CIRCUS, Obentrautstrasse 21 Haus 17 D-10963 Berlin

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Press Release

One day Mme. X. felt herself lifted from her armchair and compelled to stand upright. Her feet and her whole body then executed a systematic calisthenic exercise, in which all the movements were regulated and made rhythmic with finished art’. Mme. X. had never had the smallest notion of chamber gymnastics’. These movements would have been very painful and fatiguing had she attempted them of her own will. Yet at the end of each performance she was neither fatigued nor out of breath’.. Mme. X is accustomed to arrange her own hair. One morning she said laughingly: ‘I wish that a Court hairdresser would do my hair for me: my arms are tired.’ At once she felt her hands acting automatically, and with no fatigue for her arms, which seemed to be held up; and the result was a complicated coiffure, which in no way resembled her usual simple mode of arrangement. The oddest of all these automatic phenomena consisted in extremely graceful gestures which Mme. X. was caused to execute with her arms, gestures as though of evocation or adoration of some imaginary divinity, or gestures of benediction’. The few persons who witnesse this spectacle are agreed that it was worthy of the powers of the greatest actress. Of such a gift Mme. X. has nothing.

From: Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research (Vol. 3: 182-87)

Özlem Altin »Several bodies« 26.03. - 23.04.2011 Opening 26 March 2011 , 7 p.m.

Circus is pleased to announce Özlem Altin’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. Altin draws from a vast collection of found imagery, replicas and prints originating from books, magazines or the Internet, and contextualizes them into dense collages and complex installations. Abolishing any hierarchies within the source material and juxtaposing it with her own distinct paintings and photographs, she develops a highly associative visual semantic that discloses inner states and external restraints of the human existence. In an everchanging and fluctuating work process Altin deals with the representation of the human body in states of exhaustion, passivity and dissolving subjectivity while touching upon the question of what these concepts could mean in a contemporary context. Interrogating phenomena of invisibility and phantomness her work raises topics of identity, aboulomania (‘Willenlosigkeit’), action and non-action, while persistently addressing the subliminal. What we project into the seen stares back at us, and what stares back touches a region beyond consciousness and the cerebral.

’Özlem Altin looks at the shifts that make the drama possible: the writing of the script, rehearsals and memorizations, so that in that dream-like space that connects filmed, photographed or performed visual and textual references to past bodies the lived body eventually begins to solidify, like the weight of a pen pressing against a sheet of paper.’ (Francesco Ventrella)

Özlem Altin (b. 1977, Goch, Germany) has shown internationally including solo exhibitions at Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples (2010) and Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Arnhem (2008). She is recipient of the two-year grant of Günther-Peill-Stiftung Düren, which will conclude in a solo show in 2012. Most recent and upcoming group exhibitions include ‘Starke Emergenz’ at Kunstraum Innsbruck and ‘Untitled (Evidence) - Alternative Knowledge and Counter

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