Berry Bickle

  Berry Bickle - Portrait
Suite Europa - Zoologischer Garten, Leipzig - 140 x 92,98 cm, C-Print on Alu-Dibond


Suite Europa

Exhibition Opening: Sunday October 9th, 2011 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM

The opening will be attended by Berry Bickle and Raphael Chikukwa, curator of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe and of the Zimbabwe Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

The exhibition will run until November 13th, 2011.

  Auerbachs Keller - Leipzig

We will show two photographic series, Suite Europa and Dual Narratives, along with two films, Ze… and On the Wire.

In honor of Berry Bickle’s inclusion in the Zimbabwe Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, we will offer a more pointed presentation of her work.

Suite Europa - Auerbachs Keller, Leipzig
70 x 49 cm. C-Print on Alu-Dibond


The artist first gained recognition in Germany when she participated in the international travelling exhibition Africa Remix, which began in Düsseldorf. She went on to make guest appearances at the ifa-Galerie in Berlin and Stuttgart with Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie.

Bickle has exhibited in numerous group and solo shows around the world. The video On the Wire, which features Maputo as its backdrop, won the Jury Prize at the Bamako Biennale in 2009. Ze…is a conversation between the artist and Zimbabwe itself; recently shown in Venice, it will now be shown in Berlin.

The photo series Suite Europa takes East Germany and found image templates of Leipzig as its starting point. It is being shown for the first time and was conceived specifically for this exhibition. The second series, Dual Narratives, begins by referring to well-known Italian landscape photographer Pietro Pensa, but achieves its own unique interpretations via image editing and processing. In both series, the artist deals with history and a fascination with historical fragments.

Berry Bickle was born in 1959 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Today, she lives and works in Maputo, Mozambique. She studied Fine Art at the Durban Institute of Technology and at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa.

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Suite Europe | Artists Statement  


The origin of Suite Europa was a box of slides (dio positives ) I bought in a street market in Lisbon.  The point of view of the photographer interested me, as the images were impartial, without personal attachment, a distant eye, yet the images carried a suspended emotional value.

Suite Europa
Suite Europa - City Hall, Leipzig


Both revolutionary and Post Colonial Africa had very specific links to East Germany’s ideologically socialism, it was imbedded in the a historical relation to Africa's independent movements, especially Mozambique. The impulse  to work with these original images had a reference to my personal memory, to the ideology of the time, one of fear and mistrust and division. Yet These images were benign street scenes and interiors that had a fantasy quality of a mixture of "old world" and modernism.

They exist outside my frame of reference, or rather float in a lost time of an Eastern Europe that in the contemporary is re mapped and integrated in to our understanding of the Europe. As such, they are etherial and refer to only moments in memory. Suite Europe evolved to answer this notion of history, seen through a curtain or a haze of something that has dissolved to unspecific  time evoking suspended memory.

The amplification of a rich and textural surface in the final photographic image is like a childhood memory, where one is not certain how to trust the memory but to understand its intrinsic value. 

Berry Bickle, October 2011

Dual Narratives | Artists Statement  


A European landscape of mountains and snow is as exotic to me as what must be an African savannah landscape to a European. Working from the images Categoria:Fondo Immagini Pietro Pensa, 1 the constant view of the photographer Pietro Pensa, and his claim to the landscape, of belonging to and living in unchanged for a life time was a strong motivation for the concept of the dual narratives set in these landscape. 

The word meditations on loss and displacement, float into the certainty of landscape as doubts and threaded uncertainty as expressions of nomadism and passage, of being from other spaces is what composed the concepts for series Immagini Pietro Pensa 

Immagini Pietro Pensa

Berry Bickle, October 2011

Ze.. | Venice | Artists Statement  


Zimbabwean Pavilion 54th International Biennale di Venezia
Ze dvd pal shown at 16:9 duration 9 mins Zimbabwe 2010/2011

ze.. as a word has no meaning , as a sound it repeats and repeats. Like a cricket at night or a warning whistle . Ze is a visual conversation between myself and a contemporary Zimbabwe.

My recognition of Zimbabwe as a fractured place ,so familiar yet so many threads in a familiar landscape having being broken or missing leaving gaps or absences . The distance of absence is locked into a contemporary identity of Zimbabwe with the dispersal of families and the fractures in the everyday realties. A simple and personal ritual of washing the body and water frames the personal space of a woman bathing , while the city and the country side merge in a relation of the external view.

Reflecting on the complicated relations between subjectivity, meaning and cultural society . The personal is amplified in small cameos of mirrors and the people in the mirrors are talking to distant family or saying prayers or just having a conversation over distance with the mirror as the reflected image of the present yet evidence of ‘what has ceased to be’. Instead of making reality solid the mirror is an illusion , it reminds us of the world’s ever changing nature.

Ze was shot in my home town Bulawayo, the spoken language is si’ndebele, I do not intend that there is a translation.

Berry Bickle April 2010

On the Wire  


Bamako Encounters African Photography Biennial

Interpretive impulses can be located in Berry Bickle’s seductive video piece On the Wire (2009), which allows viewers to voyeuristically watch a shameless young man, clad in a white wedding dress, explore himself before a mirror. The sense of freedom and ambiguity conveyed by his gestures accord with the artist’s intention to, as she explained, leave the work free and open.

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Press photo 150 dpi

  Zoologischer Garten Leipzig
Berry Bickle
Zoo Leipzig
Vue d'ensemble 150 dpi

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  Biografie | Vita    

  Link to Berry Bickle

Berry Bickle's sites

Overview art


African Colours Venice Biennale
Zimbabwe in Venice 2011 - Raphael Chikukwa
African Colours Berry Bickle
Bickle at ifa - Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen
YouTube Biennale Venezia Zimbabwe Pavilion
Gallery Delta - Harare
Berry Bickle at: Aditi Kulkarni. Blog - profile
Afrique Index - Suite Europa
  Africulture - Suite Europa   Sud planète - Galerie Peter Herrmann
  Operatoranna - Blog - Berry Bickle at ..    

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