Walk with Rebecca Agnes

DISPLACED MONUMENTS AND DISAPPEARED PLACES

“One of my favorite places in Berlin has always been the square of Rosenthaler Platz. Since I moved to Berlin I have always lived nearby this square. But the place that I liked so much no longer exists except in my memory. The walk begins from this specific place to search for traces of the recent history of Berlin, pointing to displaced monuments, and disappeared places, through forgetfulness, removal, and stratification in the quarter Mitte”. Rebecca Agnes

Interview

AT:  You live in Berlin since many years. How has it changed?
RA: After spending several years in Berlin I realized that this city is very unstable, things are constantly changing, places disappear, new buildings are constructed, people move from one neighborhood to another. It ‘a bit like if the city is always moving and there are few fixed points in its urban extension. What is surprising is the speed of the change. In fact, the process of gentifrication is now similar to that of other European capitals.

AT: Has Berlin influenced your research? How?
RA: What has surely enriched my research is to be in contact with people coming from different places with biographies, and ways of life, different from mine.

AT: In your artistic research you have already faced before the relation between the places of everyday living (or part of a collective memory) and their reconstruction or recall, for example in the work Places that don’t exist any longer. In that case the territory was the quarter Ticinese in Milan. Your urban investigation is a kind of method that you use aside from the territory that you choose?
RA: What interests me is to show the change of places that surround us, trying to understand why a space was created and used in a way to then become other or disappear. A place is not only a “physical” space, but corresponds to social or private needs. It exists and has a value in relation to the people who use it or live in it. It contains stories and keeps traces of its inhabitants. The change of the urban geography follows different trajectories, and it can be determined by generational change, the appearance of new needs or it can purely follow economic or political interests. The risk of forgetfulness and standardization unfortunately often accompanies the changes affecting the city.

Biography
Rebecca Agnes (Pavia / Italy 1978)

She graduates at the Academy of Arts Brera in 2001. Afterwards she moves to Berlin where she lives.
The dynamism and transitoriness of the city strike her and influence her artistic research that focuses mostly on the mechanisms of the territory mutation and specifically of the places and spaces around.
Her work has fascinating modalities. The result, formally essential, is consequential to a clever practice that takes into consideration the complexity of the involved principles.
We can find the same linearity in the expressive means used by the artist: drawing or embroideries that become sophisticated animation videos.
In 2012, among many other solo and collective exhibitions, she takes part to the exhibition Italiens junge Kunst in der Botschaft  in the Italian embassy in Berlin.

To know more:
www.rebeccaagnes.org
walkwiththeartist.wordpress.com

Photos: Art & Tours, Walk with Rebecca Agnes, 12 October 2012 and 28 June 2013, Berlin