Untitled (Absence)

Berlin. For the upcoming exhibition Untitled (Absence) at SAVVY Contemporary, curator Anna-Lena Werner (www.artfridge.com) juxtaposes two artists, who are both connected through the political relation of their home countries, as well as through their interest in the absent, the untitled or that what we might expect to be the “truth” behind the facade.

The photographer Lela Ahmadzai (b.1975, Afghanistan) and the painter Lars Bjerre (b. 1975, Denmark) both follow that trace with their own methodology, searching for what is missing and observing the human aura disappear and reappear. Lela delicately documents burqa-wearing women or those who rejected the burqa in Afghanistan. Thereby she is not only trying to de-mystify their appearance for the viewer, but also for herself. Lars on the other hand, either covers the facial identity of his fictional protagonists to reveal their psychological struggles or he even replaces them with deserted sceneries that only uncannily remind of human traces.

“Absence is inevitably connected to a hidden presence of humanity, of identity, a banned space,” says Anna Lena Werner about the concept of her project at SAVVY Contemporary – a non-profit art space aimed at fostering the dialogue between “western art” and “non-western art” since 2010 in Berlin-Neukölln.

Lela Ahmadzai graduated with a Masters degree in Media, Information and Design from the Fachhochschule Hannover in 2009 and now lives and works in Berlin. www.ahmadzai.eu

Lars Bjerre graduated with a Masters degree in Fine Art from the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London in 2011. He lives and works in Berlin. www.larsbjerre.com