Verbindende Formen

Aline Fieker, Co-Curator, OPEN HOUSE – A Group Show on Hospitality at Kunstverein Braunschweig

Thomas & Renée Rapedius observe the ritualised act of hospitality and make drinking vessels the starting point of their work. But as paradoxical as it might sound, certain differences are necessary in order to experience hospitality. It only comes into effect when a guest is taken in at a place where is not at home and thus a stranger, regardless of how well the guest and the host previously knew each other. Offering a guest a drink is the first and often ritual­ ised gesture made by a host to his guest and is widespread throughout the world. The drinking ves­sel serves as a connecting link when guest and host approach each other and two worlds come into contact, as is described by the artists. At the same time, however, it is often this very object that makes differentness or foreignness when the vessel is char­acterised by a traditional local aesthetic or associ­ated with a drinking ritual that guests find unaccus­tomed.

Thomas & Renée Rapedius trace cultures, symbols and rituals in their oeuvre, constantly focusing their attention on the visible manifestations in which these aspects are mirrored. The artist duo accordingly asks here how an offering gesture gains in objectness through a vessel. An abundance of diverse drinking vessels are assembled on a zigzag­shaped platform. They come from numerous Goethe­Instituts from around the world that were integrated into the project. As an organisation dedicated to Germany’s inter­national cultural exchange, the Goethe­Institut is regarded as a host par excellence.

While the elongated object that takes up almost the entire space appears at first like a Bar counter it likewise forms a subtle transit barrier. By combining object and cups the artists create the image of the two sides, the guest and the host, symbolising with the uneven line very generally the unpredictability of the encounter and the significance of a ritual for the accomplishment of hospitality.

The work was made possible thanks to the support of many Goethe­Institut employees and also private individualsP from around the world: Abu Dhabi, Alexandria, Algiers, Almaty, AradP, Bangkok, Beirut, Belgrade, Bogota, Bordeaux, Bratislava, Budapest, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Dakar, Delhi, Dublin, Glasgow, Hanoi, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Izmir, Jeru­ salem, Johannesburg, Cairo, Karachi, Khar­ toum, Kiev, Copenhagen, Cracow, Kuala Lumpur, Kyoto, La Paz, Lagos, Lima, Ljubljana, London, Los Angeles, Lyon, Madrid, Milan, Manila, Melbourne, Mexico, Montevideo, Montre­al, New York, Nicosia, NorthP, Novosibirsk, Oslo, Palermo, Paris, Peking, Prague, Pune, Rabat, Ramallah, Riga, Rio De Janeiro, Salvador Bahia, San Francisco, Santiago de Chile, Sao Paulo, Sa­ rajevo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sofia, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Taipei, Tallinn, Tbilisi, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Toronto, Tri­ este, Tunis, Ulan BatorP, Washington, Wellington, Zagreb