Tired of Waiting: Anna M. Szaflarski
text by Imke Kannegiesser
By analysing the developmental processes present in Earth’s history, it seems that evolutionary changes arise on the one hand coincidentally, rapidly and suddenly, while on the other more slowly or through apparent stagnation. According to the theory of the microbiologist Lynn Margulis, bacterial and fungal parasitic and symbiotic behaviors are crucial for evolutionary novelty.
The exhibition ‘Tired of Waiting’ by Anna M. Szaflarski deals with the awkward position of waiting for evolutionary development between connected organisms. The dependant nature of the Porcino exhibition space, in relation to ChertLüdde gallery, provides in itself a humorous take on this conceptual analysis.
The installation Tired of Waiting (2017), produced for Porcino, combines watercolor, clockwork and sound and shows in a surrealistic way the microbe; the bacterium as a microorganism, connected to the mother cell with its cell nucleus. The ticking clock emphasizes the moment of continuous waiting as the possibility to act, as well as representing the parasite in its permanent dependency on the host. The sound, a lyric excerpt from the Kinks song of the same name (1965) sung by Szaflarski, functions as an ironic commentary by the organism directly addressing the visitor and the situation. A cable leads the visitor from the installation at Porcino through the courtyard entrance down into the gallery space and reveals the necessary power source. The second surreal watercolor Innate Heartbreak (2017) next to the plug-socket marks the mycorrhiza, that reciprocal fine-rooting system between mushroom and host: the cable exchanges power against audience.
Anna M. Szaflarski shows the complex entanglement of space in space and its temporality as an organism. All actors are interwoven in this installation. According to French philosopher Michel Serres, the parasite is not exclusively demanding, rather it contributes to the quality of the relationship: it is entertaining and brings its own program as kind of temporary noise into the system. In this calculated and yet unpredictable relationship, the evolutionary developments of this partnership and co-existence are located.
Anna M. Szaflarski is an artist, writer, editor and co-founder of the artist book publishing house AKV Berlin. In both her text-based work and illustration, she works within the genres of magic realism, surrealism, satire, and caricature. In 2016, she published a collection of essays and short stories in her book "Letters to the Editors" with contributing authors (published by AKV Berlin & Bom Dia Boa Tarde Boa Noite Verlag), after which she launched the Letters to the Editors Podcast. Recent public projects and lectures have been produced in collaboration with Art Metropole (Toronto), Between Bridges (Berlin), Ashley Berlin, Parallel Oaxaca (Mexico).
Imke Kannegiesser is assistant curator at Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden and former employee of ChertLüdde Gallery.
Porcino is an exhibition space in ChertLüdde, Ritterstr. 2A. Porcino was founded in 2013 by the artist David Horvitz, represented by Galerie ChertLuedde.
Chert Gallery was founded by Jennifer Chert in September 2008 in Berlin-Kreuzberg, in a former mechanic workshop. After eight years Chert relocated in a new space in the same neighborhood. In 2016 Florian Lüdde joined the gallery as partner and the gallery changed its name into ChertLüdde.