Introduction text for the exhibition “Bonsai”



Portrait of a Tightrope Dancer in Autumn.

Each of these leaves is a snapshot of an obsession. Even more: It is itself the object of that obsession, its only object, the object of a discipline of repetition. All this, however, only transpires in retrospect – why else, after all, would someone, as does Mimi Kunz, begin her search anew, again and again, her search for these leaves, for these lines? It is a long way from a quill to a sheet/leaf – even when it’s just that little bit of ink that separates them.

But in the beginning, at the origin of the obsession, there is a question, perhaps a fascination – in this case perhaps a fascination with the dance of the leaves, their dance on as well as off the branch, their conditioned lightness, which always already points toward their eventual break and fall. And then there is the question of how this dance, this lightness – this lightness that is not lightness, actually, this lightness, though, that still overrides all that enables it to appear as lightness in the first place – how all this can be traced further by means of a line, on a sheet/leaf, into a leaf?

How can the drawing itself become leaf?

This, then, is not at all a question of representation, of a mimesis of what has been seen, of the bonsai tree, for instance, even where the bonsai tree-like compostion of leaves might suggest as much. It is rather a question of transposition, of representation as acquisition, at most, representation in the sense of capturing, of a transfer or translation, for instance of that botanico-artistic practice, the practice of bonsai, into the practice and discipline, into the obsession of drawing. Are not the drawings of this exhibition, the lines, the leaves, results of a method of trimming and allowing to grow?

In this way, the works of Mimi Kunz assembled here document a great lightness – this great lightness that requires a tremendous yet invisible effort to be created.


Moritz Gansen, 2015

co-founder of diffrakt. centre for theoretical periphery, Berlin