Having often worked with poets in the past, American artist Richard Tuttle has developed his first show in Munich since 1973 in partnership with Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, from whose poem Hello, The Roses the exhibition takes its title.
Tuttle has produced 26 pieces especially for the spaces of Kunstverein München. In a manner pre-determined between artist and poet, the work was first revealed to Berssenbrugge once both were present in Munich. Furthermore, poetry is key to the presentation of this exhibition as Tuttle installed his pieces in response to Berssenbrugge reading aloud a series of four poems about communicating with plants.
By sharing one another’s creations in this way, Tuttle and Berssenbrugge use the form of the exhibition as a site for actualisation. Their dual presence is symbolic of the processes of writing and art making that each employ in their individual work. Together they treat ‘Hello, The Roses’ as a spiritual space; a synthesis of visual art and poetry through the ‘merging’ of object, language and space.
Tuttle carefully assembles everyday materials, which ordinarily operate on the periphery of traditional aesthetic forms. Compared with the poetic, his artworks similarly find a site through their own construction - they represent their presence in space in a similar way to how poetry represents its presence through language.
Throughout art history the great outdoors has been an effective backdrop to represent imaginative potential, escapism and alternative systems of value. Critical statements of the neo-avant-garde of the 1970s are no different. At the 1977 Skulptur Projekte in Munster for example, American artist Michael Asher contributed a caravan. This bourgeois emblem of individual freedom, parked in different parts of the city each week during the exhibition, has since become a symbol for a generation of artists who intented to dismantle and escape art’s institutionalisation. Asher physically left the aesthetic enclosure of the exhibition space and reached out to interact with social structures outside.