One for Sorrow, Two for Joy

Image: Birgit Dieker, Family Line-up, 2020 (detail) photo: Jürgen Baumann, Berlin

The relationship between Self as Skin and Self as in the Skin is particularly important for Birgit Dieker’s artistic thinking. She is thinking of skin not only as the outer surface of the body, but also as the boundary between inside and outside, private and public, between the self and the world. For her, skin is a surface of encounters for intimacy and closeness.

Crises such as the current Covid-19 pandemic, as well as other problems of our high-performance consumer society, demand strong personalities on the one hand but promote insecurities and fears, longings and obsessions, dreams and traumas on the other. The resulting themes underlie Dieker’s artistic work. She is concerned with questions about identity, about the integral togetherness of body and personality, about the composition that we call “I”.

The artist conceives pictorial settings that trace the body’s metamorphoses from an external form to an internal state of being (and vice versa).

Here, constructing and losing a form are not only artistic methods; they correspond to physical experiential values.

Through the sensitive perception of different material stimuli, Birgit Dieker attempts to generate access to a network of relationships characterized by associations. The material not only determines her sculptures; it also stands for itself and takes on content-related tasks. In addition to textiles, leather, rubber, hair, truck tarpaulin or bitumen, it may also be real everyday objects such as a plumber’s pipe, antlers, motorcycle gear, buoys, lifebelts, rope or mannequins.

Clothing plays a particular part in this. As the epitome of the second skin, as a boundary metaphor, but also as a synonym for the self, clothing constitutes a significant material for Dieker. Body and clothing relate very closely, so that this duality can also be discerned in their reciprocal proxy-connection. Clothing serves as protection as well as being used to stage the self. Discarded clothing contains characteristics of its wearer, being linked to one or more identities, to lived experiences and memories – the ideal material to represent the manifold layers of selfhood.

Birgit Dieker (*1969 in Gescher, lives in Berlin) studied German philology at the Technical University Berlin, and art education at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin (now UdK, Berlin University of the Arts). She completed her studies in sculpture as a master pupil of Michael Schoenholtz. The artist, who has been awarded several prizes and scholarships, has presented her work in national and international solo and group exhibitions. In 2022, she will be participating in the exhibition The Brain. In Art and Science at the Bundeskunsthalle Bonn. She is planning a solo exhibition for 2023 entitled Housewarming, to be shown at the Mönchehaus Museum Goslar.







14.01. – 06.02.2022
Tue - Sun: 2 - 7pm
Admission free

2pm - 7pm