Database > Exhibition / Event > ephemeropteræ 2017/#11 – Janaina Tschäpe and David Gruber |..

ephemeropteræ 2017/#11 – Janaina Tschäpe and David Gruber | Linton Kwesi Johnson

15.09.2017 - 15.09.2017

Thyssen-Bornemisza Augarten Contemporary, Wien / Österreich

Janaina Tschäpe and David Gruber introduce their long-term cooperative projects “Fictionary of Corals and Jellies” and “Sea, Blood,” which revolve around scientific and fictional storytelling. The two have created a salon-like atmosphere in Brooklyn, New York, where Gruber’s stories from his laboratory and far-flung underwater adventures are exhibited in an artistic context. Tschäpe contributes her imaginary perspective and translation of these ideas and concepts into artistic form, more specifically into drawing.... The salon nourishes their symbiotic relationship where both science and art advance and morph in a state where real and unreal become almost indiscernible.

In his “Selected Poems,” the biggest living legend of the Afro-Carribean dub-poetry and reggae music Linton Kwesi Johnson performs his verses on the formation of nations via Black Atlantic routes, narratives of oppression, racism, and emancipation—lyrics and poetry as a political act. Much of Johnson’s poetry deals primarily with the experiences of being an African-Caribbean in Britain. “Writing was a political act and poetry was a cultural weapon,” he told an interviewer in 2008. His most striking and celebrated work was arguably produced in the 1980s, with Johnson’s spirit of anger and protest finding its ideal subject and opposite under Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government. Poems such as “Sonny’s Lettah” and “Di Great Insohreckshan” contain accounts of police brutality upon young black men, and capture the period’s unwritten attitude of resistance and antagonism in their empathic descriptions of rioting and imprisonment. Told via the uncompromising, yet generous and inventive use of unstandardized Jamaican patois, the poems are alive with Johnson’s relish of the tics and rhythms of spoken language.


David Gruber is an underwater photographer, marine biologist, coral reef and photosynthesis expert, lab geek, remote operated vehicle builder, camera inventor, and a City University of New York professor (awarded with Presidential recognition 2016). His publications span from academic science papers in top-tier scientific journals to an award-winning popular science article in the New Yorker. Last year, Gruber was awarded the National Geographic Innovation Challenge grant with Harvard roboticist Rob Wood to develop new “soft” and “delicate” deep-sea sampling tools, a project that the National Science Foundation is now funding. He also discovered the first biofluorescent sea-turtle near Papua New Guinea; developed the first “Shark-Eye” camera to gain a shark’s eye perspective of the world (to better understand sharks and help build public empathy to aid in their protection); isolated a new family of fluorescent proteins from marine eels; developed a novel proxy to measure coral bleaching into the past thousand years and published the most comprehensive article on coral genomics. Gruber is a National Geographic Explorer with labs based at The American Museum of Natural History and the City University of New York where he has discovered scores of novel fluorescent compounds from marine animals. Several of these compounds have been deployed as tools to study cancer drugs and to understand the brain. He recently delivered a top-viewed TED talk on diving with sharks and glowing animals at Mission Blue II, presented the keynote address at the Explorer’s Club 2016 annual dinner (a talk the honorable Steven Hawkins and Neil de Grass Tyson bestowed on the club the two years prior). Gruber swam with sharks around the world for three-hour BBC blue-chip special “Shark” (2016) as well as the 2016 PBS broadcast “Creatures of Light” and Discovery Channel’s “Alien Shark” (2016). Gruber has a remarkable way of reaching the public, noted for his ability to explain science on a pedestrian level. Resultantly, his videos, talks, and writing have garnered tens of millions of views between YouTube, Nat Geo TV, TED, and other popular news outlets. He actively collaborates with Janaina Tschäpe.

Janaina Tschäpe received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Hochschule fur Bildende Kuenste, Hamburg and her Master in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts, New. She currently lives and works in New York. Exploring all kinds of landscapes, Tschäpe’s work is an invitation to an extraordinary world, a sensual place full of malleable creatures and amorphous beings. Through various forms of expression, the artist constantly reinvents perceptions of the natural world, making use of a dynamic combination of photography, drawings, paintings, and sculptures. Together these mediums bring the observer into Tschäpe’s watery, organic universe of curiosity, astonishment, and wonder. The multifaceted structure of Tschäpe’s creative process functions as an attempt to organize and “categorize” her creatures, invented based on memories, myths, and dreams, opening up a dialogue that subverts our usual perceptions of landscapes and beings, realigning our vision of the landscape and nature in general. Thriving for an endlessly prolific universe, Tschäpe is also somehow measuring time. While in her earlier works Tschäpe often placed herself within the landscape, she now explores her memories, her inner after-images, conjuring her travels and expeditions to a deeply-layered remembrance. Whether through her paintings and drawings or photography and film, Tschäpe reacts to her life experiences in an intense meditative contemplation of the landscape.

Jamaican-British legend of the dub-poetry Linton Kwesi Johnson came to London in 1963, went to Tulse Hill secondary school and later studied Sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He was a member of the Black Panthers and developed his work with Rasta Love, a group of poets and drummers. In 1977 he was awarded a C. Day Lewis Fellowship, becoming the writer-in-residence for Lambeth. He then worked at the Keskidee Centre, the first home of Black theatre and art in London. In 1974, Race Today published Johnson’s first collection of poetry, Voices of the Living and the Dead. He has had four more books published and in 2002 became only the second living poet and the first black poet to have his work included in Penguin’s Modern Classics series, under the title Mi Revalueshanary Fren: Selected Poems. Johnson’s first album, Dread Beat An Blood was released in 1978, and since then he has released fourteen additional albums, including LKJ Live in Paris in 2004, a CD and DVD celebrating his 25th anniversary as a reggae recording artist. Linton Kwesi Johnson has been running his own record label, LKJ Records, since 1981. He has worked in journalism and still regularly tours around the world with the Dennis Bovell Dub Band. He is also a Trustee of the George Padmore Institute. In 2003 Johnson was bestowed with an honorary fellowship from his alma mater, Goldsmiths College.


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last modified at 26.07.2017

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