Mirjam Thomann  Theory and Action

23/01/2022 – 05/03/2022

Galerie Nagel Draxler
Elisenstraße 4–6
50667 Cologne

Opening / Eröffnung:
Samstag, 22. Januar 2022, 12 - 20 Uhr
Saturday, January 22, 2022, noon – 6 pm

Öffnungszeiten / Opening hours:
Mittwoch - Freitag 11 - 18 Uhr, Samstag 11 - 16 Uhr
Wednesday - Friday 11am - 6pm, Saturday 11am - 4pm

2G Regel: Einlass nur mit Nachweis Impfung oder Genesung
2G Rule: Admission only with proof of vaccination or recovery

Beachten Sie, dass Sie die Galerie nur mit einem medizinischen Mund- /Nasenschutz betreten dürfen.
Please note that you may enter the gallery only with a medical mouth/nose protection.

Press Release

They did not miss a beat

when they put this house together
And you can find things to do
in every inch of this place
Well, show me something

Dear Gallery Space,

it has been a while, I’m glad to be back. There were times when I was not sure if we would see each other again. We both changed. When I visited you a week or so ago, at night, with a full silver moon shining above me, I knew I’m not the same anymore and neither are you. Over time, you have become a place between vision and memory to me. I remember how we once called you ANGEL. People thought we are funny, but this was how we imagined you, a place close to the sky that we can inhabit, that spoke to a part of us that had not been reached before. We wanted to offer our gifts of transformation, sometimes mischief, and laughter to you. The specifics of these ambitions have been lost to me with time, but what remains is a sense of a burning from within. It seems to unfold and stretch in an environment in which history and ideas can be moved around like so many strips of film. But knowledge isn’t fixed like it lives on a shelf somewhere. And it brings pain when we inherit old scripts that lack sense out of context. So, I guess it’s time to carry the past somewhere else today.

Art doesn’t divide, I believe, but these are difficult times and I still try to find some balance. I call it the daily task of Theory and Action. Joan Didion wrote that a place belongs to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that she remarks it in her name. When I thought about coming here, this is exactly what I wanted to do, to wrench you from yourself. It is not that I think I could absorb you, certainly I am the one absorbed. This might be an unpopular thing to admit. After all they say you are operating a system today that is even more exclusive than before, and I guess it is right, you kind of didn’t reinvent yourself. But still, even observing you from the outside I got immediately enveloped in that feeling of relaxed resignation which says that things are the way they are. Argh, this wild ambivalence of spatial production, how it is simultaneously material, subjective, unjust and a physical response. Your slick, shiny floor, your insistent material presence, is indeed a tempting backdrop to the delicate mixture of love, living, sculpture that I want to share.

I am interested in the architectural and political organization of space and in room as a social category, giving residence to the body. I know from Silvia Federici that reclaiming your body, reclaiming our capacity to decide about our corporal reality, begins by affirming the power and wisdom of the body as we know it, in that it has forced over a long period of time, in constant interaction with the formation of the earth, in ways that are tampered with at great risk for our well being. Thus, our bodies are shaped by social relations, as well as the decision we make in our lives, how we orient ourselves and how we are situating ourselves in relation to things. The things that I brought here are neither manifest or passive, not fixed or static. They are rather fragile and solid at once. It all started with a hole I could fit through. A large, irregular opening, a prehistoric form, like a window or an entrance to a cave. It reflects its surrounding, the patterns of light and the movement of everybody passing by. My work with the whole room began with exactly this shape. But at the end, every space is invented by each person who walks into it, crosses through it and moves from position to position, leans on a railing, leaves a trace, looks into The Fall of flesh color, licks a salty brick, opens, or closes a door. It is true here as everywhere, my notion must stay open and the only way out is through.


Virginia Dawn
Joan Didion
Heimo Zobernig
Etel Adnan
Silvia Federici
Lina Bo Bardi
Olivia de Oliveira
Selling Tampa