For “Cast Away” Katharina Fengler (DE) and John von Bergen (US) are bringing their works into a dialogue for the first time. Their exhibition focuses only on works on paper – Von Bergen shows drawings from his ongoing “UFO-UMIS” series, while Fengler shows new large-scale paintings as well as other works from her series “Island of Kindness”. Either as utopia or as a disastrous dystopian situation, the idea of being cast away on a remote island has always been an inspiration for numerous stories, poems, movies and artworks. Beginning this year, Fengler was part of the group show “Friday” that was an homage to Michel Tournier’s novel “Friday, or the Other Island”, from 1967. The theme of the island and the castaway as a metaphor for an ideal state of being is neither new nor exotic, but rather an occidental idealization of a condition that seems to remain unknown. Both, Fengler’s and von Bergen’s artistic practices could be seen as an open-ended quest for such unknown states. They believe that a confrontation with one’s mere self in a solitary place (literally and metaphorically) is hard to find, and when found, unexpectedly difficult to withstand.
Katharina Fengler is a German artist based in Berlin. She studied Photography at Zurich University of the Arts (formerly HGKZ), Switzerland, where she graduated in 2007. In 2008 she received the City of Zurich Fine Arts Grant (Werkbeitrag). Recent exhibitions include “Friday” curated by Elise Lammer, Samuel Leuenberger, Autocenter, Berlin (2014), “Surface Poetry” curated by Melanie Bühler, Boetzelaer|Nispen, Amsterdam (2014), “One Bite”, NO SPACE @ OTHER Projects, Berlin (2014) and “SWEETNESS”, Cactus, Liverpool (2014).
John von Bergen is an American-born artist who earned his BFA Degree with Honors from School of Visual Arts in New York. Since moving to Berlin (2003), his work has been exhibited in various international museums, galleries, and institutions, including Pera Museum in Istanbul, Halle 14 in Leipzig, Galerie Schmela in Düsseldorf, and Smack Mellon in New York. In 2009 von Bergen was awarded The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant from New York. His recent solo exhibition “Prey Voidant” at Alexander Levy, Berlin (2014), coincided with the release of his first monograph titled “CORE”, published by Kerber Verlag and distributed by D.A.P.