Potting On, 1998
Studio-Exhibition, Hessian Cultural Foundation
A house in London's East End, which for one year has served as a living/studio space to German artist Christiana Protto, will be open to the public from 1-22 March 1998.
In drawings and site-specific installations Protto is working on the ornamental patterns of indoor and outdoor environments.
In the kitchen of 68 Lyal Road, an entire wall is covered with a collage evoking images of pottery and needle–work.
Drawings that deal with the ornate and cozy world of the home will be shown in both the studio and living-room.
The living-room will also be decorated using a wallpaper made from cutouts from advertising circulars. Entitled "Agnes" the paper uses the image of a joint of lamb and becomes a "flesh ornament".
Two installations deal with individual gardening, inverting indoor and outdoor spaces. The garden itself serves as a stage for a still-life scene, thus becoming an extension of the house, whilst the basement, as an underworld, in combination with a slide-projection evokes such different concepts as Hades and Paradise.
(...) Potting on" is the name of a completely different dream of paradise, an installation within a small private garden in London. "Getting on" would be an alternative way of interpreting the title, which plays with a modest, easily-satisfied attitude to life. The kind of attitude specific to certain social strata, who, from amongst courtyard washing lines, dream of gardening on a small scale.
For them planting a garden is limited to busily potting and repotting.
Although no plant, however delicate, will ever raise its head from any of these pots, the
artistically stacked flowerpots transform themselves into sculptural figures on a fictitious chessboard made up of flagstones.
These pawns, kings and bishops develop a strange life of their own, pointing almost menacingly beyond the bounds of the fictitious game.
Text by Iris Reepen
Christiana Protto – Potting On
Ed. C. Protto
Frankfurt am Main, 2003
Studio and catalogue with grant from the Hessian Cultural Foundation