Don't worry, there will be more problems.
Curated by Malina Lauterbach & Dierk Höhne
fffriedrich, Alte Mainzer Gasse 4-6
Frankfurt am Main
Dialogue between the artist Eric Meier and the curators Malina Lauterbach and Dierk Höhne
ML/DH You were born in East Berlin in 1989 and grew up in Frankfurt (Oder). What significance does your biography have for the investigation of supposedly ‘typical‘ East German sensitivities?
EM My biography is clearly the starting point for my sensitivity in dealing with this topic. My work is derived from that. Family experiences, the environment of an East German small town, the current political situation and how to deal with it, to name just a few points. All of that is reflected in it.
I understand my photographic work as a search for the metaphorical potential of images. But I never start thinking, I still need this or that. It comes to me. The slightly ruinous and worn out attracts me. Social criticism is, I believe, inherent in the places themselves, which remain anonymous, fragmented and fragmentary. In the context of the exhibition, lines, correlations and reading directions are certainly of a political nature, too. Another approach is that of archiving. The (building) material in public space is disappearing. At the same time, the pictures speak of the past and the present alike. It is not about reality or truth. It's about my identity, which is shaped by such an environment that is still part of a collective East German identity even after 30 years.
If so, then the irony for me is in the ‘typical’ German gesture of ‘Verschlimmbesserung’ (improving things for the worse). The dedication of each garage owner to design his / her gate. Also in the ‘German Angst’ as described by psychology: an unexplained, apparently obvious fear of loss of property, which is reflected in the appearance of the gates. “THOR” also means ‘Thor Steinar’, the widespread neo-Nazi clothing company from Königs Wusterhausen, and at the same time refers to the abuse of Germanic mythology by the Nazis, which perverted them as ‘primordial German high culture’. In the mythological moment there is also an unexplained ‘behind’. The awareness that the NSU used such garages to build bombs.
Where photography ends, spatial work begins: sculpture, object, text, etc. I find this interaction very appealing. To quote from a place or an environment with pictures and to carry this mood further into the room in which the depicted material appears physically deformed or fragmented. I then understand the exhibition like a cosmos or a setting.
For me, the materials create different levels of meaning. Concrete e.g. is an architectural reference, a cheap material, a display for an urban situation. I use collected schnapps bottles for the glass work. Through fragmentation and melting they lose their original shape and practically dissolve. This results in new consistencies
(Translation: Klaus-R. Voss)