On April 28 inaugurated Stoneflesh Aura, third solo show of Raphael Danke with Norma Mangione Gallery.
The shows revolves around the links, similarities and juxtaposition between organic and inorganic, body and architecture, and in particular of elements related to “stone” and “flesh”. This main theme is then developed and intertwined in the display of the artworks with the one of absence and disappearance, key subject in Danke’s research.
Matteo Mottin asked some questions to Raphael Danke.
ATP: In this exhibition you focus on connections between flesh and stone. From where did you get the first idea for this juxtaposition?
Raphael Danke: The idea about a melding between stone and flesh comes from an architectural view on the human body. You can see the body as the house for the being and the mind. So the building material is getting part of a spiritual study.
ATP: A reference to PETA is present in various pieces. Could you expand on the connection between it and the theme of the show?
RD: The works in the show don’t show any meat; there are just several kinds of marbles, concrete and drawn stones to see. For the way of thinking about meat, I used different approaches, like the already emotionally charged Peta slogans, or the politically and dark-charged film. So you look at some stone and think about meat, or you think you already look at some meat.
ATP: Can you tell me about the video-installation Mohrenstrasse? How did you conceive its display?
RD: The film is a fragmentation of the architecture and it´s marble texture of the subway station “Mohrenstrasse” in Berlin. Built in the GDR, there is the story that the marble comes from the Reichskanzlei, Hitler’s office. Because of it´s dark red colour it is named blood marble. Projected on a white marble table fallen aside, you can think of something to eat or a digestive process. The plates, silverware and glasses are lying on the floor; the table was set for two people. I also like the idea that something happened before, to make this transformation possible.
ATP: The presence through absence is the other main theme of the exhibition. We can clearly see it in the garden sculptures you dissected cutting away the body parts, as well as in the display of the other artworks: something is always missing in the installation, even a neon light. Why did you introduce this topic in the show? Does it have a relation with the links between flesh and stone?
RD: I´m very interested in the absence; specially the absence through disappearing and morphing into the architecture or stone. So the balancing act between flesh and stone is like one detail in the whole progress of my work about the absence.
ATP: Are you working on any new project?
RD: I´m working right now on my next show, which will be in Munich. It will focus on another part of disappearance, like insects flying to the light and dying by the heat of the light bulb.
Until June 6.