Erik Schmidt – Davide Zucco at Carlier | Gebauer, Berlin. 2021

Erik Schmidt & Davide Zucco

Opening February 7th, carlier | gebauer hosts Immo-Schmidt, a covid-friendly show in the gallery window with older works by the gallery’s artist Erik Schmidt and works by upcoming artist Davide Zucco.
The show is part of the initiative “SUNDAY OPEN - Lights on!” which sees several Berlin galleries open their windows as a way of circumnavigating the lockdown measures enforced until mid-February.

The works on display - including a film, paintings, photographs from the collaborative project Homestory done with Corinna Weidner and a bench - are all linked to one subject matter: the home.

In Platz der Vereinten Nationen, a 1999 film, we see Schmidt moving around an empty flat located in what was formerly known as Leninplatz in east Berlin. Although he moves around the apartment like a real estate agent, he is, in fact, narrating his dreams and plans for the space. On the upper floor he will install his studio and start painting. In this way, the film can be seen as a prologue to Schmidt’s artistic departure and ensuing life in Berlin. The film has an old feel to it, with a touch of faded patina similar to the paintings that are on display.

Similar to the film, the paintings, which depict former homes of Schmidt, function like snapshots in time. Painted from xeroxed photographs in a blueish tone with a pointillist approach which gives the photographs the grained feeling of a photocopy, they mark the start of Schmidt’s journey into painting. Their subject and grainy look bring us aesthetically back to places we have lived in. We all remember the facades of our past houses and we all dream about them once in a while. We hold them as dear memories, as bucolic moments to when life appeared to be easier.

Through these works, we experience the beginnings of Schmidt’s interest in portraying city-scapes, but in a broader sense, the photos of Homestory invite us to reflect upon the general meaning of the home. Homes are not only places where we live, but are also places of work and creation. They are status symbols. How you live is who you are. In many ways, an empty flat stands for a new beginning, hope, a fresh start. Or in the context of today’s pandemic, a space where one is confined.

In addition to referencing the topic of the home, perhaps most importantly, the display in the window aims to highlight the importance in Schmidt’s practice of observation of such public, private and social spaces that surround him. Here, we are thus exposed to Schmidt’s future trademark: the pertinent observation and narration of both the public and private through the medium of painting and film.

Reflecting and tying together the selection of Schmidt’s works are the metal surfaces of the bench and chair of Davide Zucco from 2019/2020.

In its own way, Zucco’s bench and chair reflect upon the different possibilities of living. The objects become modular and adaptable to one’s needs. Much like the artist and designer Bruno Munari professed in the 1950s, Zucco’s work reflects the notion of ‘modern’ furniture as something both multifunctional and modular, much like our lives are today: modular and adaptable to all our needs, lived in a domestic environment and within the virtual spaces of the internet.

The bench and chair are made partly from recycled materials: wood, metal, aluminium foil and plexiglas - all of which are re-used and repurposed from the artist’s studio. Nothing is wasted and all is recycled.

Immo-Schmidt alludes and invites to the forthcoming group show, ongoing schmidt pick. Acting as a point of departure for what will be a larger show, a number of works from a variety of artists from the 90s, the early 2000s and recent years will contextualise Schmidt’s trademark observations of public, private and social spaces.

We hope to see you then, but for now, we invite you to ponder upon the window and its display. Isn’t the home a lovely place to linger?

ongoing schmidt pick opens to the public on March 5th from 11am to 8pm.

Have a lovely Sunday

Text by Claudia Rech

22 years after Platz der Vereinten Nationen was shot, we went to visit Erik in his apartment...