I DON’T HAVE A GUN

Natascha Stellmach, CJ, 2014, ink and pen on photo paper, 69 x 86 cm, unique

CJ, 2014, pigment and pen on photo paper, 69 x 86 cm

An ongoing body of work exploring feminine power and the role of the artist. More text below.

Natascha Stellmach, Crystal, 2014, ink and pen on photo paper, 69 x 86 cm, unique

Crystal, 2014, pigment and pen on photo paper, 69 x 86 cm

Stellmach-Candy-2014-Repro-wBorder

Candy, 2014, pigment and pen on photo paper, 69 x 86 cm

Stellmach making CJ, 2014

Stellmach making CJ, 2014

Installation view: Crystal, Candy & CJ, framed unique works, Wagner+Partner Berlin, 2014

Installation view: Crystal, Candy & CJ, framed works, each 69 x 86cm, Wagner+Partner Berlin, 2014

Natascha Stellmach, Crystal, 2014, ink and pen on photo paper, 69 x 86 cm, unique, red frame

Crystal, 2014, pigment and pen on photo paper, 69 x 86 cm, red frame

Known for creating socially critical works that blur the boundaries of the personal, historical and imaginary – each of the works in Stellmach’s ongoing series, I Don’t Have a Gun begins with a single film frame, scanned from the artist’s 1970’s Super-8 home movies inclusive of its black edges. Following detailed intervention by Stellmach, the result becomes an irreverant exploration of self-image and popular culture with insights that are laced with ironic Australian black humour. By co-opting images and stories from her life and popular culture, and reinterpreting them through the addition of pink drawings of empowered (yet odd) women, collage, digital manipulation and handwritten provocative prose – these works become universal. Stellmach’s women whom she affectionately calls either her “babes or bitches” are both alter ego and talisman, and although the ‘guns’ they brandish are ‘loaded’ – they are fundamentally weapons of creativity.

2013 SERIES:

Natascha Stellmach, I have a ghettoblaster and a pen, 2013, ink and pen on photo paper, 69 x 86 cm, unique, courtesy Wagner+Partner Berlin

I have a ghettoblaster and a pen, 2013, pigment and pen on photo paper, 69 x 86 cm

The Aussie-German art darling’s provocative show blends fact with fiction, confronting the contemporary concept of burnout while celebrating renewal. Exberliner, 2013

Natascha Stellmach, I have a tattoo machine, 2013, ink and pen on photo paper, 69 x 86 cm, unique

I have a tattoo machine, 2013, pigment and pen on photo paper, 69 x 86 cm

Natascha Stellmach, I have an air guitar, 2013, ink and pen on photo paper 69 x 86 cm, unique piece, courtesy Wagner+Partner Berlin

I have an air guitar, 2013, pigment and pen on photo paper, 69 x 86 cm

Natascha Stellmach, I don't have a gun, 2013, ink and pen on photo paper 69 x 86 cm, unique piece, courtesy Wagner+Partner Berlin

I don’t have a gun, 2013, pigment and pen on photo paper, 69 x 86 cm

Natascha Stellmach, I have a blender, 2013, ink and pen on photo paper 69 x 86 cm, unique piece

I have a blender, 2013, pigment and pen on photo paper, 69 x 86 cm

Installation view,

Installation view, “I Don’t Have a Gun”, framed works, at Wagner+ Partner Berlin, 2013

Informed by an experience of burnout in the artists’ own life, the 2013 I Don’t Have a Gun body of work is a celebration of renewal. Stellmach does not dwell on the negative aspects of the syndrome – instead her insights are evocative and hilarious. As always, Stellmach blends fact and fiction – blurring the boundaries of the personal, the historical and the imaginary. Co-opting images from her own life, creating new pop culture texts, and offering a series of ‘live’ tattoo performances, this exhibition is a unique and empowering exploration of taboo and self-image. (more)

Text (Deutsch)

More about the tattoos: THE LETTING GO

Natascha Stellmach, installation view,

Installation view, “I Don’t Have a Gun”, paper and ink on walls, dimensions variable, at Wagner+Partner Berlin, 2013

Natascha Stellmach, installation view,

Installation view, “I Don’t Have a Gun”, paper and ink on walls, dimensions variable, at Wagner+Partner, Berlin, 2013

Visitors reading

Visitors reading “I Don’t Have a Gun” wall text at Wagner + Partner Berlin, 2013

I DON’T HAVE A GUN | WALL TEXT
It is summer and I am living by the beach when the smouldering begins.
Are they shooting again? They must be. I ignore until it wafts down from the eucalypt hills, the unsettling scent of burning flesh. I ask my family if they can smell it too, if I should alert the firemen. They laugh, turn on the TV and offer me more champagne. My father declares that all the mad folks are on mum’s side of the family. My mother proclaims that dad is more bonkers than the entire clan and suggests that perhaps I ought to just do art as a hobby.

I pace the beach up and down, up and down and watch the visiting Tibetan monks wading in the shallows with their robes pulled high, laughing hysterically into the glaring sun and edge past them, into the depths, past the floating fishes to get a perspective because then I may see the smoke that must be up there on those hills. Besides, no one goes to the beach by daylight anymore as we’re all running here and there or for fear of the dangers that may create the disorders that no one can cure and no one swims in the water because of God knows what. Plus I’m convinced that these fierce flames must be making their way into more bodies and perhaps also during the night – oh dearie me – and that must be the reason for the charred smell of flesh. I confide in my brother, affirm my theory with statistics and testimonials and he tells me to quit being a fucking Rocket Scientist and to have another beer or a chill pill or at least write horror scripts.

And so I ask strangers…(more)

Natascha Stellmach Installation view (detail),

Installation view (detail), “I Don’t Have a Gun”, paper and ink on walls, dimensions variable, at Wagner+Partner Berlin, 2013

Natascha Stellmach, installation view,

Installation view, “I Don’t Have a Gun”, paper and ink on walls, satin curtain, dimensions variable, at Wagner+Partner Berlin, 2013

Installation view,

Installation view, “I Don’t Have a Gun”, paper and ink on walls, satin curtain, dimensions variable, at Wagner+Partner Berlin, 2013

Natascha Stellmach, Installation view (detail),

Installation view (detail), “I Don’t Have a Gun”, satin curtain with reticle, dimensions variable, at Wagner+Partner Berlin, 2013

more INSTALLATION VIEWS 
Wagner + Partner Berlin

SELECTED PRESS
Dazed Digital | Under The Gun – Review by Natalie Holmes
Berliner Zeitung | Das Böse ist immer und überall – Review by Ingeborg Ruthe (Deutsch)
Die Welt & Berliner Morgenpost | Kämpf den Dämonen – Review by Frédéric Schwilden (Deutsch)
Deutschlandradio | Kunst die unter die Haut geht – Andreas Main reports whilst being tattooed during a Stellmach happening (audio & transcript: Deutsch)
TAZ, Die Tageszeitung, Berlin | Tattoo-Happening zur Selbsterkenntnis – Review by Meike Jansen (Deutsch)
a.muse Berlin | Beyond The Smoking Gun – Review & Interview by Julie Anne Miranda–Brobeck
Troublemag | Review & Interview by Carmen Ansaldo
Nau Nua Art Magazine | Interview by Juan Carlos Romero