Nicole Wermers makes collages and sculptures inspired by her interests in architecture, photography and the objects of everyday life. Out of a desire to make a giant mother-of-pearl earring sculpture, she developed the idea to use her residency to research surface and materials such as lacquer and polish associated with high-end design and luxury goods. Wermers considers how their surfaces reflect the desires projected on to them by individuals, as well as their symbolic layers and alleged powers. Her research takes her from the work of American minimalist artist Anne Truitt and a Coco Chanel documentary exploring the sociological effects of costume jewellery, to the manufacturing process of surfboards.
Examining contemporary culture’s obsession with what she calls ‘Oberflaechen Fetischismus’, Nicole Wermers invites Hamburg-based writer Jan Verwoert to deliver a talk on fetishism and surface dreams. Verwoert is a contributing editor of Frieze and is a guest professor at the Art Academy of Umeå, Sweden.
Wermers also presents ‘Montana Sacra’ by Alexandro Jodorowsky (1973), a film about alchemy, occult philosophy and the quest for eternal life.