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October 1, 2009 Artists No Comments

What’s next is an interview with Berlin-based artist Bärbel Rothhaar who I had a chance to meet briefly today at the Galerie Samuel Lallouz.  They were in the middle of setting up her show, Bee Works, but they were accommodating enough to let me in.  The vernissage is tomorrow, October 1 [5 p.m.] and runs through November 14.  I am hoping to meet with her on Friday and I will post the interview on Saturday.

Rothhaar has been working with the bee theme for the last ten years.  Her videos, also entitled “Bee Works”, are absolutely fascinating.  For “Bee Works – 1 Sleeping in a Beehive”, 2004-06, Rothhaar placed a beehive in a glass box, then placed the box above her bed.  Okay, you know that little warning – Do Not Try This At Home? – well, this would be a good time to remember it.  Rothhaar also placed a wax sculpture of her sleeping head inside the box and and then filmed it as it became covered with honeycomb.  As a final step, she filmed her sleeping head with ultra red.  The film clip of her sleeping head alternates with the wax sculpture in what becomes a hypnotic, rhythmic pace which simulates the breathing of someone who is fast asleep.  Heightening the sense of sedation is the incessant droning of the bees [a noise created by the flapping of their wings – 11,000-13,800 times a minute].

Check-out the video.  See if what initially seems an absolutely frightening proposition – sleeping with bees – doesn’t suddenly transform into a riveting collage of man/woman and our environment.

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