Within the exhibition “Minimize from Blue Sky,” Talya Feldman mines the thorny histories of racist violence in Germany and mass shootings in the US. Her curiosity in these topics grew out of non-public expertise—the artist lived by way of the assault on the synagogue in Halle, Germany, on October 9, 2019—which has additionally formed her inventive strategy as an entire; Feldman now develops types of illustration that allow the victims be current, as an alternative of focusing, because the information media is susceptible to do, on perpetrators and crime scenes, which successfully perpetuates the violence. On this means, Feldman’s artwork seeks to chart a utopian house of therapeutic. Take into account After Halle, 2020, a sound set up wherein we hear her fellow survivors hum melodies that had been sung contained in the synagogue through the taking pictures, providing consolation for each the victims of this trauma and the individuals who take heed to their story. “How do we discover therapeutic, not just for ourselves, but additionally for these round us,” Feldman asks, “after experiencing such large violence?” That is the query that informs her observe.
In her 2020 poem “Obit,” Victoria Chang writes, “Should you reduce out a rectangle of a superbly blue sky … That’s grief.” Feldman follows this cue with Grief Is Knowledge: Minimize from Blue Sky, 2022, fifteen minimalist oil-on-aluminum panels painted in monochrome shades of blue that she inscribed with names, locations, and dates: matter-of-fact enumerations of mass-shooting victims drawn from the Gun Violence Archive. Lists won’t ever allow us to actually perceive the incomprehensible, however by way of this gesture, the artist supplies us a window by way of which to mourn and commemorate.
Translated from German by Gerrit Jackson.