Vanessa Brown + Mike Bourscheid
16th of December 2023 to 31st of January 2024
Seestr. 49 13347 Berlin-Wedding
Semi-medieval whispers echo, mingle, intertwine with chilling conceits of horror in Vanessa Brown and Mike Bourscheid’s duo exhibition Rustic Pain. Cartoonish whimsy peppers the room with notes of camp and pathos, in bodies of work that are otherwise rooted in both sincerity and humour.
A delicate blue sheath flanked by drowsy, silver bows opens to unveil an intriguing quartet of works that command attention. Here, Brown presents forms, delicately crafted by paper, textiles, and metals, that shift between dress and armour. Alternating between mesh, chainmail, print, and adornments, this layered application of the materials presents a visual obfuscation, conflating the real with the depicted, the surface for its depth.
Moving through these angelic shapes is Bourscheid’s narrative, encapsulated within six stained glass houses. Within this circle of glass dwell the intimate whispers of neighbourly lives, rife with gossip, judgments, and small scandals. These dollhouses like chambers, reminiscent of childhood memories, doubles as a greenhouse nurturing life throughout the exhibition - Aloe vera, rosemary, and money plants flourish, chosen to mirror the idiosyncrasies of their fictional owners: Indeed, each house is an embodiment of characters inspired by Bourscheid’s childhood neighbours and the haunting personas from horror cinema - from Carry to Dracula, Pennywise to the enigmatic twins in The Shining - finds residence in this cul-de-sac. Placed within painted grey brick walls harkening a rook, the space embodies an homage to the artist’s ancestral roots in Luxembourg, an echo of longing for familial solace. Windows, quilted and sown, bear tongues and harbor silk worms alongside fish eggs, portraying a duality of their essence: These portals, conduits of light and space, also offer a distorted view, echoing the unhealthy and decaying aspects of perception.
Rustic Pain invites you into a realm where the mundane collides with the eerie, where sweetness conceals shadows, and where the essence of perception is as intricate as the artworks themselves.