Daniela Brahm our place, 2000 Barbara Thumm Gallery, Berlin Paintings from the series “Ideal Privacy”, emulsion on wall, raised hide

our place / NIMBY – Not In My Backyard / Participation City / Hinterland, 2000-02

our place, 2000
Barbara Thumm Gallery, Berlin

Die Ausstellung our place verbindet geschickt einige zur Zeit gerne gesehenen Blicklinien. Es gibt den Blick in die Baugeschichte, jedes Gehäuse hier erinnert an eine oder mehrere Ikonen der Moderne, ohne jedoch direkt Bezug zu nehmen. Der Stil der Ikonen ist halt inzwischen überall angekommen. Dann schweift der Blick über das Normadenhafte, nichts soll hier für die Ewigkeit erscheinen, alles für das Flexible. Keine Umgebung gibt Anhaltspunkte, es ist die nackte Architektur, ein deja-vu des gestern dort und morgen hier gesehenen. Dabei wird zwischen Dokumentarischem und Virtuellem gesprungen, die liebevoll laminierten Großtafeln könnten konkrete Vorbilder haben, aber auch frei erfunden sein. Das Geschehen spielt sich im Innenraum ab, doch der blaue Streifen, der oben an der Wand um den Raum läuft, signalisiert den Himmel des Außenraums. Aber es ist ein künstliches Blau, keines, das den Himmel simulieren will oder gar eine eintsprechende Stimmung erzeugen soll, sondern ein helles RGB-Blau, das nur als Verweis fungiert. Die ganze Ausstellung ist ein mächtiges Verweisen, daher fühlt man sich so unverbindlich wohl in ihr. (Text von Christoph Blase, in Blitz Review, Juni 2000)


NIMBY – Not In My Backyard, 2001
Mirko Mayer Gallery, Cologne

NIMBY – Not In My Backyard is an acronym from the United States and, in particular, Los Angeles of the 1980s. It expresses the desire of local residents to shield their community from any form of change or infringement by strangers.
With a house, a car and a portrait NIMBY – Not In My Backyard offers the minimal version of a world. The exhibition uses the possibilities of painting to creat a backdrop that transforms the local identity of each component into a greater integrity.


Participation City, 2002
Barbara Thumm Gallery, Berlin

The exhibition Participation City is a three-dimensional picture: large format portraits, a free-standing painting and two works on canvas are united against the backdrop of a monochrome wall-painting into one visual experience. The single pictures indicate possibilities that as a whole describe an utopian site. Daniela Brahm transfers motifs on a formal level via painting, giving the works a highly suggestive strength. This work is a model for the confrontation of parallel worlds and the opening up of the field of vision to foreign structures of living.
In Participation City, the juxtaposition of different identities requires that notions of cultural and political identity themselves be clarified. The exhibition can thus be understood as a constellation within which a critical purchase on complex processes is made possible. The Participants gathered here address viewers directly, including them in the process of communication. The Participants are the key actors in the exhibition.


Hinterland, 2002
Mirko Mayer Gallery, Cologne

Drawing inspiration by 20th-century architects´ predisposition to change the way people thought about the built enviroment, in one of Brahm´s latest installations Hinterland, something between a wooden barrier and a self-supporting painting acts as artificial fence to add an extra layer in the exhibition. Here, to explore the notion of feeling out of place, the artist introduces her idea of boundary, that the philosopher Martin Heidegger called not at which something stops but, as the Greeks recongnised, that from which something begins. In fact, beyond the framing device that resembles a saloon door, we are duelled by the frontal assemblage of a few unsympathetic adjectives, and simultaneously invited by a friendly African. A photographic archive of the Television Training Centre in Berlin serves as the starting point to reflect on the social context in which his image-quotation first appeared. By making space in the exhibition to a professional from the Third World, the artist seems to point out this portrait can only exist at the interface between art and social life. Because to be portrayed means to appear in public and, if we also wish to fully participate in the artist´s culturally-diversified fabrications, we must play a role in the “conversation picture”, matching her “unknown twins”. (text by Diana Baldon)