With Dinosaurs and Astronauts Susanne Schmitt creates an anachronistic cosmos of works in response to neo-liberal performance pressure and structures of Turbo-Capitalism. By using lead glass and ceramics, the artist tells an associative story of melancholy and translates traditional materials into a contemporary design language. In doing so, she examines the possibilities of melancholy and fatigue as a resisting force. Elements of lead glass and dancing flutes let the viewer immerse in grotesque, supposedly medieval visual worlds.
Schmitt chooses deliberately an iconographic resort to Pieter Bruegel the Elder´s „The Hunters in the Snow“- an art-historical reference that is already taken up in Tarkowski's Solaris and by Trier's Melancholia. With his visually stunning apocalyptic film, Trier transforms the “Acedia”, which has been considered as a deadly sin since the Middle Ages, into the “melancholia generosa”: Melancholy as productivity and deepest insight into difficult truths. An insight that is more than necessary, not least in times of climate collapse and massive extinction. The title of the exhibition Dinosaurs and Astronauts opens up an area of tension between relics of bygone times and bearers of hope for the future, which are equally accompanied by hopeless escapism. Susanne Schmitt's cosmos allows a playful, associative view of the present. She conjures up the resistance of melancholy; an inner state that makes us pause and holds unimagined potential.
– Words by Alexandra Lange –
Susanne Schmitt (born 1989 in Trier) lives and works in Berlin. She studied at the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee and at the Kunsthochschule Mainz. Dinosaurs and Astronauts is her first solo exhibition in Berlin.