Altitude Sickness

The debut Berlin solo show from artist Elizabeth McTernan

Words By Elly Harvie

Date: 16/10/16 – 13/11/2016, viewing by appointment
Time: Opening, 15th October; Listening Session, Altitude Sickness: Asteroids and Angels (and the Weight of the World), 5th November

“I don’t want to go to outer space. I like it here” says character A, minimally named in a postmodern style that recalls Samuel Beckett’s precise and empty theatrical world. Altitude Sickness, Elizabeth McTernan’s first solo exhibition in Berlin, presents the past two years of the artist’s work. The monumental reach of the exhibition spans the varied landscapes of Germany, Lithuania, Finland, and the Indian Himalayas. The form of her work is equally polyvalent, including drawing, printmaking, video and audio installations, storytelling, and artists books. Along with the galactic subject matter, McTernan redefines the space occupied by contemporary art and the role of the artist, not only thematically but technically.

Altitude Sickness is an exhibition that is redolent of life in Berlin, which remains, nearly three decades after the fall of the Wall, in a state of reconstruction and redefinition. Appropriately, HORSEANDPONY is an artist-run gallery space that was established to provide artists, curators, and collaborators with a laboratory for interdisciplinary experimentation (you can check out our feature on the space and the artists behind it here). The results of McTernan’s vast and innovative show are transportative.

“Why do Earthlings dream of leaving? Why do we crave the outside, the escape from gravity? What lies outside but erasure? As we run the Earth into ruin, they say there’s always Mars. But I don’t want to go to Mars. I like it here on Earth. There’s Snickers here.” – Excerpt from “Walking to Outer Space” Elizabeth McTernan, 2016

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