Come inside, bitte
Juliette Blightman at Eden Eden

Issue no5
Oct-Nov 2021
Fluidity

The everyday life is full of unnoticed ordinariness. Faces and places we hardly acknowledge because of their omnipresence, while living through moments without contemplation of familiar surroundings. Juliette Blightman deals with these scarcely noticed rituals and repetitions embedded within our lives. Come inside, bitte is a call to step in and explore the mundane gently.

Installation view Juliette Blightman ‘Come inside, bitte' (photo: Nick Ash)
Exclusivity 2015, pencil and gouache on paper (photo: Nick Ash)

Having an ‘exclusive’ access to the space, feels very private and intimate before even having seen the show, as the Eden Eden gallery in Berlin is mainly open by appointment. The space itself reinforces a sense of a somewhat non-gallery atmosphere by not being a slick white cube. When entering, the viewer is confronted with a wall full of photographs and paintings, in a salon-style hanging. Spending some time just examining the gallery of private photos, perhaps of family and friends, the viewer takes the role of an observer looking at the intimacy emphasized by the scenes depicted: a photograph of sleeping people in bed, portraits, a watercolour of two people having sex or just pictures of streets in afternoon lights. Most of the motives are recurring in the exhibition.

The unfinished painting above the doorframe (Exclusivity (no.1), 2015) seems anonymous: a group of people in a swimming pool, with two figures observing. Yet, the details become visible in Exclusivity (2015), a close-up of the scene that reveals an orgy-like happening. These reflections of the highly personal also describe a subjective temporality. The images capture fleeting moments, that grab hold of the connection between space, community and our relations to them. The web of social relations shown here are based on spatial-temporal contexts, where Blightman’s approach remains rather personal and collaborative.

Installation view Juliette Blightman ‘Come inside, bitte' (photo: Nick Ash)

Blightman’s interest in the pliability of time becomes clear in the translation processes between the different media she uses. Heiligenberg (no.1) (2015) shows a child about to jump into a pool. It’s a split-second action, which is also captured through the lengthy process of painting in Come inside, bitte (2015). The somewhat poetic installation in the second space depicts time through organic changes. The house plants not only evoke a domestic environment, but also show a certain ephemerality when losing their leaves.

Time and Death (some say sex) 2015, single channel video with sound (photo: Nick Ash)
Time and Death (some say sex) 2015, single channel video with sound (photo: Nick Ash)

Blightman often uses moving image in order to introduce a sense of temporality into her work. Time and Death (some say sex) (2015) is a single channel video, which is a collage of single videos, photographs and their translations into paint. Looking at them is like scrolling through someone’s mobile phone photos, but the intensity with which we actually look at them is slowed down by the still-life paintings, that interrupt the projected slide. The video is accompanied by an instrumental version of New Order’s Temptation – a nostalgic reference, which builds a sense of sad retrospection, when thinking about the reality that these moments and what holds us onto them, might disappear.

Come inside, bitte
Eden Eden, Berlin
14 February - 4 April

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Magazine
Metropolis M Magazine for contemporary art No 5 — 2021