BLVSH and Culture.Room are pleased to present 13 artistic positions from the fields of painting, photography and sculpture at the Paloma Bar at Kottbusser Tor. In a still male-dominated art and culture scene, the diverse (artistic) perspectives of FLINTA* (Female, Lesbian, Inter, Non-binary, Trans, Genderqueer and Agender) people are still largely underrepresented. The FLINTA* movement has been active in our society since the 90s for the rights and recognition of these groups of people, but we still experience a lack of acceptance, discrimination of these people and their ideas and concepts, also in the cultural sector.
Based on this, the curatorial foundation of this exhibition is the conviction that art in all its forms and varieties has the potential to process important political and social currents in a wide variety of media and thus to advance important social issues. For above all, the art & culture scene can no longer be thought of or understood without the diverse and exciting perspectives of FLINTA* individuals. In this case, art thus presents itself not as an end in itself, but as a catalyst of a long overdue social rethinking.
This event therefore serves to raise awareness of the perspectives of FLINTA* persons, to present the works in as safe a space as possible, to hear the voices of the artists and to perceive their ideas and concepts without bias. In line with the motto of the BLVSH collective, this event is about promoting the visibility of women, trans and non-binary people and their flourishing in a still male-dominated cultural scene.
Vanda Petrella / Parole Dure Studios
Vanda Petrella is a visual artist born and raised in the south of Italy, Capua. Her first steps towards photography date to 2012 self-taught experiments with an analog camera while completing her MA in Law. After a second MA in Digital Communication she focused entirely on the studies of Photography and Graphic Design in Naples, a city well known for its creative and artistic ferment. Following her professional works in both Rome and London, she now lives in Berlin, where she carries out her artistic and professional activities. Her photos have been published in several international magazines, such as Purple Haze, Kaltblut, and Faith.
The artist focuses on reappropriating and liberating feminine authenticity from the male gaze and overcoming the objectification of the female body. Hence ‘Blooming’: a series of analog photographs representing women as Muses in a sacred space, free to explore the infinte ways of experiencing femininity. The representation of other women is self-representation — it restores freedom and dignity and creates the space needed for Blooming.
Julia Kobel is a 3D artist based in Berlin, where she is currently working as a 3D designer. In 2017 she found her passion for 3D Design, ever since she is experimenting with dynamic and organic forms, finding harmony with combining different haptics and details as well as exploring a world consisting of technic and nature. A central theme in her work is a constructed reality that at first glance contains real components and functions, but at second glance appears unreal and changed in many ways.
Paula Theiss [ZENA]
The past weeks and months have been very stressful, full of work, commitments and expectations. Because of this, my mental health is not very good at the moment. This makes it very difficult for me to be creative, to discover new things, to get out of my comfort zone and to participate in public life. For some time now I have been thinking about what “blossoming, blooming, coming to life” means to me. For a very long time, I didn’t have a creative idea to implement this theme pictorially. Suddenly, however, I realised what “blossoming, blooming, coming to life” can mean for me personally, especially in situations or phases when I am not doing well.
For me, “blossoming, blooming, coming to life” currently means becoming aware of my own limits, fears, insecurities and expectations and actively perceiving and accepting them. Despite social expectations, pressure to perform, fears and negative thoughts, it means having the courage to face all this, to explore my own limits anew and to get out of my comfort zone. “Blossoming, blooming, coming to life” can also mean seeking help from friends, family or professionals. slowly, step by step…
As an artist, Antoinette creates images that are introspective, as self exploration is their purpose. Whether it’s documentary or staged, their works draw on the complexity that is existence and aims to be humane. This comes from the fact that their existence as a queer black person born and raised in Europe, is inherently political which is undeniably part of their narrative yet, they choose to reject discourse and the intellectualisation of their existence. Through their work they create a space that allows them to exist safely. Recurrent themes found in Antoinette’s work are heritage, queerness, introspection, love and belonging.
Lucia Jost (born 1998) is a portrait and reportage photographer from Berlin-Kreuzberg. In her photography she deals a lot with analog processes and the female view through the camera. Thereby she lifts the people around her on a big stage and plays with nostalgic stagings and a dramatic visual language. In her long-term project “TÖCHTER DER HAUPTSTADT” she deals with the women of her generation. In a collection of portraits she shows the viewer different facets of femininity and deals with themes such as friendship, motherhood, sexuality and emancipation, as well as the connection between women and the big city.
TÖCHTER DER HAUPTSTADT is a homage to the Berlin woman of today…
Olivia Waligora / Lilemi2
Olivia Waligora (known as “Lilemi2”) is a Polish/ Norwegian artist. Her passion is still and motion pictures, with a focus on the person and the story behind them. For her, the face, the body and the emotions of the main character are most captivating and fascinating. Her photographic and filmmaking style is characterised by strong contrasts, low light and dark aesthetics with a cinematic touch. The motifs in her images are often dynamic and surrealistic. Her biggest motivation to create is the need for escapism from the melancholy of day to day life. Her surreal works create a unique and often eerie mood, toying with the audience’s experience of the visuals and audio, and at times inviting them to empathize with the discomfort or anxiety of the main character.
Untold Angst is a symbolic short story portraying a person overwhelmed with anxiety. It is a depiction of the search for creativity while dealing with one’s fear and dark thoughts. It is also a tribute to the beauty that lies in that darkness. The film personifies the intrusive thoughts as dark creatures and “demons” who accompany her every step of the way. While the film progresses, the dark characters ‘lose’ their dominant and aggressive presence and start simply accompanying her side, showing the journey of regaining control over, and finding one’s way through, bad moments in life and mental darkness.
Franziska Hemler, born in 1994 in Freiburg i.Br., studied art education in Frankfurt am Main with a focus on painting. In her artistic practice, she repeatedly deals with space as a concept, whereby her photographic works are closely linked to her paintings and drawings.
The photographs (2018 – 2022) revolve around artificially constructed urban and residential space: the motifs for these are often parts of buildings that can be assigned to Brutalism in a broader sense – such as the Sonnenring in Frankfurt am Main, the Corbusierhaus in Berlin, the National Theatre in London. These buildings are often met with ambivalent criticism: once thought of as a forward-looking way of living, they were and are still considered gray monstrosities in the urban landscape, despite being protected as historical monuments. Franziska Hemler takes a close look. She does not take pictures in the sense of documentary architectural photography, but looks for the detail and thus opens up new perspectives and pictorial spaces.
Pia Fleckenstein studied at the Faculty of Design in Würzburg. Today she lives and paints in Hamburg. Her focus lies on sculptures made of steel and large acrylic paintings on wood. In her work she searches for color, for form and their mutual dissolution. She deals with the anatomy of the female body and its interactions with its surroundings.
In the process she searches for interweavings of pictorial planes that dissolve boundaries between spaces, protagonists and contents and translate them into fluid tissues. Everything represented reaches a surface, becomes a tissue, an epidermis and a homogeneous surface. Figures lose their individuality, become fleeting impressions and parts of a mosaic. In other words, she is looking for the divine in her works.
Mascha Leskien / NAKED SOLIDARITY
NAKED SOLIDARITY was created in early 2021 as a fundraising project to support people affected by patriarchal oppression. By photographing naked bodies, the project’s founder and photographer, Mascha Leskien, sends a strong message against the stigmatization and taboo of nudity. Provocatively, the Berliner uses nudity to draw attention to the non-consensual sexualization of naked bodies. For Mascha, the idea is to highlight that a person’s value, essence and professionalism are not based on how revealing or non-revealing they present themselves.
The work of Charlotte Rauch – also signing as Lounar – can be understood as an intersection of psychology and visual art. Curious for human connections, the artist from Berlin focuses both in her everyday life and in her art on how social dynamics effect the Psyche. In this context, she disclaims the frequently existing stigma of darker emotions and strives towards an acceptance and authentic integration of whatever lives within. In this context, she disclaims the frequently existing stigma of darker emotions and strives towards acceptance and authentic integration of whatever lives within. Lounar’s work is intuitive and introspective. She primarily paints on linen canvases and wooden panels, whose surfaces she transforms and expands by adding various materials like fabric or aluminium. Sometimes she repeats this process multiple times until eventually the work consists of several layers and sentiments that are all joined in the paintings’ inherent story.
Lounar will contribute to the BLVSH collective exhibition with a series of paintings in which she explored melancholic strength. Through the expression of vulnerability and sensibility, blossoming seems possible. The observer is invited to follow this route to the inside for a moment and join a space of reconciliation
Magda Janicka comes from Tychy, Poland and lives in Berlin. Magda studied the German language and literature, graphic arts and visual education in Cracow. Her drawn stories and illustrations are inspired mainly by everyday situations such as going shopping, waiting at the bus stop, barbecuing by the water or bumming around in front of the late-night grocery store. With simple outlines, usually with a color accent, she creates the scenes in which the prose of life brings with it plenty of oddities and absurdities.
Julia Gal (they/she) is a Berlin based mixed media artist who uses photography, writing, installations and performances to express the unsaid art functions as a connector of emotions, the questions left unspoken and all things abstract.
In addition to the artistic positions, FLINTA-affiliated musicians and DJs will provide a musical supporting program during the exhibition period, as well as at the afterparty taking place on October 6.
In addition, a three-hour DJ workshop by FLAX [Metaware] will take place on October 5 at 4 pm. Registrations for this can be made via BLVSH’s Instagram channel @blvsh.berlin.
//The event is kindly supported by: