DAMMI I COLORI
Hannah Sophie Dunkelberg
Curated by Peter Ungeheuer
Galeria de Arte Moderna
Sociedade Nacional de Belas Artes
3.11 __ 2.12.2023
PHOTO Bruno Lopes
Give me the colors!
Puccini's Tosca is - together with Verdi's Rigoletto - the only opera with two blockbuster tenor arias. First performed in 1900, the opera tells the story of the relationship between the opera singer Floria Tosca and the painter Mario Cavaradossi, which not only ends fatally for both, but a revolutionary and the villain must also die before the sun rises over Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome. In the first act, Cavaradossi paints a Mary Magdalene as an altarpiece for a church not far from St. Peter's, based on the model of an unknown beauty. The diva's jealousy that flares up from this is one of the reasons why the opera cannot have a happy ending. "Recondita armonia" (innermost harmony) is the aria in which the tenor justifies his choice of subject, which is probably based on a subconscious inspiration. Beforehand, he instructs the sacristan to hand him the colors: "Dammi i colori". If you like, this is the beginning of the tragedy.
Exactly 20 years ago, in November 2003, the then mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit described Berlin in a famous quote as "poor but sexy", alluding among other things to the vibrant culture and nightlife in Germany’s new old capital. Berlin, after the fall of the wall, has increasingly attracted artistic talent from all over the world, in the beginning partly because of the extremely low cost of production and living (not to mention amusement). And there were many opportunities to participate in shows in off-spaces and gatherings. Berlin’s emerging cultural scene, which has earned a global reputation for its creativity, productivity and diversity, has grown ever since. Although the cost level is steadily increasing, it is still well below that of other global art hubs. Also, other cities are catching up in terms of nightlife. But contrary to expectations by some of decline, Berlin is more attractive than ever to artists in my eyes. The possibilities for exhibiting in galleries, museums and especially the project and temporary spaces are unique in their sheer quantity. As is the potential for bonding and exchanging with peers. To this day it is a kind of seal of quality to “live and work in Berlin“.
The artists of this show (and the curator) were mostly not even observers of those early “poor but sexy“ years of the art scene. The idea of this exhibition is to showcase 11 contemporary, emerging to established Berlin-based artists of the next generation in whose body of work color (in addition to form and/or content and technique) plays a special role. They have been selected for their variety of approaches. When they are handed the colors, however, it is more inspiring than tragic.