In her first solo exhibition for the +359 Gallery in Sofia, Stella Geppert considers architecture, the body and its surroundings as a single interdependent organic system that is both in resonance and constantly in communication.
TOWER BREATH BODY MEMBRANE arose from the artist’s need to connect with nature through the human organs. For this purpose, she dealt with the various material and functional states of the organs. She was inspired by Chinese body techniques as well as by the dynamics of the body when waking up, getting up and lying down. The starting points were, on the one hand, gestures in dealing with the organs that are invisible to us and, on the other hand, sounds that stimulate organs. She found out that these organ sounds, which are determined by material constitution and dynamics, are related to sounds of nature and other species. Putting oneself in the organs and their specific location in the body is a very important aspect and the basis of this exhibition.
Stella Geppert’s performance RE: EMPATHY THE NATURE kicks off the exhibition, which she dedicates to the five most important human organs – kidney, stomach, liver, heart and lungs. These are assigned vertically to the respective floors in the tower in proportion to the body. For the first time, the artist works with embodied sounds that she initiates to stimulate the organs. Those sounds form associations with other species and landscape sound fields in a composition. Die von Ruth Wiesenfelds Komposition SOUNDS FOR THE ORGANS (2022), entstanden aus den körperbasierten Lauten von Stella Geppert.
While the audience finds itself in the artist’s mirror prostheses MIRROR SPINE” (2022), an entanglement also arises on the architectural level in the form of a space-consuming mirror installation that Stella Geppert conceives as a spinal column.
In the series of drawings entitled CONSTITUTIONS OF THE BODIES, Stella Geppert explores the material and energetic states of the body and its organs. The artist follows assignments to plasmatic, gaseous, liquid, solid and earthy energies and combines emotionally intense and existentially threatening states of fear, anger, grief, and disgust on the one hand and psychological factors on the other. As body prints, they become psychogeographical maps, which Stella Geppert combines with frottages so-called CONSTITUTIONS OF THE BODIES – SEASIDE DRAWINGS (2022) of different substrates, such as concrete and sandy soil.
The actions of the series H-MM-A-ZI-E are understood as artistic operations and as a kind of healing measure to restructure the relationship of the organs to nature. The artist performed organ massages on herself, the gestural movements are drawn on a canvas.
Using various organ-related breathing techniques, Stella Geppert initiates communication of the inner organs with the architecture of the water tower and multiplies her body tension into space. The basis for this are her physical movements and drawings, all of which become traces of energy fields in the exhibition so called TOWER BREATH BODY MEMBRANE.
Stella Geppert’s works are born out of the analysis of movement in communicative and bodily states that are formed and shaped by social conventions. As a sculptor and performer, she defines the medium of drawing as a sculptural imprint of the essential movements of human interaction. Sculptural and performative work is therefore work on and with relationships, which is why she explores the question of the specific and transformational states of body and space, material and touch, contact and resonance. The body’s sensual ability to “think itself into” space, body, material and substance is an important aspect of her work, in which she portrays the human body as a membrane, fragile and vulnerable. This “membrane” is in constant exchange with the outside worlds and other species. Stella Geppert is a professor at BURG Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle for sculpture and performance. Since 2020 she has been part of the Berlin performance collective for choreographers FLUTGRABEN PERFORMANCES.