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Setsuko Fukushima

ALTERNATIVE BOTANIK Opening on 03.10.2019 at 2 p.m. until 31.03.2020 (during the winter break only by appointment)

At first glance, the works seem to come from a natural history museum. They present themselves as preparations. The display cases and boxes made of simple wood show parallels in the form of the works of Joseph Beuys, who also created many showcases, mountains of books and fine-line drawings. The content accent, however, is completely different. Setsuko Fukushima’s works go in a different direction in terms of content, in which the artist is involved in the confrontation with herself, with nature, with botany in particular. It preserves, changes, shapes, creates surprising connections, works in paper, ceramics and wood, all natural materials that serve to transfigurate nature, for appropriation and juxtaposition. The objects seem familiar and at the same time foreign. They are detached from their natural contexts, isolated in a kind of scientific precision, which they become by forming historical, literary and pictorial connections to art objects, to an artistic insight, a glimpse through , windows into a natural artistic world, the grown and the artificially created merge into one unit. In this way, the viewer receives surprising insights into what is apparently known.

A book is a book, it is a book. or not? At Setsuko Fukushima it becomes a window, an object with a small circular view, the window in front of the opened book is only partially transparent, the book opens its contents to the viewer, but not fully visible, not fully accessible, always in a game between transparency and hidden bleach, and with only a small section through which one can really look into it and through which nature grows towards one. This work, which can be seen on the title of this catalogue, stands for a trait in the work of Setsuko Fukushima, which at the same time is a trait in the artist’s worldview and perhaps even as a trait in human knowledge of the world and the environment in general. The veil of ignorance remains above all knowledge, because being and nothingness, abundance and emptiness belong together. The works are fine and delicate, they do not resist nothing, they have nothing brachial, nothing asserting, rather the space gives them the form. The emptiness meets the form, the display case is the space in space for the form, accommodation for the natural in the artificial and artistic.

Ralph Tepe
lArtistic Direction Schloss Mitsuko

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