in Frieze | 03 OCT 16

Into Focus: Exile

Meet Christian Siekmeier of Berlin's Exile

in Frieze | 03 OCT 16

Where in Berlin are you based?  The gallery is located at Kurfürstenstrasse 19, in a cluster of galleries near Potsdamer Strasse, in Schöneberg/Tiergarten. Exile itself is located in a  ground floor apartment.  Why ‘Exile’? Exile can mean a place of uncertainty, a place of discomfort but also a place that offers an opportunities for reinvention and renewed personal expression. In flux, it’s a state that requires continuous self-evaluation. Within the arts, thiss means for me a critical distance from the status quo, and a very personal relationship and reaction to it.  

Christian Siekmeier
 How does this position translate in terms of the gallery’s programme? We work with artists that chose their own, often difficult and highly individual trajectories. We aim also to present a truly gender-balanced, non-ageist program - neither fetishizing youth nor excluding older artists. We try to look beyond trend-casting and artist branding for solid and relevant artistic positions that disregard status: that means engaging young emerging, historically overlooked or undervalued positions as well as very established artists. You were recently participating in the New York Art Book Fair. How does publishing fit in with your activities as a gallery? I believe that publishing, in any shape or form, is an important tool for artists to express their artistic position, to distribute their voice as well as to keep their work accessible. 
Installation view, Nathalie du Pasquier, 'Meteorites & Constructions II' at Exile, Berlin (2016)
 What are you presenting at Focus We have specially created a solo presentation by Nathalie Du Pasquier. The artist is mainly known through her legacy as a pattern designer for the influential Milan-based design group Memphis (1981-1986), but her artistic work has sadly, until very recently, been overlooked - though she has a survey exhibition at Kunsthalle Vienna curated by Luca Lo Pinto right now, which reveals the breadth and depth of her oeuvre. For Focus, Du Pasquier has created a new large-scale sculptural environment entitled White room for a big still life. This monochromatic space shows her fascination for form and spatial composition which can manifest itself either in three-dimensional shape or become the sources for her painting practice.  Are there any other galleries in Focus you looking forward to seeing?  Or elsewhere in Frieze London? When exhibiting at an art fair it is hard to find the time to do much else. But Frieze Masters is always an absolute must. Its finely curated selection and variety of positions makes an invigorating and unique place for discovery. Any other musts for Frieze Week? I sadly will have hardly any time to go around and see anything else. On my next trip to London, I will have to see the new Tate Modern. I always share a great affinity for the excellent exhibitions and specific program at London's Raven RowWhat are you currently showing in Berlin? Concurrently to Frieze we are showing a solo presentation of new paintings by Nathalie Du Pasquier entitled ‘Meteorites & Constructions II’. Her new paintings (some of which will also be shown at the fair) relate to the still life genre (the most traditional of genres), while at the same time remind me of the colorful unease of a Philip Guston.  Exile are exhibiting in Focus at Frieze London Stand number: H30