Exhibition Key Image (Poster)
by Luki von der Gracht
For "Journey Through A Body" Luki von der Gracht created an exterior space inside the museum’s interior space. Enlarged notes, personal letters and photographs from years 2010-2021 tell a story of emotion, searching, love, memory, adventure and identity. The life-size works are hanging on a 10m brick wall and the museums painted black walls. The texts are hardly readable, the faces fragmented or hidden away, sentences are corrected, changed or crossed out. The text paintings are smudgy and blurred. The yellow light changes from dark to bright in a 30 second rhythm. In the middle of the installation is the museum’s scaffolding which enhances the ideas of transformation and the desire to change and evolve.
„Luki von der Gracht’s cross-media work is devoted to human beings in their search for identity. With the help of installation-based/ performative, photographic, and video works, dance, performance, music, and fashion, von der Gracht explores, among other things, social belonging, origin and gender in an effort to gain greater visibility for marginalised groups. Their visual language is gentle and forceful at the same time. Using a limited set of materials and techniques, the works succeed in conveying their central message and spur the viewers to engage with their own prejudices, constructs, and assumptions: short phrases, statements, or allusions, painted or spoken, spark reflection. Photographs with a poetic quality show situations and places that offer room for advanced thought. In collages of found footage, von der Gracht takes up existing normative images and understandings of the body and puts them up for discussion. The search for identity is also reflected in their effort to create a safe space for members of the LGBTQIA* community.“
Alicia Holthausen, curator Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Dr. Gregor Jansen, director Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
„Luki von der Gracht documents how beautiful it can be, to step into the outside world, also outside of your own self into a kind of freedom. And simultaneously: How dangerous it can be there. Because the outside is also the unsafe space of a new order and of a new and unrehearsed togetherness that has yet to be defined.“
Philipp Holstein, Westdeutsche Zeitung
„‚The kids are alright‘ (2021) Luki von der Gracht writes in ink on canvas. The exhibition’s last statement fits perfectly into an exhibition on the topic of the individually selectable self. In The Who’s album „My Generation“ they sing: „But I know sometimes I must get out in the light“ and no-one has thought of the way into the illuminated internet, when it was common to suppress one’s individual gender identity and belonging.“
Peter Ortmann, Trailer Ruhr
„Luki von der Gracht’s work is about humanity and tolerance, about the multi-layered emotions and needs of each person: Hope, faith, fear, love, belonging. The central theme for von der Gracht is the gender issue, which has become the focus of public debate in recent years thanks to courageous pioneers. Even today, sexuality and gender identity that is not hetero-normative is criminalized in 69 states, with 15 even facing the death penalty. Von der Gracht turned their negative experiences into something positive - art. "It is the place I have created for myself, my spiritual, creative space. I stay curious, try new things, want to learn and always challenge myself."
„Confidence is contagious" Luki says in one of their works. A hopeful message.“
Dr. Dorothee Achenbach, Rheinische Post