READINGS & SCULPTURES ON MOSS BED
Anna Budniewski develops site-specific installations that act as settings for her texts. In terms of content, she critically questions processes that generate the value of art and artistic work. Some years ago, Anna Budniewski met the artist-duo Jay Chung and Q Takeki Maeda, who gave her a copy of the book Letters, in which the two artists summarize parts of the Schmela family’s extensive gallery correspondence in English. With their selections, the book brings Monika and Ulrike Schmela’s strategic, entrepreneurial, but also emotional management to the fore. The short, sober texts give a sense of both women’s everyday working life, marked by the trials and tribulations of carrying on a small art imperium in the male-dominated art world of the 1980s and 90s.
Aiming to reveal the direct and indirect approaches that are hidden between the lines, Anna Budniewski re-formulates the correspondence afresh. In more than two hundred written letters, every day Budniewski works precisely along the thin line between professional alliances, personal relationships, and complex entanglements, which characterize the field of art. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, the artist will read these letters publicly, alongside her sister, Eva Budniewski.
Wood, acrylic glass
To the left of the entrance to the Lantz’schen Park is the transparent Briefkasten, a letterbox that the artist Anna Budniewski will fill with three letters addressed to the park, daily throughout the duration of the exhibition. In her letters she takes up the correspondence of the renowned Schmela family of gallerists, who inhabited the villa on the park’s grounds in the late seventies. Special attention is paid to the correspondence between Monika Schmela and her daughter, Ulrike, who kept up the business following the death of the paterfamilias. The letterboxes, gradually filled by the flow of anachronistic post, serves as the departure point for two public readings by the artist.
Walking along the left side of the large lawn/meadow, past the former women’s residence, there is a Box with a glass lid on the edge on the wayside. Full to the brim with white blankets and cushions, the container points to the place where the letters will be (regularly) opened and read aloud in a flexible setting.
Anna Budniewski (*1993 in Berlin, DE) lives and works in Berlin and Düsseldorf. Studied Fine Arts at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf with Trisha Donelly and Photography at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen.