Stefan Strumbel

what the fuck is heimat?*

September 06 until November 08, 2014

One of the key features in Stefan Strumbel's œuvre is the involvement with the subject “Heimat“. This term can be considered as a metaphor for experiences of socialization and for the establishment of identity, which appear to be anachronistic in a globalized and digitized world. At his solo exhibition “what the fuck is heimat?*” Strumbel examines the theme “Heimat” with canvases and prints as well as objects and installations, and transforms ethnic clichés while using subjects and anglicisms from Pop Art and everyday culture.

Strumbel became known for his cuckoo clock-sculptures that reclaim the lost nimbus of the German speaking souvenir through the aggressive alienation of traditional attributes and utterly loud colorfulness. His numerous sculptures in private collections such as Hubert Burda in Southern Germany or Karl Lagerfeld in Paris, illustrate that the shift of context repeatedly broadens the space of delimitation. “Heimat“ becomes the cultural construction and the cuckoo clock as an ethnic alien element the subject of transmission of identity (according to Jacques Lacan). The symbolic of the cuckoo clock enables the reflexive confrontation with one's own self: Strumbel's highly glossy surfaces function as a mirror, in which the beholder is able to view himself as well as his perception of the received. Hence, the cultural construction of “Heimat“ becomes the metaphor of existential identity questions like: Through which factors do I define myself spatially, temporally, socially and culturally?

After his solo presentation at the Kunstverein Hamburg (2012), several participations in museum shows and the design of the scenery for “La Bohème“ at the opera in Stuttgart (2014), we are pleased to present Stefan Strumbel's grand solo exhibition “what the fuck is heimat?*“. The exhibition includes a variety of installations which thematically and visually relate to each other such as a display that is inspired by traditional framework and unifies the particular artworks to a folkloric artistic synthesis.

photos by anna.k.o.