The Assembling White Smoke is the title of the first joint exhibition by Jessica Twitchell and Thomas Straub.
For the exhibition at Q 18,Twitchell and Straub jointly developed an expansive work. Using an architectural approach, they erected a shamanistic structure that subverts its illusionistic existence all by itself.
In doing so, the artists referenced two ancient circular buildings from very different cultural backgrounds, each of which Straub and Twitchell have a personal connection to.
One was a charcoal kiln from the Black Forest – a structure built solely for charcoal production and set on fire here – and the other was a Miwok Assembly House, a round building used for ritual dances by the Californian Miwok Indians.
Despite their different uses, however, they share an abstract kinship.
Twichell and Straub incorporated the obvious formal affinity between the constructions of the pile and the Assembly House in the exhibition architecture/installation they developed.
In both artists, the questioning of the image and imagery plays a major role. Mythical, traditional and well-known elements and symbols are taken up and transferred to the present day, thus being illuminated anew.
If with Straub it is rather the reduced, sacral, the means with Twitchell is rather the repetition and a resulting modern ornamentation.
The title of the exhibition was a kind of metaphor for the abstract kinship.
Photos: Martin Plüddermann