5 billion solar years ..:::.. (Group show featuring Etel Adnan, Erg├╝l Cengiz, Hadley+Maxwell and Viron Erol Vert). 05.06.2014 – 31.07.2014  

Press Release
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5 billion solar years ..::.. is a line and a pictogram from the poem The Arab Apocalypse (1980-1990) by Lebanese born artist and poet Etel Adnan, and the title of an exhibition at the Galerie Reinhard Hauff. The exhibition displays works in various media by European/American artists with Middle Eastern roots, or artists sourcing inspiration in Middle Eastern art. Fascinating new visual languages result from this bi-directional process. Etel Adnan, born 1925 in Beirut, studied philosophy in Paris and California where she settled after leaving Lebanon. She still lives in Paris and the San Francisco area. The artist’s landscape paintings with the sun, the sea and the horizon in strong, simplified colour fields recall impressions from the home country she left behind. Her poems express her life in exile and often refer to personal experiences, philosophical and political ideas and the violence of the civil war in Lebanon. Etel Adnan was a major contributor to the Documenta 13 in in Kassel, 2012, and is also participating in the Whitney Biennial in New York this year. Her solo show at the Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Qatar, runs through July 6th, 2014.

In 2012, the Canadian artist duo
Hadley+Maxwell, living and working in Berlin, integrated Etel Adnan’s reading Chapter XVIII of her poem The Arab Apocalypse into the work Etel’s Sun in their sound and light installation Skies of the Heart, commissioned for the Marrakech Biennial. Skies of the Heart is a group of light objects – sculptures or lamps of copper or tin conceived by the artists and hand made by traditional Moroccan craftsmen. The multiple light patterns from these celestial bodies reflect on walls, ceilings and floors, creating a powerful ambiance filled with the words and voice of Etel Adnan. In Arabic, French and English, she describes the sun’s power as both beautiful and destructive, asking how it can continue to witness the brutality of human violence without interfering. We are particularly pleased to be able to show large parts of this installation, and for the very first time together with paintings by Etel Adnan. Hadley+Maxwell are represented with large sculptural installations at the 2014 Sydney Biennial.

Traditional Middle Eastern ornaments have been reinterpreted in the large-format cut outs by the Hamburg artist
Ergül Cengiz (*1975), combining layers of net-works to create intricate plays of light and shadow. Together with the reflections and pictograms emanating from Hadley+Maxwell’s installation, multiple pattern types enhance each other. Both veil and wall, transparent and solid, these sheets hung from the ceiling, function as room dividers. While illustrating the evolutionary process of ornament, the integration of perspective and multidimensionality with the flatness of the pattern shows the fusion of Cengiz’ Turkish origins with her German background. Viron Erol Vert, born in 1975 in the Emsland, Germany, lives in Berlin and Istanbul. With a background in fashion, he works in various media usually involving some elements of traditional craftsmanship in his production, which range from clothing, to home furnishing, carpets and sculptures. Studying the mythology that contributes to the form and usage of familiar objects, he creates works which are vehicles for additional mythologies: From the ordinary carpet to the flying carpet, the magic carpet, from the common headscarf and the “decency” ideology behind women being covered in public to hairy scarves, from traditional friendship bedspreads with idyllic and nationalistic iconography to green peace and peace all over, Vert’s messages are designed to rethink automatic responses to cultural programming. Viron Erol Vert will have a solo show at the Künstlerhaus Stuttgart in September 2014.

The Galerie Reinhard Hauff is most grateful to the Galerie Sfir-Semmler, Hamburg and Beirut, for their valuable contribution to this exhibition.