18 February 2011 — 10 April 2011

Artists: Ingo Gerken and invited artists: Matti Isan Blind, Madeleine Boschan, Rainer Ganahl, Antonia Low, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Reto Pulfer and Gregor Schneider.

Castlefield Gallery is proud to present BORN AFTER 1924, a project by German artist Ingo Gerken. Interpreting the contemporary legacy of the Merzbarn and Kurt Schwitters(1) in the UK, Castlefield Gallery has invited Gerken to respond to Schwitters’ Merz Magazine (issue 8/9) of 1924 called Nasci. The theme of the magazine, Nasci(2), meaning ‘being born’ or ‘becoming’, was co-edited with Russian Constructivist artist El Lissitzky(3) forging an alliance of Dadaist and Constructivist ideals and included reproductions and texts by Vladimir Tatlin, George Braque, Man Ray, Piet Mondrian, Kazimir Malevich and Mies van der Rohe among others.

Often referring to his work as ‘activating’ art-historical contexts, Gerken is interested in the porosity of imagined and real spaces, their construction, flexibility and weight. BORN AFTER 1924 will become a group show and a site-specific manifestation of Gerken’s shifting and re-arranging of the contexts of Dada, Merz and the Nasci issue of 1924 itself. A re-edited and updated version of the historic avant-garde magazine will be published to accompany the resulting group show. The exhibition will become a physical manifestation of Gerken’s collages that will include other invited artists, from the UK and Germany as ‘articulations’ or ‘punctuations’ of his own practice. The exhibition will transform the gallery and represent a condensation of Gerken’s diverse and playful art practice drawing on some of sensibilities of Schwitters’ work.

(1)Kurt Schwitters’ (1887–1948) Merzbarn is located in a remote woodland in Cumbria and stands much as he left it incomplete after his death in 1948. After considerable discussions about its future which involved the British pop artist Richard Hamilton the surviving Merzbarn wall was removed for safe keeping and presented by its owner, Harry Pierce to Newcastle University Hatton Gallery in 1965, where it is now on public view. The Merzbarn building itself still survives and contains evidence of Schwitters’ original working methods and materials.
(2)Nasci is the Latin word for ‘nature’, ‘being born’ and ‘becoming.
(3)El Lissitzky (1890 – 1941) was a Russian Constructivist designer and artist.

More on the artist:
Ingo Gerken (born 1971) is based in Berlin. He studied at Muthesius-Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Kiel/Germany and Glasgow School of Art. His work has been shown throughout Europe, Canada and Australia. Selected solo shows include those at Pianissimo, Milan; Gitte Weise Gallery, Berlin, Apex Pro Art, Göttingen, Germany; Artissima, Turin, Italy; Espace de Création Contemporaine, Saint Etienne, France, Trottoir, Hamburg; Förderverein Aktuelle Kunst, Münster, Germany; Barbara Holstein Gallery, Paris; Glasgow School of Art, Scotland and University of Southern Queensland, Australia. He has shown in group shows at MicaMoca Berlin; Main d´Oeuvre, Paris; Galeria Neon, Budapest; University of Greenwich, London; Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin; Neuer Berliner Kunstverein; Künstlerhaus Bremen, Germany; Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw; Tent, Centre for Visual Arts, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; The New Society for Visual Arts (NGBK), Berlin; Kristiansand Kunstforening, Norway; Stadtgalerie, Kiel, Germany; mkg127, Toronto, Canada and Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane. Gerken is represented by Pianissimo, Milan and Gitte Weise Gallery, Sydney

MERZMAN: the legacy of Kurt Schwitters in the North West
BORN AFTER 1924 is part of a city wide programme of exhibitions, performance and public events which aim to document and celebrate the work and creative legacy of the WWII refugee artist* Kurt Schwitters. MERZMAN will also explore Kurt Schwitters’ unique links with and ongoing creative legacy in Manchester and the NW.
MERZMAN will take place in venues across Greater Manchester from late February through to early May 2011 and will include exhibitions alongside a supporting programme of performing arts, seminars, schools, and cabaret events culminating in an international conference about Kurt Schwitters and his legacy in the North of England on Saturday 26th March at CUBE Gallery.
MERZMAN is funded by Arts Council England NW and coordinated by the Littoral Arts Trust.

Merz Magazine (issue 8/9) Courtesy of the Kurt und Ernst Schwitters Stiftung, Hannover

The Kurt und Ernst Schwitters Stiftung was founded by the Schwitters family with the support of NORD/LB Norddeutsche Landesbank, the Niederschsische Sparkassenstiftung (Savings Bank Foundation of Lower Saxony), the Niederschsische Lottostiftung (The Lottery Foundation of Lower Saxony), the Cultural Foundation of the Federal States, the State Minister at the Federal Chancellery for Media and Cultural Affairs, the Ministry for Science
and Culture of the Land of Lower Saxony, and the City of Hanover.

BORN AFTER 1924 is kindly supported by ATLAS Bar & Café; Manchester, Barefoot Wine’s and Mint Hotel; Manchester.

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For press enquiries please contact: Jennifer Dean, Communications Coordinator Castlefield Gallery, 2 Hewitt Street, Manchester, M15 4GB. T: +44 (0) 161 832 8034