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YEAR: 2009
EXHIBITION VIEW: :galleriefreihausgasse, Villach , AUSTRIA
DATE: 10.7.-2.9.2009

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A STONE IS DEAR TO MY HEART (Dt. Ein Stein liegt mir am Herzen)
Within the group exhibition THE OTHER HALF (DIE ANDERE HÄLFTE), Ruth Mateus-Berr engages with metaphors and their correlations. The presentation includes 4 sculptures, 2 drawings, 3 paintings addressing two topics: `A Stone is Dear to My Heart` and `Giving Stones instead of Bread’.
Metaphors are not just ornaments of our language, but an essential part of our thoughts. Our way of thinking and acting is fundamentally determined by metaphors. Thinking has its roots in bodily experience. Sensations, actions, emotions build on our being and intervene in our material world (LAKOFF & JOHNSON 1980:3). Sometimes metaphors are also used to describe situations or abstract things with a comparative image, an analogy. Idioms bring situations back to consciousness.
In the works of Ruth Mateus-Berr, her personal understanding of what is said and felt is questioned.
If the metaphor actually says "A stone falls from the heart", Ruth Mateus-Berr understands it as "I have a stone at my heart". This stone is thus causally actually on the heart before in a temporal span, that it can then in succession "fall from the heart".
This moment of falling is the tension, the relief as well as the after, when the stone is actually no longer on the heart. So if you still feel the stone on your heart in a moment, you cannot yet see it fall from your heart.
Sometimes this stone is still connected to the heart by hardly visible threads. So you often need the right tool (in this case a medical thread cutter) to be able to remove it from the heart. The weight of the stone is felt as a relief when it falls.


GIVING STONES INSTEAD OF BREAD (Dt. Steine geben statt Brot)
The other half in this case is an injustice. The stylistically elevated phrase "giving someone stones instead of bread" has the meaning of "fobbing someone off with empty words instead of really helping them."
Gospel of Matthew, Sermon on the Mount, V9: "Which of you men, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?" This phrase is about the metaphor of hard-heartedness (DUDEN 1998: 440).
The work is a metaphor of HUNGER. The hunter-gatherer had no sense of time, lived completely in the present. Through the invention of agriculture, which was born out of hunger, a new sense of time was also created. One planned into the future, into stocks.
Hunger was always a political weapon. Projected number by which the world population will grow until 2025: 2,000,000,000. People who die of hunger worldwide every year: 10,000,000 (BRANDEINS 2009, Issue 05: 84).

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Sculpture/object: half a slice of bread, half a slice of marble gravel


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