Bildhalle Amsterdam presents the first solo exhibition of the German collage artist Miriam Tölke in the Netherlands.
Miriam Tölke stacks everything in her studio, discovers, pulls individual leaves out of their bindings, rearranges and cuts out first impressions as forms. Faces are halved, landscapes chosen – everything that is important to Miriam Tölke and what reflects her own impressions. Between Berlin and the surrounding countryside, the city itself as well as nature are a constant impulse for her. The pulsating, the compressed and the disturbing of a big city, the anonymity and hecticness through which one slides as a flaneur and absorbs moments in order to store them for oneself are just as relevant to the artist as the peace and harmony of nature outside of the turmoil.
Both are reflected in her work: her found faces seem to rest within themselves, as if they are floating, falling out of the gloss magazines and fashion magazines of a chaotic world that is only a space away. Reassembled with aspects of other faces and ideas, they bring the gaze to the very center, like a pull to steer out of the picture into the next landscape. Identity and balance, both guiding principles that play a major role for the artist.
As a mother of four, femininity is a natural theme for Miriam Tölke. But it’s not just the only one. At the same time she feels her art as a reflection on states, community and society. Where is our place in the transience of the moment. How do we find our ways? The collage offers the perfect setting for her.
Miriam Tölke was born 1977 in Bielefeld. She completed her painting studies at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart in 2000 and moved to Berlin. Already in her time in Stuttgart, she began to collect discarded things: magazines, notebooks, books, catalogs. Paper that has been deemed useless by others, but for her of incredible value. A treasure hunt in the city, which she continued in Berlin.
She assembles images from magazines with found objects, scraps of paper or fragments from her accumulated picture ar¬chive. In this analog process, she collects, explores, and observes, placing her findings strikingly and minimalistically into a new context. Glossy pictures combined with landscape images become bizarre and irritating portraits that seem to reflect an inner world. A spiritual landscape, reflecting both the artist’s poetic way of thinking as well as today’s zeitgeist. In Tölkes pictures, there is always an element of calm, of pausing, which is initially unsettling, before unfolding its profound effect and finally eliciting a smile.
I take everything out of context, collect, rearrange, put together loose parts, mixing materials and techniques. I create my own order out of the chaos of abundance.
I am a flaneur. That’s why I live in the city mostly. I love to study people, faces, gestures, movements. Nature gives me horizon.
Be naive in everything you do. The pictures are there – listen.
Mirjam Tölke, 2019
Miriam Tölke : A Part Of The Circle
Until September 3, 2022
Gallery for classic and contemporary photography
1071 HR Amsterdam
Tel +31 (0)20 808 88 05
1016 SM Amsterdam
Tel +31 (0)20 241 47 48