PLEASURE PLANTS

pleasureplants

Bettina Semmer / Najdat Rustom

Pflanzen, die heilen, würzen und Vergnügen bereiten

Im Rahmen von Pleasure Ground, einem Projekt von Neues Atelierhaus Panzerhalle, 2016

Save the Date: 27. November 2016: Pleasure Ground – Aktionen im winterlichen Garten    http://pleasure-grounds.tumblr.com/post/151746207227/bettina-semmer-najdat-rustom-pleasure-plants

Plants that heal, season and please.

With the framework of Pleasure Ground, an project by Neues Atelierhaus Panzerhalle, curated by Petra Stegmann

 

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Meditation on being a plant, Aktion Pleasure Ground, Juli 2016
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Two authors, two languages: Pleasure Plants in Arabic and “German”

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SLAVES and SAINTS

 

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A group of new work at Fort Sagres, Portugal, within the exhibition „Peregrinacao – a partir de las Paneis de Sao Vicente/Pilgrimage – from the Panels of San Vicente“

This piece is dedicated to Emile Akakbo from Togo, who made for me a beautiful crow mask, and all the artists around the world.

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Fico artista and Bettina Semmer performing “The Shrowd of Saint Vincent covering the mark stone of colonialism”; the masks are made by Bettina Semmer (left) and Emile Akakbo (right), an sculptor from Togo, in clay, and then in paper mache or latex, deconstructing the myth of “primitive art”.

 

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Making the secret circle; on the left, the church containg the scriptures, calligraphy see below
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Indigo eye (part of the secret circle)
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Indigo Saints (installation final)

 

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stranded Indigo Saints (installation), canvas cut-outs, painted with Indigo
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Shrowds, 300 x 160 cm each, installation

 

 

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Scriptures and Saint Vincent’s shrowd (installation at church de Dama de Graca, Fort Sagres); calligraphic works by Drury Peregrin Brennan
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Jacinto Palma Dias after signing the calligraphy
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First person taking part in “Pilgrimage to Nowhere – 12 minutes a Slave”
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Crow mask on the mark stone at Fort Sagres, ropes
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Handing over the certificate for taking part in “Pilgrimage to Nowhere – 12 minutes a Slave”

 

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Performance with Fico Artista and Bettina Semmer, shrowd covering mark stone
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stranded Indigo Saints (pre-installation)
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stranded Indigo Saints (pre-installation)
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Indigo Saints (pre-installation)

Paintings 2014 – 2016

I am one and I want to be many, 200 x 300 cm, acrylic and chalk on canvas, 2016
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Rajasthan file 1, 210 x 200 cm, oil on canvas 2016
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blue crossing blue, 210 x200 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2016
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empty centre (circle and spiral) 210 x 210 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2016
Also sprach Friedrich II
Thus spoke Friedrich II (The Koran), 200 x 300 cm, acrylic and oil on canvas, 2010
cervix_of_the_world
Cervix of the World, 220 x 210 cm, acrylic on canvas 2016
rainbow_chakras
instructions under a rainbow, 210 x 210 cm, acrylic on canvas 2016
blacsun
Crossing darkness, 210 x 210 cm, acrylic on canvas 2016
These paintings are reflections of my recent research into body, mind, spirit and sacred traditions.
Ranging from prints of my own body to chaos-driven expressions, they also include images that I find in Indian and other traditional imagery of the goddess. I do not wish to install hierarchies and favour one approach over the other. On the contrary, the aspects filter into one another, freeing me to form a new tradition of the „free fall“, parallel to abstract expressionism but less dogmatic. At the centre, one could detect and „truth of the present moment“ idea, that if one is totally present and free of conventional thinking, colour and shape will manifest themselves immediately due to an inner necessity. This requires a frequent process of tying the work back to the body be it thorugh hands and feets that touch the canvas, printing the body as a whole, or through knowledge and experience. Titled “In Pursuit of Chaos and Light”, these paintings are a continuation of the „Body, Gender, Fluidity“ series of earlier years.
two-paintings
installation view at studio premises
Buddhas bowing
Two shapes bowing down, and garden path, installation view
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Studio mid 2016
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studio view early 2016
Knochen-Frau_web
Bones of a woman, 200 x 160 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2015

 

breathonskull
breath on skulls, 200 x 550 cm, acrylic on canvas 2016
redgreen_veil
redgreen_veil, 200 x 300 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2015
five_senses
Five Senses, 290 x 200 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2016
chinnamasta
Chinnamasta, 220 x 200 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2015
circlesandspiral
Circles and a Spiral, 200 x 200 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2016
hearts
The heart never grows old, 200 x 300 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2015
I-will-not-paint-a-king-on-a-white-horse
I-will-not-paint-a-king-on-a-white-horse, 210 x 300 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2012-2016
Skull-Heart_w
Skullheart, 220 x 210 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2016
8-Breasted-Jesus_w
Eight breasted Jesus, 210 x 155 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2016
Kali-w
A blue Goddess in the night, 210 x 175 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2016
headless1
headless1, 120 x 80 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2016
headless2
headless2, 120 x 80 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2016
two-circles-blue_w
inter, 210 x 200 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2016
In-the-Beginning_w
in the beginning…, 80 x 120 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2016

MARIEM HASSAN 1958 – 2015

MARIEM HASSAN 1958 – 2015
A tribute to the women of Western Sahara
by Bettina Semmer, Tindouf 2015

 

„Mariem Hassan 1958-2015“ is a mural, placed on the outside wall of the Union National de Mujeres Saharauis(the national women’s association of Western Sahara), which was planned and executed by myself, Bettina Semmer in November 2015 in Boujdour/refugee camps during the 9th edition of ARTifariti.

Divided in two by the entrance, the wall has a portrait of MH singing to the left of the gate,  and five figures that portray her dancing during a concert on the right.

This division marks a duality of beauty: the beauty of outer shape and colour (the singer in a blue melfa, with pretty face and traditional head jewelry), and the beauty of movement or action, as seen in the dancing multitude of figures in black, on the right. One could also project a duality of Apollinian and Dionysian attitude into the two sides of the mural: wild dance, with hardly discernable features, on the right, and calm composed expression with Mother-Mary-like body language on the left.

This is not some kind of personality cult, nor the simple portraiture of MH, even though she is probably one of the finest examples in world music  of a combination of tradition, political resistance and a unique voice, deserving far wider recognition than she already has. To paint  her in the year when her life ended – prematurely caused by a terminal illness, that finally prompted her to return to her people in the refugee camps – would be reason  enough. But there is more to it: I used the figurative representation of MH, together with words (This exile is too much – Morocco out – freee Sahara now!) and concrete shapes (the two big, intersectioned circles on the left as well as many smaller spheres on the right) to make up a postmodern, readable narrative in many facets.

The stylistic eclecticism gives room for imagination, for making connections and for free play of creative readingwhich is one of the most rewarding things in art/life. Last but not least, the mural serves as a huge opportunity to have one’s portrait taken there, should one agree with the words, thereby sending out a message to the world.

Colour has always been a great attractor, associated with experiences out of the normal everyday life (church windows, medieval art and it’s rare and costly pigments), with exultation, joy and lust for life. Specific colours have been said to have powers over the mind-body-unit, as in colour psychoogy and therapy.

The intersections of the larger circles on the left are inspired by Barbara Steppe, who in turn takes her inspiration from Otto Neurath, the inventor of graphics for statistics. They can be read as depictions of states of mind, of a country’s socio-economic order (or disorder), as arbitrary as the world’s division of riches, or merely as formal play. They are based on Mandalas with their power to focus the mind.

The priority was to make something understandable, readable, a common narrative combined with decorative elements, and also a tribute to the strength and beauty of Saharaui women. It would not occur to me to alienate the ladies who run the place, (Fatma, Hassina) so a meeting over the drafts preceeded the actual painting process. Occasionally, children from the nearby school and neighbourhood would assist, even in my absence adorning the wall with handprints and marking the faces with pink dots, making this piece complete. This fits in with my general approach of taking participation seriously, and incorporating into my work what I find in a place, and in its people.

I hope to contribute to a free Sahara where people can live in dignity, without being oppressed by a hostile regime, and where the Saharaui’s talent for a good life, as we as particpants know it, can blossom in a peaceful surrounding, in independance.

 

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Many local children also helped
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Final presentation with the director Hassina and her assistant
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Ismail Banan, artist and calligrapher, is one of the few adults colaborating

shows and interventions

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Pleasure Plants – part of the Pleasure Ground project by Neues Atelierhaus Panzerhalle
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Pleasure Plants – with Najdat Rustom (Pleasure Ground project by Neues Atelierhaus Panzerhalle)
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Pleasure Plants – plant signs in Arabic from the side of the new neighbours (Pleasure Ground project by Neues Atelierhaus Panzerhalle)
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Pleasure Plants – sowing seeds (Pleasure Ground project by Neues Atelierhaus Panzerhalle)
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Pleasure Plants – healing, seasoning and pleasing (Pleasure Ground project by Neues Atelierhaus Panzerhalle)
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Pleasure Plants – names in German and Latin (Pleasure Ground project by Neues Atelierhaus Panzerhalle)
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HeldInnen des Hedonismus/If it’s not baroque don’t fix it, Broken Graffiti No2
HeldInnen des Hedonismus, Broken Graffiti no2, als Teil von Faszination und Fassade, Künstlerische Einmischung in Potsdam
HeldInnen des Hedonismus, Broken Graffiti no2, als Teil von Faszination und Fassade, Künstlerische Einmischung in Potsdam
2014datgalerie
Die Mitte ist der Rand, DAT Galerie Berlin, 2014
2014stunninglefthook_semmer
A stunning left hook, 2014, at SEMMER BERLIN
2013Ende
ENDE, Kunstverein Schwerin, 2012
Ausstellung Semmer-Berlin-2013
Prinzip Collage, SEMMER BERLIN 2012-13
Afrika_install
Das Afrika Dreieck, BVBK Galerie Potsdam, 2012
Willkür mit Kontrast, 2010 at Transient, Berlin, curated with Robert Mueller-Moa
Willkür mit Kontrast, 2010, Transient, Berlin, curated with Robert Mueller-Moa
2010sahara
Where are the disappeared Saharauis? 2010 in Tifariti
2011DerZeugeCrone
Galerie Crone, Jubiläumsausstellung, 2009
2007ClubvonBerlin1
“Still”, installation of portraits with historical portrait, Club von Berlin, 2008
2008ErdbebenGallery33
Family EarthQuake, 2008 at Gallery 33, with Maria Linares, Ina Bruchlos, Ana Maria Millan and Andres Sandoval
2001installationview20
Painting Factory, Spacex Gallery, Exeter, 2001
Koether, Semmer, Tockel, 1985, La Maquina Espanola, Sevilla
Koether, Semmer, Trockel, 1985, La Maquina Espanola, Sevilla

2014 – 15: Décollage paintings/A Stunning Left Hook

2014good_clothes_bad_people?
Defining good and bad, 2014, oil on canvas, 150 x 105 cm
vicious_cycle
Vicious Cycle, 155 x 210 cm, oil on canvas, 2016
RissdieZeit150x100
A Crack in Time, 150 x 100 cm, oil on canvas, 2015
hystericalhousewife
hystericalhousewife, 150 x 100 cm, oil on canvas, 2015
heilige_mutter_weg_da2015
Heilige Mutter weg-da, 210 x 155 cm, oil on canvas, 2015
from-moskow-with-hysteria
From Moscow with Hysteria, 155 x 100 cm, oil on canvas, 2015
JibbyBeans
Jibby Bean, 2014, Oil on canvas, 210 x 150 cm

 

The cynicism of freedom, 2014, oil on canvas, 150 x 210 cm
The cynicism of freedom, 2014, oil on canvas, 150 x 210 cm
Erde im Chaos, 2014, oil on canvas, 150x160cm
Erde im Chaos, 2014, oil on canvas, 150x160cm
Caught red handed, 2014, oil on canvas, 200 x 155 cm
Caught red handed, 2014, oil on canvas, 200 x 155 cm
king king country, 2014, oil on canvas, 95 x 95 cm
king king country, 2014, oil on canvas, 95 x 95 cm
2014Stunninglefthook_200x175cm
A Stunning Left Hook, 2014, oil on canvas, 200x175cm
Travelling, 2014, oil on canvas, 210 x 150cm,
Traveling, 2014, oil on canvas, 210 x 150cm
2014moderneMelancholias
Modern Melancholia, 2014, oil on canvas, 75x60cm
Drehung in China, 2014, oil on canvas, 90 x 70cm
Drehung in China, 2014, oil on canvas,
90 x 70cmSchluss mit Mobben und Dissen, 2014, Oil on canvas, 200x155cm
Schluss_mit_Mobben
Schluss mit Mobben und Dissen, 2014, Oil on canvas, 200x155cm
Danish Painting, 2010, Oil on Canvas, 140x100cm
Danish Painting, 2010, Oil on Canvas, 140x100cm

 

2010-14 Body, Gender, Fluidity

2010keuschheit
Chastity, or what you resist will persist, 2010, acrylics and oil on canvas, 190x210cm
2010_ingres_gestürzt_200x300cm
Ingres gestürzt, 2010, Öl und Acryl auf Leinwand, 200 x 300 cm

 

Handing the keys of yourself to a Black Hole, 2009, acrylics on canvas, 120x130cm
Handing the keys of yourself to a Black Hole, 2009, acrylics on canvas, 120x130cm
13. Geburtstag, 2006, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 80cm
13. Geburtstag, 2006, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 80cm
O.T., 2014, acrylic on canvas, 200x290cm
O.T., 2014, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 290cm
untitled, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 300 cm
untitled, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 300 cm
Ingres_Hure, 2010, oil on canvas, 155x200cm
Ingres_Hure, 2010, oil on canvas, 155x200cm
monkey, 2013, oil on canvas, 90x95cm
monkey, 2013, oil on canvas, 90x95cm
Painting surgery, 2000, oil on canvas, 90x105 cm.
Painting surgery, 2000, oil on canvas, 90×105 cm.
another male, 2014, oil on canvas, 50 x 50cm
another male, 2014, oil on canvas, 50 x 50cm
a twist in nothing, 2014, oil on canvas, 80x80cm
a twist in nothing, 2014, oil on canvas, 80x80cm
o.T. 2006, acrylic on canvas, 160 x 120cm
o.T. 2006, acrylic on canvas, 160 x 120cm
a blackness inside, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 155 x 190 cm
a blackness inside, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 155 x 190 cm
Another world, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 220 x 190 cm
Another world, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 220 x 190 cm
Kreuzabnahme, 2007, oil and acrylic on canvas, 220 x 190 cm
Kreuzabnahme, 2007, oil and acrylic on canvas, 220 x 190 cm
Duchamp's last work revisited from other side, 2013, oil on canvas, 155x200cm
Duchamp’s last work revisited from other side, 2013, oil on canvas, 155x200cm
2008Sanhugoenelrefectorio
San Hugo in el refectorio, after Zurbarán, 2008, Watercolour on paper, 120×150 cm
large "abstract", 220x190cm, acrylic on canvas, 2010
large “abstract”, 220x190cm, acrylic on canvas, 2010

1994-2012 Colaborations

Peter Paul Rubens Grundschule, 2010
Peter Paul Rubens Grundschule, 2010
Louisa, 1994, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 60 cm
Louisa, 1994, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 60 cm
Lola, 1994, acrylic on canvas, 90 x 65 cm
Lola, 1994, acrylic on canvas, 90 x 65 cm
kindermuseum
Bildwelten, Kindermuseum, Berlin 2009
P1030560
Shanna oder Warum haben Männer keine Brüste? 2008

2008colabshanna_200x200

Nein Sagen, 2007, Tafellack und Kreide auf Leinwand, 200 x 300 cm
Nein Sagen, Beteiligung an einem Tafelbild, 2007, Gustav-Heinemann Oberschule, Berlin