Transverse Wave Berlin – Rashid Al Khalifa

Transverse Wave is considerably different for Rashid Al Khalifa as far as his exhibitions go. Normally, we would find a section in well known galleries featuring this artist’s works as an individual entity. Not so at the ‘ME Collectors Room’ Berlin in November 2019 (to January 31st 2020), for here we see Rashid’s works teamed if you like with those of German artist Mary Bauermeister.

The third element was music or more a ‘soundscape’ written especially for the exhibition by son of Mary and artist in his own right; Simon Stockhausen.

As described on the ME Collectors Room web site: “Curated by Karin Adrian von Roques and Hauke Ohls, here, the envisioned “diagonals” in the exhibition space are of special significance: visitors can imaginarily divide the room from one corner to the opposite one, such that one side focuses on the art of Mary Bauermeister and the other on the works by Rashid Al Khalifa. This partitioning doesn’t have a separating quality, since it takes place in a shared exhibition space and, moreover, is only imagined. The direct confrontation and thus the visual interaction between the artworks in the beholder’s perception is not the only sort of “interrelationship.” Because the sound composition picks up the constructive principles of the works on a symbolic level and makes them drift through the room, an auditive interaction arises on another level. A diagonal in a rectangular space has the advantage of avoiding a strict division of the space into left and right, instead allowing a gentler separation to gradually emerge. Another “interrelationship” in the exhibition is generated by the omnipresent theme of light. While several works by Rashid Al Khalifa address and need aspects of light to exist, a number of Bauermeister’s pieces actively project light”.

From a review point of view: In stark contrast to other more recent mobile exhibits by Rashid Al Khalifa where light and shadow structures, particularly in the hanging mobile displays are quite stunningly integral to the overall effect, a compromise was required for the the Berlin display. Being shared with the standard room lighting of the Mary Bauermeister exhibits; the Rashid Al Khalifa intended shadow element was somewhat diminished. This also meant that the normally bold 3D clarity of the alloy wall units associated with personal movement stretched the imagination somewhat. Overall though, the excellent response seemed to be more of knowledgeable interest than simple curiosity.

The opening was a very German affair attended by many local dignitaries and other well-known German artists, along with Mary Bauermeister and Simon Stockhausen taking centre stage. Curators Karin von Roques and Hauke Ohls explained a little about the exhibition along with gallery owner Thomas Olbricht giving a welcome speech. Also making an appearance was the Bahrain Ambassador to Germany H.E. Abdullah Abdullatif Abdullah joined by other Embassy officials. Sheikh Rashid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa was unable to attend the opening, but was fortunate enough to be able to visit the gallery the following week.

Rashid Al Khalifa –

ME Collectors Room Berlin