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Margret Eicher. Digital Worlds

Sat, August 03 – Sun, November 10, 2024

© Courtesy Galerie Michael Janssen, Berlin, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2024
Atrium 1+2, 2nd floor
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Berlin-based artist Margret Eicher works conceptually with the iconic motifs of the present. Her »Medientapisserien®« [media tapestries] combine traditional pictorial concepts with digital image worlds. The ZKM | Karlsruhe is presenting Margret Eicher's works in a comprehensive solo exhibition in dialogue with the ZKM gaming platform »gameplay.«

Margret Eicher's multilayered works are characterized by the friction between the historic courtly medium of the tapestry and the topicality of the digitally created image collages, in which the artist refers to the information society of the 21st century and its protagonists. Following historical models, the tapestries, which are woven for Margret Eicher in Flanders using an industrial Jacquard process, are framed with opulent borders. Baroque ornaments are replaced by serialized set pieces from today's media reality. The desaturated colors of some of the tapestries are reminiscent of the faded colors of Baroque tapestries. A work series spanning several years dispenses with color altogether and takes on a life of its own in contrasting gray tones.

The Jacquard weave, named after its inventor Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752–1834), made it possible to produce patterned textiles automatically on machine looms from the early 19th century onwards. The Jacquard loom was the first programmable machine for image processing and is considered the cornerstone of automation due to its introduction of the binary system in mechanical engineering. The first punched cards were developed for the execution of patterns, for example.

»Digital Worlds« at ZKM presents 14 large-format tapestries by Margret Eicher with references to gaming and digital culture, digital watercolors from the »Aquaworld« series, which show virtual characters from film, science fiction, and computer games, as well as the installation »Amazing-Amazon-Stars« (1999) from the long-term group of works »CopyCollages,« in which photographic image material from a variety of sources is combined into potentially infinite repetitive structures.

The main work in the exhibition, which is exhibited in the immediate vicinity of the popular computer game platform »zkm_gameplay,« is the 30 meters long tapestry »BATTLE:RELOADED« (2022). This work was inspired by the famous »Bayeux Tapestry« from the 11th century. The black and white sequence of images is populated by the iconic protagonists of today's digital worlds such as Julian Assange, Lara Croft, Lady Gaga, the Ninja Turtles, and Lego soldiers, who find a new life of their own in Eicher's media-reflective works that relate to social topicality.



Idea: Alistair Hudson
Curatorial assistance: Laura Schmidt
Technical project management: Anne Däuper
Scenography: Matthias Gommel
Registrars: Regina Linder, Sarah Donata Schneider

Thanks to: Rainer Gabler, Christof Hierholzer, Helga Huskamp


ZKM | Center for Art and Media

Lorenzstraße 19
76135 Karlsruhe

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