Pauline Curnier Jardin: “Fat to Ashes”. Preis der Nationalgalerie presents solo exhibition after the end of the lockdown at Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin w

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Munich/Berlin. Meat, skin, wax, confetti, blood, intestines, odors, senses, smoke, ritual, alcohol, excess, touch, singing, fat, and ashes: these are some of the soft, rough, gentle, and coarse materials the artist Pauline Curnier Jardin employs in her works. The winner of the Preis der Nationalgalerie 2019 presents the extensive video installation “Fat to Ashes”, which she produced for her first institutional solo exhibition in Germany, in the historic hall of Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin. The exhibition runs from the reopening of the museums of Berlin onwards until September 19, 2021. BMW supports the Preis der Nationalgalerie as exclusive partner for 15 years now.

Fat to Ashes” combines three cinematic snapshots: a religious festival in honor of Saint Agatha; the slaughter of a pig; and the Cologne Carnival. Thereby, the exhibition’s title denotes the week of excess that runs from so-called “Fat Thursday” or “giovedì grasso” and known as “Weiberfastnacht” or “Fettdonnerstag” in German, until Ash Wednesday which marks the day reality sets back in and Lent begins according to the Christian Calendar. Jardin shows these three spheres of activity as places of transgression and transformation which bring societal functions originating in cult rituals into the present: those of congregating together, performative display, and the exuberant abandonment of prevailing mores.

An Italian dessert, for example, which recreates the shape of a breast and is eaten on the feast day commemorating the martyrdom of Saint Agatha. The slaughter of the pig takes place far from industrial factory-farming on a traditional rural farm. The images of the Cologne Carnival, on the other hand, are full of life. Looking back at the carnival events, the festivities read like a last great collective debauchery just before Covid would lead to a country-wide lockdown, as people viewing the film today now know. A broad amphitheater encompasses the video installation as the center of the spectacle, and thus transformations, processions, and practiced performance in ritualized excess are the content and formal attributes of Pauline Curnier Jardin’s “Fat to Ashes”.

A catalogue in German and English will be published by Buchhandlung Walther König to mark the exhibition, with contributions by Pauline Curnier Jardin, Sara Giannini, Ana Teixera Pinto, Kristina Schrei and Giovanna Zapperi.

The Preis der Nationalgalerie is enabled by the Freunde der Nationalgalerie since 2000 to reward the winner with a solo exhibition as well as an accompanying publication. The Preis der Nationalgalerie focuses on young important positions of today. Artists of all nationalities are eligible if they are currently working in Germany and are less than 40 years old. Previous awardees amongst others were Monica Bonvicini (2005), Cyprien Gaillard (2011), Anne Imhof (2015), and Agnieszka Polska (2017).

Due to the pandemic situation the exhibition dates are subject of change. For current information, please visit

For more information and press images, see the press area at the following websites or Staatliche Museen zu Berlin: Press

[IMG alt="Pauline Curnier Jardin. Peaux de Dame in the Hot Flashes Forest, 2019. Mixed Media Installation. Qu'un Sang Impur, 2019. Mixed Media Installation, HD Video, 16 Min. With friendly assistance of Bureau des arts plastiques des Institut français and the French Minitsry of Cultural Affairs. Installation view at the Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin. © Nationalgalerie - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Courtesy the artist and Ellen de Brujine Projects, Photo: Mathias Völzke. (08/2019)

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