Marjetica Potrč, "Caracas: House with Extended Territory"

Berlin, November 28th - February 28th, 2004
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Caracas: House with Extended Territory, 2003

Galerie Nordenhake is pleased to present its first solo gallery show with the Slovenian artist Marjetica Potrč - an architect turned sculptor and has become internationally recognised with her "case studies" of makeshift buildings from all over the world. In analytical drawings and built up structures she shows that a hands on approach by the local community may work better than the visions from the urban planner's desk.

The main work in this exhibition is Caracas: House with Extended Territory and evolved in conjunction with the artist's six-month stay in Venezuela where she was working with other artists, architects and urban planners on the interdisciplinary Caracas Case Project, which is exploring unregulated and rapidly growing urban structures in Caracas' barrios (shantytowns). The structure comments upon concepts such as territory and defence, both of utter importance in poor districts. The house has several lines of defence in the form of gates, screens and barred windows, and sprouts a vertical extension in form of beer crates and metal rods from the roof. According to Potrč's concern with self-sustainability the house is equipped with solar panels and a water tank for independent water and power supply. A satellite dish provides access to the global communications network. The remarkably colourful and elaborated fences and screens guarding the house are also acting as decorative elements in the barrios of Caracas. Barrios as well as gated communities are in Potrč's view the currently most successful architectural models and have in common an emphasis on privacy and individual initiative.

In addition to the built structure, she shows two sets of drawings, which in Potrč's typically direct manner give insights into her idiosyncratic process of thinking about urgent basic problems of urban architecture: energy supply, communication, and infrastructure.

Marjetica Potrč is born 1953 in Ljubljana, Slovenia where she still lives and works. She has exhibited widely in the U.S. and Europe, recently at the biennials of Venice and Istanbul. Currently, she has a solo exhibition, "Urgent Architecture," at the Palm Beach Institute for Contemporary Art, in the U.S. Her work has also been seen at Kunsthalle Bern, and ZKM, in Karlsruhe this year, as well as in "Design for the Real World" at the Generali Foundation, in Vienna, in 2002. Here in Berlin she has participated in "Through a Sequence of Space" at Galerie Nordenhake, and in "Art Expeditions 1" at the Potsdamer Platz where she built a parasite house on the Sony Centre (both 2002). This is her first solo exhibition with the gallery.

Other exhibitions include representing Slovenia at the Venice Biennale in 1993 along with the artist collective IRWIN. Marjetica Potrč has also shown her works at the Săo Paulo Biennial, Brazil (1996); "Skulptur. Projekte" in Muenster (1997); "La casa, il Corpo, il Cuore," Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna (1999); Manifesta 3, Ljubljana, Slovenia (2000); Guggenheim Museum, NY (2001). In addition, Potrč has received numerous awards, including grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (1993 and 1999), the Soros Center for Contemporary Arts, Ljubljana (1994), Parque de la Memoria Sculpture Prize, Buenos Aires (2000) and a working stipend at Künstlerhaus Bethanien (2001). She received the prestigious Hugo Boss Prize from the Guggenheim Museum in 2000.
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Marjetica Potrč

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Caracas: House with Extended Territory, 2003, detail.

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Caracas:House with Extended Territory, 2003, building material, power and communications infrastructure, 290 x 585 x 355 cm.

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Soft Targets, Hard Surfaces, 2003, set of 8 drawings, DIN A4 (29.7 x 21.0 cm).

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Caracas Case Study, 2003, set of 18 drawings, 22.5 x 30.0 cm.

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Galerie Nordenhake wishes to thank Solon Photovoltaik

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as well as TRAX Kunststeinprodukte,