Badischer Kunstverein

Alex Martinis Roe

To Become Two

08 Sep - 26 Nov 2017

To Become Two presents the first comprehensive solo exhibition of Berlin-based artist Alex Martinis Roe in Germany. Martinis Roe’s practice is driven by the parallel histories of several interconnected feminist communities in various places and imagining futures from them in conversation with groups of women from different generations. Over the last four years, she has worked dedicatedly with international feminist communities and institutions in Europe and Australia to develop a series of films and ongoing workshops. The exhibition at Badischer Kunstverein, To Become Two is an installation comprising six films, and a three-part workshop and multiple conversations.

Working across film, lecture-performance and installation, Martinis Roe’s work uses archival materials to open up space for reflection and conversation. Creating evolving modes of storytelling, her film installations expand into dialogue-based events led by the artist with the goal of engaging workshop participants in addressing the question: How can different generations of women from different backgrounds learn, share and relate to one another within feminist discourse and practice today? Martinis Roe’s work proposes answers to this question through narrating fragments of stories from the 70’s to today about the feminist groups she spent time with, and by forming new narratives by coming together and enacting and generating new propositions for feminist collective practice.

The film, Their desire rang through the halls and into the tower (2014 – 2016) uses an anachronical structure, forging a non-linear history in the way it relates the story of the first female university student in Europe, who attended Utrecht University in the seventeenth century, and the development of the Women’s Studies school at the same university in the 1980s and 1990s. Another film in the exhibition, It was an unusual way of doing politics where there were friendships, loves, gossips, tears, flowers... (2014) centres on a week-long meeting of 300 women from different European women’s groups at La Tranche sur Mer in 1972. The most recent work in the exhibition, Our Future Network (2016), was made during a series of workshops and a four-day meeting at a country house outside of Berlin with a group of women from younger generations. Each of her films is based on experiences and conversations that construct feminist histories and futures. Beyond the film installations and the archival material, the conversation itself becomes the work.

Martinis Roe’s project at the Kunstverein includes a workshop and public salon event, which will engage contributors from Karlsruhe in a digestion of the historical feminist practices narrated in the To Become Two exhibition. Contributors will undertake a series of exercises led by Martinis Roe, that expand on proposals generated by her film project Our Future Network to develop further propositions for feminist political practices in dialogue with participants’ own knowledge, needs, competences, desires and contexts. More specifically, these new propositions will attempt to foster political alliances, facilitating collaboration among distinct political engagements that nevertheless have compatible objectives.

Curated by Anja Casser and Didem Yazici

Alex Martinis Roe’s To Become Two was co-commissioned by ar/ge kunst (Bolzano); Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, (Utrecht); If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution (Amsterdam) and The Showroom (London). The project was produced with the support of the Graduiertenschule der Universität der Künste Berlin and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, and its arts funding and advisory body.

Exhibition design by Fotini Lazaridou-Hatzigoga. Poster series design by Chiara Figone. To Become Two has been made with the support of curator Susan Gibb.

Alex Martinis Roe (*1982 in Melbourne) lives and works in Berlin. Her works are presented in international solo and group exhibitions, e.g. The Showroom, London (solo); ar/ge Kunst, Bozen (solo); The National, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (group); Los Derivados / The Derivatives, SlyZmud Gallery, Buenos Aires (group); Performing Knowledge, Dienstgebäude, Zürich (group); Casco - Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht (solo); No New Kind of Duck, Yvonne Lambert, Berlin; Emphasis Repeats, Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale on Hudson, New York. Recent solo performance events include: Our Future Network at If I Can't Dance, I Don't Want To Be Part of Your Revolution, Amsterdam (2016) and Haus der Kulturen der Welt (2015).

Tags: Anja Casser