Chiara Valci Mazzara

.Umbruch These/Upheaval , Grou show, curated, as artistic director of fontaine b. and with Gabriela Anco, with Vadim Zakharov; artists: Maya Attoun (presentation of her new publication), Lindy Annis, Nati Cerutti, Daniela Comani, Arnold Dreyblatt, Lucio Fontana(courtesy of Fondazione Morra, Naples), Malcolm Green, Elana Katz, Hermann Nitsch(courtesy of Morra Foundation/Nitsch Museum Naples), Jacopo Rinaldi, Serge Stephan, Mariana Vassileva , hosted by FreeHome Berlin, Berlin, Germany


Once more fontaine b. is delighted to collaborate with Freehome – Artist to Artist, Maria and Vadim Zakharov’s space in order to bring out a sublime exhibition triggered by the new project, a hand drawn A Weekly Planner & Artist Book Celebrating Frankenstein’s Bicentennial conceived by Maya Attoun. Serving as a pillar, as well as a seed to the show, the delicate artwork comprises a carefully designed algorithm, a grid of concrete numbers, lines, letters alongside organic yet scientific anatomical, biological drawings. 

It is through working on this grid, on its watermark, that Maya Attoun reevaluates the concept of time suggesting a new order through visual reference. The act of drawing itself extends the seconds, the minutes, grasping the gesture of the suspended moments.

Thus time brings changes, mutations, turmoils, reevaluations. Time is Umbruchupheaval – a state of deep transformative changes, a continuous metamorphosis, a predicament of transition. 

Oddly, in German Umbruch can also suggest the mere fact of mise en page, page composition, which yet again evokes the thorough work of Attoun’s book. 

On this occasion, fontaine b. is presenting works by two acclaimed masters of Art: Lucio Fontanaand Hermann Nitsch, both works standing on the opposite spectrum of the Ubmruch meaning; Fontana’s copper plate etching is revealing deep Upheaval, while Nitsch’s casket uncovers a diligent documentation of The Orgies Mysteries Theater. 

Besides the Maya Attoun’s artist book and drawings, the exhibition will present works from the following artists:

Lindy Annis, Nati Cerutti, Daniela Comani, Arnold Dreyblatt, Lucio Fontana(courtesy of fontaine b.), Vanessa Enriquez, Malcolm Green, Elana Katz, Hermann Nitsch(courtesy of fontaine b.)Jacopo Rinaldi, Serge Stephan, Mariana Vassileva 


Friday 20th of April



Lecture / Presentation of the artist book by Maya Attoun, accompanied by a sound installation conceived by the artist at 19.00

Performance by Serge Stephan at 20.00 

Saturday 21st of April 


Sunday 22nd of April 


Coffee and cake

Please join us on Friday 20th of Aprilfor an opening night aperitif, on Saturday 21st of Aprilfor a private viewing and Sunday 22nd of Aprilfor an intimate coffee and cake get-together.  


Text to the exhibition by Giada Dalla Bonta

UmbruchThese / Upheaval

Art and culture are relentlessly at crossroads. Although few things turnover in the
cultural system, the poetic of change still dominates its realm, having become a
paradigm by itself with the revolutionary impulse of avant-garde movements, to
mention one of the most prominent phenomena of this sort. Besides this, and
most importantly, the nature of this paradigm itself rejects any possible
formalization, which would nail it in fixity. Despite this oxymoron, artistic practices
have rarely been stuck in it, articulating instead manifolds strategies in the most
tumultuous conditions: one could even state that it is this binomial the most
powerful catalyzer of development. This paradox is tellingly suggested in the
German word Umbruch, which is used to indicate both a state of radical change or
turmoil and the act of formatting a layout of a printed page. Instead of solving the
contradiction in one direction or the other, the current exhibition reinforces it by
addressing the concept of Umbruch These to fourteen artists. This exhibition
inquires the role of Umbruch in the artistic practice, in its linear development and
shifts, its losses and synthesis; the decisive yet indistinguishable movements within
a poetic discourse that inevitably accompany, block and revive the creative
process. It is an inquiry on structures and changes that doesn’t pretend to grasp
and circumscribe the elusive but investigates the complex spectrum of the
dynamics between these two opposite conditions. Rather than obliterating each
other, the unexpected rupture and the linear predictability of re-composition are
reciprocally necessary to each other and are mutually conditioned.
The dissected and demiurgically re-assembled character of artistic and cognitive
Umbruch is elegantly embodied in Maya Attoun’s 2018, an artist’s book and
weekly year planner that pays homage to the bicentennial of Frankenstein.
Attoun’s works focus primarily on the concept of modernity and its articulations in
the territories of myth, narratology, science and private life. Despite encompassing
a multiplicity of media, her artistic process is often initiated by the act of drawing,
hereby fully expressed. The artist has illustrated a personal receptacle of
information, which is differently developed every month in both conceptual and
aesthetical terms: her references span from her Instagram photos to instruction
manuals, anatomical illustrations and measuring instruments. Coherently with her

notion of hypertextualization in art as the modality of interaction between thought
processes and visual or textual data, Attoun conceive the heterogeneous and
complex identity of Mary Shelley’s Modern Prometheus in the structure of 2018 as
much as in its subjects, often depicting details and body sections that finely
determine the layout of each page.
More straightforwardly concerned on trauma, namely that of 9/11, the work of
Arnold Dreyblatt focuses on the impact of break overs and to the theory of
flashbulb memory, according to which shocking events and news are imprinted
permanently in the brain as highly detailed memories. Coherently with Dreyblatt’s
interest in archive and personal memory, Flash Event Recall, 2011 appeared in
Berliner Zeitung as a reflection upon the posthumous recollection of an Umbruch,
a cognitive act that is formalized also in terms of graphic and textual layout. Tightly
bound to the print media, the works of Daniela Comani and Malcolm Green
develop a strategy that reverses that of Dreyblatt: the collective memory of
Western culture is in fact destabilized by direct interventions on classics of
literature and philosophy, thus undermining past certainties. Through different
formats, the series in progress of Comani deconstruct social and identitarian
stereotypes within the same language of the medium that establishes them. With
New publications edited by Daniela Comani, cover’s layout of literary milestones
are manipulated by unnoticeable trompe-l’oeil: the recurring anomaly subverts
the protagonists’ gender, calling into question the very base of culture through a
ludic invite to a transvalutation of values, as die Antichristin paradigmatically
unfolds. Partially due to his activity as both artist and publisher, Green intervenes
instead with clear-cut handwritings that interfere directly with the content of the
book, creating a new version of (Some) Statements of Lawrence Weiner (+Malcolm
Green), ironically applying the Statements’ assumption that a work’s existence
requires a readership rather than a physical presence. The spontaneity of Green’s
personal affirmation inflects with equal humor on his plastic lids – whose
destabilizing questions recall those of Fischli&Weiss’ Will happiness find me? –as
well as in the figure of Hamlet, a renowned embodiment of existential turmoil that
appears in various works. Invisible Hamlet, amongst others, processes 23
photographs of prominent characters by masking them with bandages as in H. G.
Wells’ novel, documenting the nascence of a hybrid being whose identity is fluidly
disappearing. Similarly, the Diaries of multimedia artist Nati Cerutti explore
existential shifts and upheavals, yet within a more confessional genre in which
meditative drawings and artworks’ sketches juxtapose with emotive surges and
personal data. This anarchic record is only subsequently filtrated from its most

intimate parts and masked with black color, which is a violent caesura that breaks
both the artist’s stream of consciousness and the journal’s outline. The space given
to artistic expression is reversed in Lindy Annis’ performance The Paternoster
Triology, becoming a single, defined frame within a public space: a passenger
elevator becomes a theatrical stage that moves endlessly in the grey page of an
administrative building, passing all the floors by the viewer. In doing so,
independent images become also part of a continuous sequence that the audience
has the opportunity to experience differently by simply changing the floors, thus
dissolving the rigid juxtaposition of auditorium and stage. Light Meter of Jacopo
Rinaldi interprets the concept of Umbruch theatrically as well, but in terms of
subtraction as Cerutti. A two-channel video stages Bernini’s Ecstasy of Saint
Teresa, one of the most iconic and destabilizing representation of personal and
religious change in fieri. Yet, the main focus is on the intermittence of the timed
light devices (the light meters), that by inserting a coin allow to admire the
artwork, as it happens in many churches of Rome. In doing so, the contemplation
of Teresa’s conversion is constantly interrupted by caesuras of shadow and by the
passage of visitors activating the device. In the poetic of Lucio Fontana, the
relationship between shadow and light reveals the rupture of the canvas’ tension
that is provoked by his cuts. Yet, as his renowned concept concetto spaziale
suggests, the third dimension acquires a fundamental role which, generated by an
energetic and resolute gesture, reflects the inner and personal inexhaustibleness
through the impenetrable depths of his cuts. Pierced and sliced through, the
surface becomes an access to another dimension. His rare etching aquatint Sette
Magnetico reveals the primal act in its potentiality, that is, the moment in which
the energy condenses and aligns before the authorial gesture discharges it. The
tension is not released, yet it is imminent: this state of liminality is what Duchamp
described as an infra-thin, the very matter of art as missing link, a gap of
infinitesimal difference. Also for Hermann Nitsch a decisive role is played by the
gesture, which is, contrary to Fontana, reiterated and prolonged in the structure of
rituality. His Orgien-Mysterien-Theater is intended as a Gesamtkunstwerk
epitomized by a catharsis, or Abreaktion, experienced through a series of striking
emotions: through the synesthesia of a Dionysian turmoil, the Apollonian order is
established again. The present works are editions of his artistic production, which
act not only as witnesses of the process, but also as an outcome of the Abreaktion,
standing each as a unique oeuvre. They are, rather, part of a meticulous narration
apart, an “artwork of the artwork”, that comprehends documentation and actual

art pieces. 96. Aktion | Vigna San Martino Napoli contains the photographic
documentation of the pentecostial Aktion along with a relict and a color study, the
combinatory potentiality of which allows the artist to identify synesthetic
relationships with the other senses, especially what he calls “a simultaneous
sounding of colour”. The tight bond between color and sound that lies at the core
concern of Nitsch’s poetics is revealed also in his Sinfonia Punta Campanella in 4
movimenti, where photographs, a relict of his paint Malaktion and a CD testimony
the happening and concert composed by the artist himself. By conceiving his own
notation system, the artist achieves the harmony between different tones in the
chromatic aberration of resonant masses, thus approaching color and sound as if
coming from the very same matter. “I have always dreamed of developing an art
based solely on harmonics, in which both mediums intermesh in the chronological
and spatial dimensions”, asserts Nitsch, who translates the roots of O.M.T.’s music
-the excess, the screams and the noise generated by extreme excitement- into a
symphonic form sui generis. The Sunday of Elana Katz reflects upon religion and
time in a totally different perspective: the double channel video shows the artist, a
secular Jew, crossing herself for one hour. The action transforms in its repetition,
developing an inconsistent rhythm that the flour her hand dips in traces on her
body. The structure is reiterated, stretched to its limits not to reach catharsis, nor
infinity, but to deprive the gesture of any meaning. Reversely, Martin Riches
identifies the Umbruch in the caesura of a rhythm, and namely that of the
counting of time. Originally trained as an architect, Riches creates machines that
are kinetic objects, sound sculptures, acoustic speech synthesizers. On this
occasion, the artist shows a self-built compound pendulum with a steel weight at
both ends. Swaying 15° to and fro once every 5 seconds, the clock stops ticking
within 30 hours, symbolizing a temporal Umbruch that is visually represented by
the clock, thus becoming a wooden monument of the inevitable Umbruch: the
occurrence, in fact, can be postponed by winding the clock, but it cannot be
avoided. Mariana Vassileva transforms with subtle interventions objects,
situations and manners by translating them in other references on a lyrical level,
as the relationship between Microphone and the poem My true name suggests in
its emotional movement. Vassileva’s visual representation serves as an instrument
of harmony between still life and the mental process behind movement. Her video
Toro shows a man defying the waves of the sea, sometimes surrendering,
sometimes fighting back. This image, reference to both the bravery of toreros and
Don Quixote against the windmills, recalls also in its composition, the eternity and

our humane short been on earth, a topic recurring also in her poetry. More
ironically, in Ann Noël’s artistic collaboration with Emmett Williams, they present
a performance which took place in the frame of a FLUXUS evening with with the
students from the Academy of Art in Poznan, elaborated a new version of 13 Ways
to Use Emmett Williams’ Skull, initially conceived in1963. The action involved Ann
Noël placing various objects, such as stockings, drills and hats, on the balding head
of an unimpressed Emmett Williams, whose straight faces and colorful shirt
heighten the comic in comparison with Noël’s expressivity, unfolding with irony a
wide palette of possibilities. Serge Stephane’s Giant Formats speculates with as
much as humor on a related topic. Conceived as a performance-nonperformance,
his participatory demo and an open discussion originates from a collaborative
work and invites to an individual confrontation with industrial matter and
technique, on a scale that contradicts the fiction of the ego. After an iconic
research of giants on the Internet, each image is computer manipulated with the
use of a white frame, an area, to erase the element of biological deformity with a
digital one. Fascinated by the sacrality of frames in the visual language of virtuality
and advertisement, Stephane aims to obtain a powerful media to experiment in loco.