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Timur Si-Qin: Basin of Attraction

In his first solo institutional exhibition in Germany, Timur Si-Qin (born 1984 in Berlin, lives and works in Berlin) has developed a project that generates an ambivalent echo between his works and the body.

The artist grew up in Germany, the United States and China, studied fine arts at the University of Arizona and returned to Berlin several years ago. His works have already been shown in Los Angeles, Milan, Paris and Berlin, among other places. In his project for the Bonner Kunstverein, arrangements of 3D prints play a central role. The artist used 3D scans of Paleolithic hominid fossils of a certain individual belonging to the natural history collection of a South African museum and printing them as objects. Their surfaces feature cosmic nebula, hunting camouflage patterns or pictures from supermarket advertising brochures. Si-Qin’s way of employing these patterns causes diverse levels to encounter each other: the ornament as a primordial gesture with a contemporary pictorial language, the temporal dimension of the stars with those of the bones and primeval hunting with grocery shopping. These objects, simultaneously original sculptures and ornamented replicas of bones, trigger questions dealing with tradition and the link between today and yesterday.

The bone arrangements lay in the immediate vicinity of lightweight structures made from PVC and aluminum that are usually used for stands at trade fairs. They are entirely covered with advertising stock images. Their selection results from the artist’s ongoing reflection about instinctive human primal reactions to visual stimuli and mechanisms of attraction that have been trained by survival strategies and which continue to condition us today. Si-Qin is fundamentally interested in rethinking the conventional division between culture and nature. He references in the process philosophical approaches linked to the theory of evolution that explore such abstract concepts as taste or desire from the perspective of biology and neuroscience.

The artist references visual elements of contemporary culture in his exhibition, but he reveals their connection to biologically conditioned primal phenomena of attraction, thus pointing to the timelessness of certain pictorial elements. Si-Qin addresses a time in his exhibition that still conditions us biologically, but which we have no conscious memory of.