I dreamt of tearing the storm into fragments
Grisebach x ChertLüdde, Berlin
25 January – 7 March 2024

It is unbearable, the fear that’s born of closeness, that swells around us in the shhh of wind and the erm of weather. The paralysis (of our wood-carved bodies, our spindly clay legs) leaves us with nothing else, but to watch the cyclone of broken beats and high pulses from the silence of within. Wave after wave, we dream in short nights for it to end, knowing too much of catastrophe to feel its edges.

In I dreamt of tearing the storm into fragments, a cooperation between ChertLüdde and Grisebach, Zora Mann and Heike Kabisch present a dual exhibition that visualizes the chaos of life through the eye of the storm. Here, the two artists share existing works in a world spinning of change and tidal waves of motion. Traversing mediums of sculpture, painting and collage, they navigate doubts and fears as thresholds of our inner and outermost defenses. Pulling us through the vulnerable states of being, this polyvocal exhibition is a tropical storm, buzzing with colors and flashing like a matchstick burn.  

We step inside this storm and arrive at the calm of its center. Two approaches combine at the barrier between the exterior pressures of the world and the way we process them. 

On one side, it is a mind full of moments, memories, natures shaped by Zora Mann. Paper Pusher, Eartheater, Clara: a hive of physical and cerebral counterparts and emotions. Reflection curses in their ceramic and wooden bodies—experiences siphoned by Mann into the intricacies of personhood, zig-zagging at the cusp of abstraction. A trail of watercolor chevrons keeps us close, struggling with our symmetries and the way we wished the world would work. Pink beckons the flesh of earth, blue its sense of destruction. She takes the lifeforce from a matter of lifelines and fractures of hope. An etching turns in on itself to speak both of personal and collective recollection, all at a palm’s length away from grasp. 

Then we come to the magenta lights of a landscape beyond. Taking experience as raw material, we tucked into the observing certainty of Heike Kabisch’s material research. Porous and semi-precious, her palm tree sculptures are swept by storm. Their underground roots are what’s holding it together but beware the branches will bend to swaddle you. A collage containing four sides of a family home bleeds out from under the shadows. In the garden, the other non-native shrubs remember to look for a positive and powerful place. Will they find their permanence?  It’s a whirlwind of change at a moment of rest. Kabisch has painted a woman who leads her life as a fish; legs, left abandoned, still quivering from the uncertainty of where the storm will carry her next. The thunder’s hurry is slow, but in the quiet of fragments now, we treasure the tranquility.

Text by Nina Hanz

Photos by Roman März