Gazmend Kalemi & Miriam Humer
11 January – 4 March 2018
For the past two years Kalemi has produced, and keeps producing, a continuously expanding volume of small, medium and large size works of abstract watercolour on paper. From the very beginning, explains Humer, she found them to be ‘so good, and true, and strong, and to be the best work that he has ever done.’ This is despite Kalemi’s own ongoing doubts as to whether this body of work should be what he is pursuing, especially when he compares them with his large scale detailed drawings, in which he captures concrete architecture and landscapes.
Through this debate Kalemi and Humer found the title for the exhibition Interlud. An interval in time, a certain pivotal moment in which you are doing something that is different from what has happened, what you did before, and so alters the after.
‘When I looked up the word interlude, I found out that it is also a synonym for a breathing pause.’ Explains Humer. ‘I have such strong feelings towards the work Gazmend is doing. Something in myself deeply responds to it. Phenomena I was always fascinated by: What does exist? What is? What radiates? When do things become apparent, and when do they fade away and disappear into invisibility, but are still there, and are just covered? What is necessary for things to become manifest, what is manifestation? And then the idea of the vessel, the container, humans as vessels; what is knowledge, what is experience, where is what is captured and stored, the layers and sediments within us… What connects the inside and the outside?
Humer finds herself, amongst the craziness of everyday life, sorting through boxes and cardboard trays containing all kinds of paper pieces, fragments, layers of different periods of time; another may consider them as leftover trash, used or dirty, but to her, paying attention to these pieces, that she has kept safe for many years, is an integral part of the process. Using this material, integrating it, combining it with ‘new’ or ‘fresh’ material, trimming the pieces into geometrical compatible players that she can join, merge and balance is all key. Structure and chaos were, and always will be, strong poles she is torn between, where she is trying to balance in daily life materialized surroundings as well. Working with geometric shapes and patterns, like the equilateral ‘stable’ triangle, has therapeutic value for her.
Kalemi compares their work to music. The single pieces in a series are like tones which you can put together, and a certain melody will arise, and then adding more the play of composition starts. It works the same way when integrating Humer’s work. For example, a small colourful, minimal but vibrant, etching of a bundle of lines by Humer, next to a big watercolour painting of Kalemi. ‘It´s like a certain string you pull, the initial source of sound, or atmosphere, you tune something and from there you follow it up and expand the sound guiding what to place next…’