Gerrit Frohne-Brinkmann. You-Know-Who
Benedict Cumberbatch, Johnny Depp, Nicole Kidman, and Helen Mirren—Gerrit Frohne-Brinkmann (1990 in Friesoythe) has brought all of them from his waxworks. From his photographs of the wax figures he had cardboard standups printed—the copy of a copy of people that take on other roles for a living.
For his partly kinetic sculptures made from cardboard, Frohne-Brinkmann took props from the Harry Potter movies as a reference. Parts of the costume wardrobe that was present on the movie set of the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, he transformed and put them into the second dimension and into the exhibition room.
Where exactly does culture become pop culture—and where does pop transform into a historico-cultural artifact? Gerrit Frohne-Brinkmann is interested exactly in these spaces of transgression. Is there a limit to the entertainment value that the visit of a cultural institute should have? Is a blockbuster-exhibition high culture, a movie park, however, shallow entertainment? In what way is a performance artist related to a stage magician? And why exactly is the slightly outdated showmanship and stage magic in such high demand lately?
For his solo exhibition You-Know-Who Gerrit Frohne-Brinkmann takes the visitors to the basement floor of Kunstpalais into a contradictory world full of curious exhibits. In a complex installation that asks questions of value and significance, authenticity and aura, persistence and worthiness of being considered art, education and entertainment, and—at last—deceit and disappointment.
The artist juggles elegantly with the idea of the readymade, the artistic thoughts of a sculptor, and the notion of myth, and, at the very end, leaves the viewer at the abandoned buffet. Captivated and agitated. Even though he placed all his cards on the table.
Image: Gerrit Frohne-Brinkmann, You-Know-Who (autograph), (detail), 2019, marker on printed paper, 20 × 25 cm, Courtesy the artist, Galerie Noah Klink, and Jürgen Becker Galerie