Berlinische Galerie presents works by the recipient of the Förderpreis 2024: Hannah Höch
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Berlinische Galerie presents works by the recipient of the Förderpreis 2024: Hannah Höch
Installation view „Özlem Altın. Prisma.“, Berlinische Galerie, ©

BERLIN.- Özlem Altın (*1977 in Goch) is the recipient of the State of Berlin’s Hannah Höch Förderpreis 2024. This honour includes the solo exhibition Prisma at the Berlinische Galerie and the eponymous catalogue.

In her artistic work, Özlem Altın prefers not to be associated with any particular art medium. At the Berlinische Galerie, she has engaged in a dynamic process of collaging and photomontage to create a multifaceted, site-specific installation, in which she examines – with a strong measure of empathy – the relational fabric between photography, archive, and body.

The exhibition invites visitors to engage with the cycles of life—as a metaphor for process and change or as a reflection of the constantly evolving clockwork of the cosmos. For Özlem Altın, the body is a means of expression and a repository of knowledge at the very same time, or, as she puts it, an ‘interface for communicating, connecting, and transmitting knowledge through touch and contact’. For her multilayered installations, comprised of works ranging from large-format paintings to room-sized sculptural constellations, Özlem Altın draws on her own and found photographs from the archive she has been accruing for over two decades, with a focus on body language, gestures, and touch. Here, photography becomes an artistic material, as well as the point of departure and reference for her creative practice, for instance when she arranges pictures of hands or eyes together with other image fragments, thus creating, also through overpainting and cropping, an imaginary world of new sensory connections, calling to mind a speculative way of mapping. Here, the artist’s compositions of inner and outer pictures elude any form of clear interpretation, making ambivalence visually tangible.

Özlem Altın is an artist, mother, and somatic practitioner. In her paintings, collages, photographs, and artist books she explores the body at rest and the inanimate in action. In her work, Altın draws from a photographic collection she has assembled over the years, combining found images with her own photographs to form dense constellations. Employing photomontage and applying layers of paint, the artist succeeds in fostering new associations. In this way, the artist challenges viewers to also examine the space between the images and to develop their own narratives. Some elements and motifs—like the mask, the mermaid, the heron—are symbols to which she frequently returns. Her collages embody something hybrid, part human, part animal, as well as a state of in-betweenness. This complex net of imagery contributes to the elaboration of a narrative on bodily existence, at times of mythological nature.

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