Everyone is patterned by certain Life circumstances. History, politics, environment, gender roles, religion, esthetics are some of the countless entities biasing human beings. In this frame every person is a witness and narrator of a complex universe of influences. Beret Hamann is examining the personal cosmos of different individuals. In her art works, she wants to “get into dialogue and collaboration with people, also aiming to integrate them into her art work”.
The artist was born in 1967 and grew up in the German Democratic Republic (GDR). As a not devoted Socialist Hamann wasn’t allowed to study, but due to her parents working in the film sector she started to be engaged in the creative branch of moving images already as a youngster.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union’s power in the late Eighties and the breakdown of the Wall dividing Berlin, she was able to start her university program 1990 and finished it as a designer.
Until today the artist is living in Potsdam. A charming city breathing the period of enlightened Prussia architecturally which is represented by the chateau Sanssouci. It was constructed in a Rococo style due to the passion of emperor Friedrich the Great (1712-1786) for French culture and Philosophy. Although most of the artworks were confiscated by the Soviets in the Fifties the beautiful Park remained a place for pleasant walks.
Beret Hamann’s work is reflecting the spaces between environmental circumstances and individual searches for freedom. She is focusing on different artistic styles of expression: Paintings, graphics, installations, photographs as well as conceptual art works are within her personal scope of interests.
“Der Geschmack von Wolken” was the title of an exhibition produced by Neues Atelierhaus Panzerhalle. The art pieces were shown in the Art space Kunsthalle Potsdam in 2009. It broached the issue of borders, especially the social and cultural ones. Beret Hamann’s project was as one of her central topics picking out the location of the space close to the former border between East- and West Germany.
“Nur für meine Freunde” is circling around three GDR-socialized individuals including her. All of them studied at the same university after the fall of the Berlin Wall, but their life’s parted with the end of the university years. Each one followed different aims and wishes – but still the GDR background kept influencing the present for all of them. The confrontation with the change of the political system influenced their lives and work.
What happened to their personal aims, hopes and wishes? Hamann tried to outline the personal handling of this history in interviews with her friends from university. The life stories have been documented in audio books, transcripts in diaries as well as in plain portrait photographs. Regarding the presentation, the artist’s main aim was to give no evaluation. The visitor should get the chance to read, listen and see everyone’s story by himself. The reception should invite everyone to a personal confrontation with the own history and patterns.
Beret Hamann’s new project is focusing on the question of women in the context of Islam – its traditions and values and its impact on daily life. Hamann recently spent two months in Istanbul on occasion of an artist in residency program. The fellowship is financed by the MWFK (Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur) of the State of Brandenburg, initiated by the BVBK (Brandenburgischer Verband Bildender Künstler) e.V. and supervised by Istanbul based diyalog derneği.
The artist started her research by asking the question: How do Turkish women live in Istanbul nowadays? – A city influenced by diverse scopes of modernity as well as by traditional values. Hamann is interested in the compatibility of religiousness with contemporary city life in Turkey.
She is discovering personal spheres by listening to individual stories and by sharing experiences in interviews. Each individual gives an interesting view on daily life issues and on how people are coping with it. The artwork is still in progress, no exhibition date is yet in sight, but the artist is looking forward to announce it as soon as possible in 2016 – hopefully there will be one exhibition going to be located in Istanbul.