Life, unbridled
About the exhibition NOTSTOP LOOKING from Monika Schneider, Saarländisches Künstlerhaus
Saarbrücken 2014 

A plaster disaster: a leg has been broken. Was this red, high-heeled shoe to blame? And someone has forced open
the car. On a monday, of all things. We are right in the midst of Monika Schneider’s life. We leaf through her diary.
But not secretly, with a bad conscience. The artist has opened the pages herself. Personal matters fill up the space.
Circle about us, quite tangibly.

Monika Schneider has sure-handedly picked up scraps of everyday life from a plethora of events and information
that mill around her 86400 seconds a day. Dismaying and elementary things such as illness and death are there,
along with cheerful banalities in the form of discarded lipsticksand complicated knitting patterns. Monika
Schneider draws all of this. And, by so doing, she immerses herself deeply in the original meaning of the word
“to draw” in German (“zeichnen”): around 1000 years ago, in Old High German, “zeihhannen” meant to express
something with a sign or to place a mark on something.

Monika Schneider not only packs situations into complex, meaningful pictures, but also changes
the character of the paper with different materials. Oil crayons, lead and coloured pencils rub over the surface,
become stuck in the fine indentations of the A4 sheets. Strokes and lines, shaped with ballpoint pen, Plasticine or
thread, interweave and grow out of the paper, while felt pens, fine liners and watercolours are absorbed by the fibres.

Monika Schneider makes time to stop flowing for an instant. “Notstop looking” is her motto. She never ceases to look
- no matter wether a fate is scarcely to be borne or just nice things happen. Artists such as On Kawara and Hanne
Darboven have tried to capture everyday chaos with strict routine and systematic numerological magic. In contrast,
Monika Schneider allows wildness. Her drawings are direct, unsmoothed, unbridled. A bilious green melon sits
atop pink-coloured shoulders, a seventies bowl lands in the room with a few strokes, bloog spurts during a
manicure. And we cannot stop looking, because we are allowed to read someone else’s diary – with could easily
be our diary, too.

Annik Aicher, Stuttgart 2014

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