Helen Marten


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In 2016 Helen Marten is shortlisted for both the Turner Prize and The Hepworth Sculpture Prize.

Parrot Problems was Turner Prize nominated British artist Helen Martenʼs first institutional solo exhibition in Germany. Close to an artist book, 40 pages within the catalogue are designed by Helen Marten herself, featuring unique collages.

In insightful and precise essays Diedrich Diederichsen and Johanna Burton focus on the ‘artist of the hour’, who through processes of manipulation, abstraction and shifting resembles recognisable elements anew; piercing the patina of familiarity covering the density and complexity of our everyday material lives.

Frozen at full speed in vibration between two and three dimensions, the objects and images by Marten proliferate with models and motifs, which define physical and linguistic limits of everyday life.

In acts of jigsaw and camouflage, the recognizable is often shifted into a sense of immediate fuzziness. Both delicate and programmatic, the relationship between image and concept is therefore dependent on a sense of unfolding logic.

Through this emulation and repetition of ubiquitous gestures, expressions and objects the resultant differences between mimicry and metaphor are made productive: as Parrot Problems. Whether composed of leaves, glazed ceramic, cast aluminium, coins or timber, Marten’s assemblages distill the customary order of things to arrange it afresh.

Published retrospectively after the exhibition Helen Marten: Parrot Problemsat Fridericianum, Kassel, 6 September – 2 November 2014.

Texts by Diedrich Diederichsen and Johanna Burton.

Helen Marten - Parrot Problems
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