Song of Increase
Opening: 23.11.2023, 17:00-21:00
We are pleased to announce Song of Increase, the second solo exhibition by artist Maureen Kaegi at Galerie Mezzanin.
Maureen Kaegi works across various media, including painting, drawing, installation and performance. Positioned on a low mountain range surrounded by a forest, place affects the choice of the subjects of her works. Small events and phenomena from the natural world combine with the banalities of everyday life to inform the motivation of her paintings.
“If we were to define the temporal aspect of Maureen Kägi’s works, we could look at its structure in terms of the “moment.” That short instant, which, recurring thousands and thousands of times, cumulates in our seeing, but now and then breaks away from our stream of impressions and, as an extracted fragment of reality, forces itself into our active consciousness. We seldom know why a sight has given us pause to reflect, nevertheless, our iconic memory mostly falls back on those memories which, for whatever reasons, stand out from the abundance of everyday perceptions.“ (Yasmin Afschar)
Maureen Kaegi has been working on the repetition of image patterns to depict overuse and exhaustion for some time and with considerable continuity. She creates networks of lines that appear to liquefy, shimmer, and move in front of one’s eyes. Characteristics of Kaegi’s practice include the interplay between chance and control, refusal and persistence, and an emphasis on surfaces. Manipulating materials, she amplifies their qualities, heightening her focus.
She has been working on themes including the culture of acceleration and constraints, visual myopia in society, optical and physical processes of perception or the reciprocal formation of the body and materials. The artist has more recently taken up subjects such as symbiotic or cooperative relationships between organisms with a visual language favouring a profound reconnection between earth, nature and biodiversity, exploring her relationship with the environment.
The exhibition title refers to a beekeeper’s guide, which deals with the interconnections of bees with society, pressing their importance in the biosphere and describing the existence of these creatures with whom humanity has shared a complex and fragile bond for millennia. The honey bee symbolises the duality of our times: mortality and regeneration, hope and despair, industry and contemplation.
Kaegi’s observations and sketches on the growth and withering of plants and her experiences as an organic beekeeper render myriad traces and metaphors of what the insect makes real — futures slumbering in the past. Colours flutter, lines shimmer, and geometric shapes slide into each other.
Born in 1984 in New Plymouth, New Zealand, Maureen Kaegi studied at the Zurich University of the Arts and graduated in 2010 in Painting at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. She had solo exhibitions at MUSA - Wien Museum Startgalerie, Christine König Galerie 2 Vienna, Kunsthalle Winterthur, Shed Eisenwerk Frauenfeld, Galerie Mark Müller Zurich, ABA Salon Berlin, ArtBox Museumsquartier Vienna and Ve.Sch Kunstverein Vienna.
Recent group exhibitions include MIP Museum in Progress Vienna, Traklhaus Salzburg, Belvedere 21 Vienna, Bowerbank Ninow Auckland, Berlinskej Model Prague, Haus Konstruktiv Zurich, Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Kunstzeughaus Rapperswil and many others. Her work is part of collections, such as the Republic of Austria, Land Niederösterreich, Strabag Vienna, The Chartwell Collection, Auckland, Kunstzeughaus Rapperswil, Zürcher Kantonalbank, Julius Bär Kunstsammlung, Kunstsammlung der Schweizerischen Nationalbank and Kunstsammlung Kanton Zürich amongst others.
She developed performances for Galerie Vincenz Sala Paris, Kunsthalle Winterthur, Swiss Art Award Basel and worked in collaborations for the MAK Museum of Applied Arts Vienna, Paul Klee Zentrum Bern, WUK Vienna, K3 Center for Choreography Hamburg and DanceWeb Riksteatern Cullberg Ballet Stockholm.