The photography group exhibition 'The Skinned City' was curated by Steffi Klenz for Yinka Shonibare Guest Projects. The exhibition brought together works by Rut Blees Luxemburg, Christian Hagemann, Steffi Klenz, Wiebke Leister, Melissa Moore, David Spero and Eva Stenram.
Wiebke Leister’s contribution ‘Skin Deep’ (2010) aims to portray mind spaces rather than specific places. They conjure up rooms that fold in on themselves, fall down on us, continuously unsettling the conventional figure-ground relationship of our perception in a process of trying to grasp them. Embalming the inner skin of a somehow familiar place, they function like peripheral portraits of space –– at the same time visually evoking a sense of premonition behind matter where sight gives way to touch.
Exhibition project: 'The Skinned City'
Unlike treating the city as an assemblage of material objects and architectural spaces, this exhibition brings together different visual approaches to the idea of ´dwelling´. Dwelling – just like ‘living’ or ‘lingering’ – is understood here as an active engagement of thought in present tense: to reside, to remain. In an attempt to observe and grasp our surroundings, all works exhibited are focusing on margins rather than actual buildings, on the liminal spaces and ambiguous boundaries marking out the city and the different places within it. Accordingly, the show promotes some rather idiosyncratic takes on the world around us: often on the edges of the visible, the works unpeel the city space and its various layers – not to arrive at a ‘deeper truth’, but to undo the many planes of a cityscape. In turning the periphery into its centre, we experience the city as a layered space that functions like a continuously changing membrane, breathing in and out. Imaginary as well as physical in its different functions, the city’s skin becomes an interface we live in: an enveloping surface, a container. By visually peeling away the submerged city layers, the show looks at real and conceptual thresholds, interior and exterior walls – similar to any self that experiences the world both on its skin and through its skin.