The solo-presentation TRAS-PASSING at the Berliner Liste 2014 presents selected recent works by the Berlin-based Peruvian artist Tania Bedriñana, in the media painting, sculpture, and drawing. In her art Tania Bedriñana concerns herself with fundamental questions of how images are created. In doing so, she trespasses (Span. traspasar) several art forms.
The childlike being, its grace and directness, is a source of Tania Bedriñana’s pictorial inventions, with which she crosses the boundaries of artistic genres as well as a sensual threshold. The pictures reveal a vulnerability that refers to something deeply human and is accentuated by the mostly female children figures. It is not the illustration of a narration or the realization of a concept that she tries to fulfil. She rather tries to capture the moment of appearance – however volatile it may be. Her focus is on an authentic, expressive creative work, which is rooted in her person and her biography. Particularly in revealing the emerging process of her art, she approaches the picture as an event.
Already in her early temporary installations the artist combines different modes of artistic production like cut out, painting and wall drawing. The figures, which are usually cut from paper or textiles painted with oil or watercolour, emerge from the upper layers of the wall or are associatively arranged upon it. With her drawings she even pierces the plastering and thus opens up a new, formerly hidden dimension. Although the single, fragmented figure does have a rather distinct presence, there is an all-encompassing correlation recognizable and the room appears to be alive for just a short while.
The moment in which something emerges from the surface, lingers there or disappears again is the mystery of painting, which Tania Bedriñana radically tries to unravel. One also gets the impression of volatility while looking at her painting Rosa Madder. It shows a girl figure, which in a luminous red floats across the dark ground, seemingly lingering there for an instant. Tania Bedriñana applies the oil paint in layers, rubs it into the canvas and thus strains the surface until a matte or glossy patina has developed. The painted surface can be seen synonymous with the skin. “In every moment,” describes Georges Didi-Huberman this phenomenon, “the artists run the risk of skinning the flesh of their ‘subjects’, of the ‘figure’ or face […].” The repeated treatment of the picture’s texture and material, however, allows the artist to retrieve the figuration from the paint’s substance and chroma. Paintings like Der Kreis or the series Soplos (Hauchen) are characterized by an airy, seemingly transparent manner of painting and a graceful, almost ghostly quietness of the figures.
With a tender, caressing stroke the artist lays out her light drawings. They show children residing in undefined rooms and involved in some sort of activity, either alone, as pair or in a group, in childlike innocence or as enfant terrible. The play, which unites seriousness and amusement, can be detected in particular scenes but the figure’s actions remain mysteriously vague and in the end beyond words.
Lately, Tania Bedriñana also created sculptural works like el brazo que crece and katzenkinder. Here she transfers the figures familiar to her into the medium of ceramic. After the application of a slip-gaze and the heating process the hand-sized childlike figures have a vulnerable, in parts even morbid appearance. This is emphasized by superficial scratches, deformations, or missing limbs – which, however, do not disturb the figure’s childlike being.
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Tania Bedriñana was born in 1973 in Lima, Peru. She studied fine arts at Católica del Perú, at Kunsthochschule Kassel and Berlin University of the Arts. She hold a teaching position at Fine Arts School Lima and was substitute professor at Kunsthochschule Kassel. Since 2002 she lives and works in Berlin. Her work has been part of several solo and group exhibitions in Europe and South America, e.g. in Kunstraum Bethanien (Berlin), Le Centquarte (Paris), Museo de Arte de San Marcos (Lima), Galerie ICPNA (Lima), and in the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (Santiago de Chile).
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Marie Christine Tams studied Art History and American Studies at Humboldt- University, Berlin, where she afterwards worked at the Institute of Cultural History and Theory. She currently writes her doctoral thesis on the problem of artistic expression in the art of Helene Schjerfbeck and Gwen John at Berlin University of the Arts. Since spring 2011 she is scientific employee at the Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation Berlin.