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Solo exhibitions

Theoretical Beach. Museum Schloss Morsbroich, Curated by Stefanie Kreuzer

Theoretical Beach, a major theme of this solo exhibition by Cuban artist Diango Hernández, meanders around the rooms of the castle. The title stands for the transition from sea to land. With simple materials and agile gestures, Diango Hernández transforms the whole castle into an open processual space that enables visitors to make the transition between sea and beach and sense the tension between the different elements.

The exhibition addresses precisely that point where, in the metaphor of the sea, the “movement of being” meets “solid ground,” in other words, the place “where man establishes his institutions” (Hans Blumenberg). The place where the categories and value of being which shape and determine the cultural, social and political system become manifest. The beach also indicates Cuba, the tropical country from which the artists comes, while at the same time becoming an imagined place of yearning, where biography, utopia and memory become superimposed and re-mixed; biographical allusions to an upbringing in socialist Cuba encounter the artistic engagement with modernism. The specific idea of a tropical identity nurtured by a blend of different relationships forms the “bio”-sphere of the Theoretical Beach within which the artist defines the fundamentals of his artistic work.

The extensive wall paintings constituting Wave Texts flow around the central section of the castle, and transform it into a kind of aquarium in which everything seem to be in motion. By contrast, the corner rooms of the side wings serve as anchor points. The visitors are—literally and metaphorically—stranded here on Sand Banks. Thus grounded, on the borderline between land and sea, they look at the moving wave-text paintings. The artist locates himself in the corner rooms—sometimes also in his memory, as when he integrates the ground plan of his apartment in Cuba into the exhibition context as a sculptural form.

Diango Hernández does not present solutions in his works. He also does not decide on the position of the viewer. Instead he sensitises them by inviting them to consider and question the cultural and social postulates in the sphere of the Theoretical Beach.

Curator of the exhibition is Stefanie Kreuzer.

DISTANZ Verlag will publish a catalogue in conjunction with the exhibition containing a text by Diango Hernández, a foreword by Markus Heinzelmann and essays by Stefanie Kreuzer, Marcus Lütkemeyer, Susanne Meyer-Büser and Timotheus Vermeulen, as well as a conversation between Diango Hernández and Alfredo Cramerotti (ISBN 978-3-95476-161-6).


Der theoretische Strand mäandert als ein großes Thema durch die Räume von Museum Morsbroich, die Diango Hernández in einer umfassenden Einzelausstellung bespielt. Theoretical Beach steht für das Bild des Übergangs vom Meer aufs feste Land. Er umfasst das reizvolle Zusammenspiel von widerstreitenden Prinzipien, von abstrakt-theoretischem Denken und der sinnlich-materiellen Präsenz des Strandes.

Mit leichten und spielerischen Gesten verwandelt der Künstler die Räume in tropische Sphären, in denen maritime Architekturen, exotische Früchte und pastellige Farbgebung den Betrachter einstimmen und ihn öffnen für eine Auseinandersetzung mit grundlegenden Fragen des Lebens. Genau jener Punkt also wird thematisiert, an dem die „Bewegung des Daseins“ in der Metaphorik des Meeres auf das „feste Land“ trifft, d.h. auf jenen Ort, „auf dem der Mensch seine Institutionen errichtet“ (Hans Blumenberg). Dort manifestieren sich die Kategorien und Werte des Daseins, die die kulturellen, sozialen und politischen Systeme formen und bestimmen.

Der Strand verweist darüber hinaus auf Kuba, den tropischen Herkunftsort des Künstlers, und wird zugleich aber auch zu einem imaginierten Sehnsuchtsort, an dem sich Biografie, Utopie und Erinnerung überlagern und neu mischen. Biografische Anspielungen eines Aufwachsens im sozialistischen Kuba treffen auf die künstlerische Auseinandersetzung mit der Moderne. Die aus einem Mix unterschiedlichster Bezüge sich speisende spezifische Vorstellung von tropischer Identität bildet die „Bio“-Sphäre des theoretischen Strandes, innerhalb derer der Künstler die Grundlagen seines künstlerischen Arbeitens definiert.

Wellentexte ziehen als raumumspannende Wandgemälde durch den Mittelbau des Schlosses und verwandeln diesen in eine Art Aquarium, in dem alles in Bewegung zu sein scheint. Im Gegenteil dazu dienen die Eckräume der Seitenflügel als Ankerpunkte. Dort stranden – im wörtlichen sowie im übertragenen Sinne – die Betrachter auf Sandbänken. Die so Geerdeten blicken an der Grenze vom festen Land zum Meer auf die bewegten Wellentextgemälde. In den Eckräumen verortet der Künstler sich selbst – mitunter auch in seiner Erinnerung, wenn er den Grundriss seiner kubanischen Wohnung als skulpturale Form in den Ausstellungskontext einbringt.

Zur Ausstellung erscheint im DISTANZ Verlag ein Katalog mit einem Künstlertext von Diango Hernández, einem Vorwort von Markus Heinzelmann und Essays von Stefanie Kreuzer, Marcus Lütkemeyer, Susanne Meyer-Büser und Timotheus Vermeulen sowie einem Gespräch zwischen Diango Hernández und Alfredo Cramerotti.

Zur Eröffnung am Sonntag, 22. Mai, um 12 Uhr im Spiegelsaal von Museum Morsbroich sind Sie und Ihre Freunde herzlich eingeladen.

Kuratorin der Ausstellung ist Stefanie Kreuzer.

22 May – 28 August 2016
Museum Morsbroich
Gustav-Heinemann-Str. 80
51377 Leverkusen
Telefon: +49 (0)214 85556-0
Fax: +49 (0)214 85556-44
museum-morsbroich@kulturstadtlev.de
all Anne Pöhlmann

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