Margret Eicher - Lob der Malkunst
5 February—14 March 2021
Haus am Lützowplatz, Lützowplatz 9, 10785 Berlin
Digital Opening: Friday, 5 February, 6 pm
w/ Dr. Marc Wellmann, artistic director Haus am Lützowplatz, and Margret Eicher
In her digital tapestries Margret Eicher evokes the nimbus of an art form which developed mainly in the context of courtly representation. This special type of textile art meanwhile has been almost entirely replaced by its middle-class version, wallpaper. Nonetheless, tapestries arouse strong associations in terms of material iconography, pointing to the original functional context. Tapestries, the focus of Margret Eicher’s artistic practice since 2000, first emerged in Europe in the High Middle Ages.
Margret Eicher has her tapestries woven in Flanders using a computer-based industrial jacquard process. They function as carriers of digitally produced image collages whose elements are taken both from the repertoire of art history and the seemingly inexhaustible reservoir of contemporary mass media. Her subjects include today’s media-hyped “heroes”—athletes, models, stars of film and music—which she mixes and overlays with clichés and elements from the past. The courtly tradition of tapestries transports this discourse on a formal level as well.
The tapestries’ strong retrograde effect, fueled especially deliberately contrasts with the digitality of the source images. Often, this contrast is further reinforced through Eicher’s incorporation of imagery of figures from computer games. Her references and sources tend to be clearly marked, for instance by relevant titles or through the publication of source images. In many cases, she also paraphrases well-known paintings from the history of art. Ultimately, her aim in doing so is not to create some intricate hermeneutic game for insiders, but rather to openly extend an invitation to follow the laid-out trail.
The complex frame of reference of Margret Eicher’s tapestries is characterized by ironic twists and based on a multi-layered discourse on the status and nature of images in collective consciousness. On the one hand, they draw on the endless availability of digital images. On the other, they buck, through their materiality, today’s steadily swelling stream of data.
As part of the exhibition, a catalogue was published by Cantz'sche Verlagsgesellschaft with texts by Michael Buhrs, director of the Museum Villa Stuck, Munich and Marc Wellmann, artistic director of Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin.
Text parts taken from:
THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY
Everyday Myths and Images of Power in the Digital Tapestries of Margret Eicher
by Marc Wellmann
Margret Eicher, Lob der Malkunst, 2021, Installation view, Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin