“I’m Not Afraid” Ingeborg zu Schleswig-Holstein and Boris Mikhailov

Opening Reception: 26. June, 8 pm

The exhibition will be opened by Alexander Klar, director of the Hamburger Kunsthalle.

Tom Reichstein, in collaboration with Kunstverein Werkstattgalerie Berlin e.V., presents an interdisciplinary dialogue between two artists curated by Pascual Jordan. This exhibition captures a “work in progress” that has been ongoing for several months. The artworks not only respond to each other but also find unity in collaborative pieces. 

Ingeborg zu Schleswig-Holstein has collaborated with various artists on experimental projects. For instance, she created a series of paintings with Polish composer Augustyn Bloch to accompany his composition “A Song for Gdansk” on the occasion of the city’s 1000th anniversary. She also collaborated with Jürg Halter and Tanikawa Shuntaro on the chain poem “Speaking Waters,” creating artworks in the workshop gallery while the poets recited their verses. Another collaboration was with Chinese poet Liao Yiwu, resulting in a series of paintings now housed in the Salsali Museum in Dubai.

In all these encounters, Ingeborg responded to music or spoken words with the gestures of her abstract painting, capturing the essence of the painting process itself. Boris Mikhailov, a photographer, painter, and performer from Kharkiv, has made Berlin his home. His extensive body of work, spanning over half a century, is often seen as a chronicle of life. Through his snapshots, drawings, paintings, and writings, he documents life in Soviet times and the transformative period in Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union. His work challenges social and artistic norms, focusing on the human condition and its vulnerabilities, often infused with irony and poetry.

Mikhailov’s retrospective “Ukrainian Diary” at the Maison européenne de la photographie and the Pinault Collection in Paris showcased around 800 of his works. Film critic Anton Dolin remarked that understanding Ukraine in recent decades was almost impossible without looking at Mikhailov’s unsparing yet tender photographs.

The workshop gallery will exhibit Mikhailov’s slide series “Ispytanije smertju” (Engl. Test by Death), produced until 2019. This series, exploring the themes of finiteness and cultural traces, seems to have foreseen Ukraine’s fate and reflects on the potential end of history itself and its earthly manifestations.