art haus berlin

@ takt residency, Friedrichshain (
An artist residency. Bunch of complete strangers living together in Berlin making art.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Picture Berlin Residency @Lobe

Shannon Patrick's work greets you in the group show from the Picture Berlin residency. Her work doesn't say "Hello, would you like a drink?". They're photographs. Photographs don't have mouths. Unless their portraits. To me, Patrick's work smells like a residency. It's hard to explain. The in-between moments in living out of a suitcase; the Ikea bedspread.; the stillness in the air. Those moments of silence where being bored becomes the poetry of a foreign city.

One sunny morning a young artist, fresh from art school, flew into Berlin from California. Wided-eyed and eager to live, she signed up to a 5-week intensive artist residency. First the clouds blow in. Then the rain follows. Running from curator talk to artist studio, 6 days a weeks. Exhausted, the artist finds herself standing in a puddle of mud. Her shoes are getting wet. When she cuts a lemon, it squirts her in the eye.

Sometimes we embark on things we know will be filled with stress and pain. But amongst the tears and skinned knees we expect to make some kind of revelation, to get 'something' out of it. It really sucks if you dont. But that's the quirk of optimism: something may be a total fail, but in that you also just found something you dont like. A small self-discovery. Optimism can be exhausting like that.