when the evening sun turns crimson. shelter

Joerg Soechting

October 4 - October 28

happylucky no.1 is very proud to present when the evening sun turns crimson. shelter, our second exhibition of work by Joerg Soechting.

Originally inspired by the artist’s road trip across the Sahara desert in 1986, this exhibition is an elegy to peaceful cohabitation, western morals, and the freedom of travel. Today, most other travelers would now have to risk their lives to cross this stretch of land. This is due to ever- shifting geopolitical conflicts in the African continent, with vast swaths of land that are now treacherous for migrants, refugees, and travelers. Yet despite the dangers, thousands attempt to flee their homes in order to find peace. As a result, migrants are venturing towards the European Union or the United States out of sheer desperation, but often these refugees are turned away or outwardly resented by followers of far-right politics.

This speaks to one of the main sources of Soechting’s disillusionment in regards to progressive politics and the breakdown of counterculture in the west. As a German citizen who has witnessed the ups and downs of post-war Europe, the artist sees the west on its own particular journey, but one that is regressive rather than progressive. Rather than evolve beyond colonial violence, and offer aid to those who are suffering, the west has turned its back and only inflicted more corruption and unrest in vulnerable regions of the world. This neglect has let many innocent civilians fear or suffer through torture, rape, and death. Rather than protect those we hurt over hundreds of years of conquest, we continually enact violence by leaving desperate people with no alternative or escape.

Since this exhibition’s starting point was a trek, Soechting designed this work to be traveled through. By using the layout of happylucky no.1’s long and narrow gallery space, different sections and environments are created. Each section speaks to the aforementioned concerns and crises. Utilizing painting, photography, textiles, sculpture, audio, and video throughout the space, the artist creates a transporting sensory experience. Both political and poetic, Soechting uses this trip-like exhibition to highlight the beauty of these lands and to the west’s indifference and cruelty.

Joerg Soechting (b. 1959) is a German artist currently working and residing in Berlin. After growing up in southern West Germany, Soechting spent many of his years traveling and was deeply affected by these experiences in both his life and art practice. After living in New York from 1990 to 1996, he has since remained in Berlin. Soechting has shown his work with happylucky no.1 once before, as well as international venues like the Jewish Museum, Berlin, DE, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, MX, and Tilly Haderek Gallery, Stuttgart, DE.

Artist statement