26 May – 20 June, 2021

Rendez-vous de chasse

bn+BRINANOVARA, Patricia Lambertus, Carolin Ott

In the hunting room, we stage ourselves as conquerors of wild animal nature. Be it deer or boar hunting scenes on medieval tapestries, be it painted wall coverings with fights of exotic predators, or skillfully arranged still lives of dead birds: Over the centuries, animals of almost every species have made their way into the home like this. In the trophy room, man’s triumph over the hunted animal is staged most impressively. As a trophy, the dead animal has become part of the living human’s rooms and furnishings. The preserved animals’ bodies are souvenirs of successful hunts, and the glass eyed trophies are supposed to show the hunter’s love of nature. At the same time, the animal bodies create an eerie ambience of the ‘heimlich–unheimlich’. The ‘rendez-vous de chasse’ exhibition takes this ambivalent relationship between an appropriation of and a connection with nature in the interior as its starting point to explore the cruel and at the same time highly aestheticised staging of animals and nature in different spatial settings and/or scenographies. In this exploration, the show reflects upon the hunting room as a space of representation and illusion. By bringing a ‘rendez-vous de chasse’ (hunting party) into the gallery, Patricia Lambertus (*1970, DE), Carolin Ott (*1994, DE), and the artist duo bn+BRINANOVARA (*1993/94, IT) invite us to approach the topic from different directions.

In her three-dimensional collage, Patricia Lambertus combines a hunting themed French scenic wallpaper from the 19th century with actual hunting trophies as well as several media images. With this multi-layered installation, she turns a neo-Gothic hunting room into an apocalyptic space with violent overtones. Here, the border between home and landscape becomes blurred and then, also the border between creatures of the animal world and human life. Finally, contemporary war scenes, depicting human brutality committed against their own species, echo the violence committed against the hunted animals.

Carolin Ott’s ceramics come in hybrid vegetal shapes, inspired by insect eating carnivorous plants. With their flesh tone colourings and their many trap-like openings and tentacles, her small sculptures show plants as trapping hunters. Ott is a biologist as well as an artist. Her work refers to houseplants as a common practice of bringing nature into the home and maintains a balance between vegetal sculpture, impressive piece of furniture, and floral hunting ground.

The artist duo bn+BRINANOVARA deconstructs (iconic) images and objects by removing them from their original context. With their work at XPINKY Berlin, they challenge us to rethink the hunting trophy as furnishing. Unlike classic hunting rooms, where impressive antlers or heads of wild animals tell of the hunters’ success and their love of nature, bn+BRINANOVARA present common farm animals like donkeys, chicken, or goats as trophies on the gallery’s walls. Moreover, they decapitate their trophies, questioning the choice of body parts used as preserved souvenirs. Without their heads, and out of context, the abstract, colourful and decorative sculptures turn into ghostly anti-trophies in the white cube aesthetic of the gallery room.

Text: Silke Förschler, Astrid Silvia Schönhagen