The opposite - installation
14.04. - 06.05.05
introductory speech Elke Suhr
Dear friends and guests of the EINSTELLUNGSRAUM e.V.
I welcome you kindly to the exhibition The opposite by Maria und Natalia Petschatnikov.

Das Gegenteil (The Opposite) is the contribution of the twins from St. Petersburg, R., to our subject of the year das PARADIES und das AUTO (the paradise and the car). What is more to be thought of as an opposite than the speed on our streets and the calm of the paradise, which most of the time establishes itself as a quality in one's imagination right away.
Again I welcome Maria and Natalia here dearly. I am pleased they have gotten involved with our project. Bevor you embark into viewing the exhibition of Maria and Natalia please allow me a few words.
I am speaking here instead of the professional art historian with who we worked together sucessfully last year. This year there will also be young female students of art history but unfortunatly they are not here yet. At the present we are in the wild of valuechanges, blocked and opened up financial resources, invisible doers, entangled in contradictory public intentions, so-to-say in the wild woods. It grows what gets air and food from somewhere. Hence allowance - as we say; if with the help of air roots or meter-long drilling rhizomes below ground - to stick with the picture.
What does this mean for the present exhibition? The calmness of the paradise is the protected childhood for MNP, with clear rules for well-being. Following their lively curiosity it happened that they started off there, made a field trip so-to-say to America and France, north and south of Europe and now Germany.
Just to become, to try out, they expose themselves to the powers in the matters and formed things, in order to change them and transform in a way  that the own path develops to the inner paradise, to 'wisdom', as path of
balance between something and its opposite.

MNP are already two of the same blueprint, always in conversation with each other, one questioning the other in herself. Having the paradise of the guarded childhood in the back they have left the pre-stabilizing harmony to move out of it, to make mistakes, to provoke chances which make knowledge possible, without going against rules no art, so they say.
On this path they meanwhile have come along sucessfully. Prizes and sponsorships certify that. Together they are never alone. Insofar they prefer not the individual arrow* in the moving form but the plural, like a flock of birds or a school of fish.
Light is this form, happy. Irony and humour are important to MNP.
The car interests them insofar as an element of human curiosity, the longing to move the body where the mind has already gone, - the car a monade*1.
With potentially restricted area of moving on one hand but on the other with a manifolded oriented one, as the "auto"-mobile balls that can be seen here present.
Insofar MNP see the area beyond the paradise not as wild threatening forest but rather as wonderful chaos, the archaic matter of the greek, which was daemonised in the partriachic world of the middle ages, but by now owns challenging character for the working artist being reduced to material or resource. This uncontrolled garden so-to-say, this daily world, MNP name as their studio, in which we as on-lookers have been invited in. There we find so-called natural matter, organisms like flower bulbs as well as technical things: batteries and ventilators, but also storage media like newspaper snaps or cartons. All elements in surprising co-existence, so that new relations form between up and down, grow and transform. some things look different up looks from when looked at from a distance, like the drawing-like string elements which cover vegetable-like walls and things in many directions like fingerprints.
You may know the fantastic paintin by Courbet - 'the studio', in which according to Werner Hofmann / Hamburg Courbet anticipates the modern times, in which Courbet stages the painting and the on-loo- ker at the same time, and where viewing in connection with artistic action is a subject.
It was painted 1855, approx. 10 years before the first motor was running.
You as on-looker are now asked to find your own paths in the middle of the studio, to travel, to make own sensible connections to give meaning.
Maybe you start with the montage on fine tissue paper:
The other and the one, contrary or transformation, the turned-over, the related.
I hope you will have pleasure with discovering, researching, putting in relation. In the basement there is also a surprise, a Baustelle (building site, the name of the exhibition), or maybe a garden?
Look for yourself.
Thankyou for your attention.
*The arrow as a metaphor for the flight of thought of the individuell through space and time,  which leads to knowledge of correlations (Mercury's arrow). As it reminds of phallic forms MNP on purpose oppose this metaphor by their wound-up string of the Fates (the fatal sisters) from the Greek mythology as a swarm forming element of movement.

*1 Monade is a term by the German philospher G. W. Leibnitz (1646 bis 1716), which imagines the individual like a ball, that fewer or more contains the whole world  and at the same time reflects it on its outside.