The basic idea and starting point for the spatial installation “secret chapel” is a “secret” or poorly accessible and unattractive place in the forest, where Judith Egger realised a long-term work in process in March 2021. Hidden in the midst of the blackberry bushes and undergrowth, populated by slugs, ticks, snails and mushrooms of all kinds. Always from exactly the same vantage point, the artist filmed an approximately four-square-metre section of this place, which over time transformed into the “secret chapel”. To show the slow change of the secret place, short film sequences (approx. 3 seconds per sequence) were strung together and interwoven as a kind of film-stop-motion animation. Thus, in addition to the physical changes of the place, the light and the weather, the sound of the forest is also recorded.

Here it is not so much a matter of completely reshaping the place – indeed, the obvious shaping itself takes up a relatively small part of the work. Rather, it is a matter of observing and growing along with the development and growth in spring, with sunset and sunrise,
extreme downpours in summer, mould, fungal growth and moss carpets. With small interventions, a kind of space is suggested in which rudimentary clay forms sprout from the ground. The artist follows an intuitive feeling rather than a preconceived plan and avoids any aesthetic exaggeration. She tries not to follow the impulse to make something “beautiful”, but remains a witness. In heavy rain, the unfired clay washes out or becomes muddy. The forms fall over or collapse. Then Judith Egger tries to reconstruct them as inconspicuously as possible – but the constant disintegration and reconstruction is perceptible in longer or shorter cycles in the film.

Egger calls all sound objects “presences”. On the one hand, they symbolise vitality, unrestrained growth, but at the same time they also represent the consciousness that is born into this world with every living organism and also disappears again. This aspect is something new in Egger’s art – if her focus was previously purely on the dynamics of the life force (which she calls “threshold force”), she is now also interested in the seemingly passive being-present, the “being-aware”.
Since Judith Egger’s father became seriously ill shortly after she started the project and died in the course of 3 months, the work in the forest was very much intermingled with this painful event, her witnessing and encountering of dying and death.

The work thus developed its own dynamic and became completely synchronised with life. During the process, the installation was shown at different stages in Spain (in cooperation with Galería Aural) – in April at Galería Aural in Madrid, then in a follow-up exhibition at Museo del Arte Contemporáneo, Alicante and in autumn at Centre del Carmen/Valencia. The installation in the Artothek in Munich represents the conclusion of this year-long process.

At the end of the exhibition, an artist’s book with texts by Anabel Roque Rodríguez will be presented.

Arthothek, Rosenthal 16, 80391 München

Eröffnung, Donnerstag, 10.3. ab 19 Uhr

Finisssage mit Buchpräsentation, Freitag, 8.4. ab 19 Uhr