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Berlin: Bałka

November 30, 2014 - January 17, 2015

Mean What You See, group exhibition

Opening: November 29, 2014, 6–9 pm

at Daniel Marzona Gallery


Mirosław Bałka
Vajiko Chachkhiani
Jürgen Drescher
Francesco Gennari
Andreas Golinski
Asta Gröting
Olaf Holzapfel
Bethan Huws
Harald Klingelhöller
Ivan Seal
Franz West


The pun of the exhibition’s title shakes up the relationship between fact and meaning by turning it upside down and linking the visible to the thinkable. It hints at the inevitability of establishing meaning to everything we see. But material and metaphor can never, especially in an art context, be entirely separated or be considered as autonomous entities. In this sense, the title not only ironically plays with the saying “say what you mean” or “mean what you say” but also responds to the famous quote by Frank Stella “What you see is what you see” which became the mantra of Minimal Art. After all, a reflection upon the title might lead to the conclusion that the common distinction between material and metaphor is purely a linguistic one. However, the question remains, do all of the material facts, which reveal themselves when we look at an artwork necessarily, require a mediation through language? Or, in other words, can we abstain from a translation from the field of being into the field of meaning when we experience a work of art? Do the ‘limits of my language always mean the limits of my world’?

The exhibition is comprised of works from eleven contemporary artists relating in different ways to these questions and sculpture as a medium. All the works demonstrate a high degree of sensitivity and understanding of the specific materials used. Traditional materials and sculptural techniques can be found next to works probing unusual visual or sublime effects, which touch upon the limits of materiality. In very different ways many of the works reach into the world of objects, either through formal allusions or by the inclusion of found or made objects. This selection of works explores the wide range of possibilities, which put the relationship between material and metaphor into an irresolvable and tense constellation.


November 30, 2014
January 17, 2015
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Daniel Marzona
Friedrichstraße 17
Berlin, D–10969 Germany
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