Almut Linde: Still Alive

11.11. – 07.01.2023

Almut Linde, from the series DIRTY MINIMAL #118.1 — STILL ALIVE (STREET DIARY), 2022, ballpoint pen on fineline notepaper, 11 x 17 cm

„As an artist, I see my task as taking art where it does not occur and bringing the results back into the art context.“ 

For her artistic production, Almut Linde seeks out socially disregarded individuals or groups of people who are neglected particularly because it is uncomfortable to look. She, for example, involves women in women’s shelters, employees in slaughterhouses, prostitutes, soldiers and traumatized veterans, or homeless people in aesthetic processes. Linde thereby enters difficult or delicate contexts and forms temporary collectives with these non-artists. The exhibition Still Alive at PSM presents a selection of the artist’s current works, which were created by people from forgotten and overlooked social realities of life and / or individuals who deal with them directly. 

For DIRTY MINIMAL #119.1 — BREATH, Almut Linde fills the floor with white balloons. Upon entering the gallery, visitors must wade through the balloons and inevitably come into contact with them. The balloons are filled with the breath of people in precarious life situations; people who are willing to make their breath available or to sell it, thus putting the viewers in an uncomfortable situation of physical proximity to foreign breath. Over time, the aerosols diffuse through the thin latex membrane and the shrunken whitish envelopes testify to the volatility of human breath. 

DIRTY MINIMAL #118.1 — STILL ALIVE (STREET DIARY) is an ongoing project for which Linde asked begging, bottle-collecting, and homeless people on the street to record their thoughts or feelings in a few handwritten lines or drawings. She rips the pages out of the notebook, stamps the notes and sketches with a date, collects and scans them, and eventually publishes them on a website set up especially for this project: http://www.still-alive-online.de/. The authors remain anonymous and are presented only through their diary excerpts, which are presented in the gallery and in form of a fragmented digital diary. The artist continues to collect notes that will be added to the physical and online space as the exhibition progresses.

In the gallery’s loggia, Almut Linde shows video stills from the work series DIRTY MINIMAL #45.8.3 — NIGHT DRIVE STILL/STREETWALKER, which record late night drives along the roadside at the Czech-German border, a brutal region for human trafficking and child prostitution in Europe. The work series was created in 2007 as part of a series of works that includes sound works, videos and c-prints.

Almut Linde works within her concept of Radical Beauty. The term radical — derived from the Latin word radix  — contains a reference to the root, the origin of a form. The radical approach is to redirect the concept of beauty back to the roots of form. It makes it possible to put things that we cannot or do not want to see into the space of the observable. The most crucial aspect of her work is to deal with reality directly and without detours.

We would like to thank all contributors, including Karo e.V. for supporting the NIGHT DRIVE STILL/STREETWALKER project and Stiftung Kunstfonds NEUSTART KULTUR for supporting the website set up for STILL ALIVE (STREET DIARY).

Press releasePressemitteilung

Installation view, Almut Linde, Still Alive, 2022, PSM, Berlin. Image: Marjorie Brunet Plaza.
Detail, Almut Linde, DIRTY MINIMAL #119.1 – BREATH, white latex balloons, dimensions variable, 2022. Image: Marjorie Brunet Plaza.
Installation view, Almut Linde, Still Alive, 2022, PSM, Berlin. Image: Marjorie Brunet Plaza.
Detail, Almut Linde, DIRTY MINIMAL #118.1 – STILL ALIVE (STREET DIARY), ballpoint pen on fineliner notepaper, dimensions variable, 2022. Image: Marjorie Brunet Plaza.
Installation View: Almut Linde, Still Alive, 2022, PSM, Berlin. Image: Marjorie Brunet Plaza.
Detail, Almut Linde, DIRTY MINIMAL #45.8.3 – NIGHT DRIVE STILL/STREETWALKER, c-print, 2007. Image: Marjorie Brunet Plaza.

Exhibition Review by Raimar Stange