Moritz Grimm, EVA @ Natalia Hug, opening reception November 3

Moritz Grimm

November 4 - December 17, 2016
Opening reception Thursday November 3, 7-9pm

The work of Moritz Grimm is of a perpetually oscillating nature. Moving rapidly and often between a multitude of dipoles Grimm’s practice is at time dif cult to pin down and de ne.There is a seemingly classical nature to his aesthetic; sculptures, paintings and drawings rendered in clay, paint and other mediums that carry within them the gravitas of art history. However, one often nds oneself second- glancing at Grimm’s work.What at rst looked like a innocently gurative Degas-esque dancer in clay for example, turns out to be a stripper mid-pole dance. Similarly, what appears as a drawing from an Art- Deco era coffee advert ultimately reveals itself as a rendition of a dominatrix complete with opera-gloves, horse whip and exposed breasts. These allusions to classical forms and materials, and their use as vessels to carry more present-day imagery alluding itself to the contemporary condition, is perhaps a de ning feature of Grimm’s works and practice in general.

Through their combining of temporally disparate elements, these hybridizations manage to buck time, so- to-speak, and converge in the realms of what might be described as ‘timeless’. However, unlike a musician or composer who’s fans span generations and thus who’s music retains a temporally relevant quality, the works of Moritz Grimm purposely veer rather dramatically into the onslaught of time, and face the Benjaminian wreckage head-on. Grimm’s purposeful combining of the classical and the contemporary in this manner, forces his works to operate within an anachronistic space opened up via what is essentially a cultural loophole.They did not ‘earn’ their atemporal status as most artifacts do, but rather acquired it as a necessary side-product of their very being.

The show presented here perfectly exempli es Grimm’s tendency towards the anachronistic and its origins perhaps offer us some material with which to unpack its various elements.The exhibition’s title ‘Eva’ is taken from the name of the artist’s partner’s mother who passed away before he could have met her. After moving with his partner into the mother’s old apartment, Grimm began to develop a fascination with her old belongings still stored at the apartment and began exploring them and eventually mining them as a source of inspiration. Grimm moved into a place rich in personal history, and yet had to re- personalize that space on his and is partner’s terms; a potentially daunting task when that history is so close to heart. Similarly as one produces artworks one enters into cultural space rich with history and similarly one has to gure out how to navigate that space in dialogue with and at times against its pre- existing occupants.

Though may be unintended as such, one work stands out as a locus for the exhibition; a central conceptual hub of sorts.

“Schlaftablette” is a ceramic girl laid down inside a glass vitrine her dress host to a colony of live snails. Recalling Snow White in her glass cof n our Snow White also drifts in a magical slumber as snails crawl up and over her and make their way through her opened dress. As her name implies Snow White is a cryogenically frozen time capsule preserved from decay and much like the belongings of Grimm’s mother-in-law, she is awaiting her re-awakening. Here however we are presented with snails rather than dwarfs and an artist in place of a prince.

The inclusion of live snails is curious indeed. It’s tempting to look at a gesture like this and to come to some kind of post-apocalyptic analysis that invokes notions of nature re-asserting itself over the fallen and decrepit monuments and structures of a once proud society. However, the fact that snails are the creature of choice – as opposed to worms and maggots for example – begs us to soften the metaphor slightly. Snails, after all, are not quite the creatures of death and pestilence we might expect to nd as the harbingers and conveyors of armageddon.

Snails are however slow and often perceived as mindless automata.The zombi ed-consumers of the garden, their ambling method is one of deliberate procession; the goal is to nd food and eat, ad in nitum. Also known for the trail of slime left in their wake, this residue - a friction reducing lubricant - is used to allow the snail to get from A to B as deftly as possible and here in lies another potential clue. Perhaps the snails are doing just this very thing for us here, that is, providing a thin lm of lubrication to aid in our navigation and consumption of the artwork at hand.

Perhaps however the snail represents no more than exactly what we expect it to. The slow and methodical pace at which a snail lives is, as the case may be, the perfect anti-metaphor for the contemporary condition; an antithesis that contains within it a possible antidote to our fast paced, fast lived and voraciously consumptive post-internet society. As we hurtle through time at an unprecedented rate, inventing and re-inventing every six months or so and waiting with bated breath for the coming of the next iThing, it is becoming less and less common to stop and take a look back at what has passed, to re- awaken history and let it live with us here, in the present rather, than leave stored and frozen in books and boxes.

Moritz Grimm (b. 1989, Frankfurt) received his master’s degree in sculpture in 2014 from Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, Prof. Tobias Rehberger. Grimm recently exhibited in Husslehof, basis Projektraum, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Kunstverein Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, Real Positive, Köln. Grim lives and works in Frankfurt am Main.

Jülicher Straße 14
50674 Köln, Germany