Thursday, 6 December 2018, 7 pm
Deutscher Künstlerbund Project Space
The Deutsche Künstlerbund presents the graphic work of Berlin-based Peruvian artist Sergio Zevallos (b. Lima, 1962), winner of the 2018 »HAP-Grieshaber-Preis der VG Bild-Kunst« awarded by Stiftung Kunstfonds.
The exhibition takes its title from Alexander von Humboldt’s account of his travels through Central and South America, conceived of as a scientific approach to the geopolitical terrain. At the same time, it provides information about projections onto this »New World« from a white, western, male perspective.
Since the early 1980s, Zevallos, who took part in »documenta 14«, has also been making performances, installations and photographs addressing the violence of power politics, the legacy of colonialism, the dominance of religions and corporations, the measuring and disciplining of the body, and the related attributions of heteronormative sexuality. Made during a period of severe military conflict in Peru, the title of his »Rosas« series refers to the patron saint Rosa de Lima. In these drawings, Zevallos creates a many-layered apocalyptic cosmos, permeated by Christian motifs, mystical notions and quotations from religious poetry attributed to Santa Rosa de Lima.
The three-part series »Haiti« evokes conflicts of cultural identity and alterity, quoting from the constitution of the first Latin American state to attain independence from colonialism, with variations referring to other historical contexts. The third work in the show is a large-format wall composition made up of 45 works on paper under the title »HK G3«, its lines tracing out the shape of the Heckler & Koch automatic rifle of that name. With visual references and text excerpts from works on forensics, sex education, ethnology, companies and banks, Zevallos highlights knowledge as power, hegemonic discourses and practices, which he subverts and travesties.
By awarding this prize named after the painter and woodcutter HAP Grieshaber, VG Bild-Kunst (Germany’s copyright agency for visual art) honours an artist who made a decisive contribution to the agency’s development. From the 1970s onwards, Grieshaber campaigned hard for copyright on behalf of his fellow artists, as well as being a strong advocate of improved social support for artists.
The prize money for the HAP Grieshaber Prize is provided by the cultural organization of VG Bild-Kunst, using funds held back in accordance with the agency’s plans for copyright payments. The prize is thus a mark of recognition for artists from artists.
VG Bild-Kunst and Stiftung Kunstfonds in cooperation with Deutscher Künstlerbund