concentration and focus, that you have to stay in the here and now, but also leaves enough space for your mind to relax and wander off into thoughts that you usually are too busy for.

This work quickly became much more about that process and the inner dialogue that happened, than the final physical artwork. For five days I just sat there, under a beautiful tree, in the middle of the park and braided. I got to understand how this synthetic material reacted to humidity, dryness, wind and weather. How it sometimes could be so stubborn and putting up a real fight to get under control, and other times it just flowed through my fingers as if it was the most natural thing to happen. I became calm and looked forward to my work and every next strand.

My thoughts turned to my first memories of braiding. When I was a young girl, it was my father who braided my hair every day. And it was also he, who taught me how to braid. And I was so proud, that I even knew (from him) how to braid with more than 3 strands. While everybody looked at braiding as a typical female activity, I connected it to my father. And yet, it was my mother who had to go and buy the fake hair in Namibia (yes, these hairs were made in Namibia and sent all the way to Germany), so it was kind of a family effort that ensured I could sit in Maastricht in a park and braid ‘my’ hair.

Masculine and feminine… control and wildness… order and chaos… expectations and reality… appearance and authenticity… there were so many concepts that flowed into and through my being and into the braids (or did it flow out of them or the process?) while I was working.

With every next strand I had another chance of flowing. The focus changing and shifting… With every movement I moved on, the strand started, got longer and longer, and then, suddenly it reached the end.

I made a rough knot into the strand to keep it from coming undone and originally thought I will melt the ends to make a neat and proper ending. After a few strands with wild and chaotic knotted ends, I noticed the beauty, the wildness and the dynamic of these endings, the contrast to the neat braids… and decided to leave them just like that.

Through folding thin strands of hair over each other again and again… the central aspect became more obvious for me. With every movement there was a longing. A longing to come to the end, but also a longing for so much more… To belong, to understand, to control, to find the balance, to find a (my) place … to just be.

Where do I belong? To my home country, where I am too white in the eyes of many? Or to Germany, where I appear (on the first outer impression) to rather belong, but where I am a stranger? Do I ‘belong’ to be more controlled, or more wild? To fit better into the pattern of society or do my ends just come loose anyway?

Click on the images below to see a larger view and read about some further details.

Braiding, braiding, braiding… in 5 days I managed to braid 69 long strands. I managed to contain my sadness in these braids, to reassess the world and my ideas about it and to learn that I can and should just trust the process. The process of an artwork, but also the process of life…

Life is like these strands. Every day you begin with a new one, a new chance. You do your best to get as far as possible. But in the end it does not matter how far you come and how many days you get. What matters is your experience and your insights, your joy, but also your struggles and what you have learned through them.

Trust the process…

Here is a video taking you around the final artwork. In the photos one aspect gets lost, and that is how alive this work seems. How it dances and moves in the wind. The video gives you a small impression of that.

 

Playing with my Heart

It is International Women’s Day and to celebrate this I have created my very first ever animated GIF and will share it with you today.

A GIF is a graphic format, which I would explain as a kind of moving picture. These formats seem to become ever more popular on the internet and I can understand why. Instead of having just one image, you have kind of a moving gesture, usually composed of a few still images.

And so, without further ado, here it is:

Playing with my Heart

Playing with my Heart, an animated GIF by Imke Rust

I hope you enjoy it!