Cagy Being (Käfigwesen) 3
“‘Type your own art’ is my special invitation to people wanting to express themselves in an artistic mode for the purpose of becoming, living and altering facts more consciously.”
Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, from her text Signs Fiction
The work Cagy Being (Käfigwesen) 3 by Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt is installed in the MINSK’s stairway to the Brauhausberg. The large-scale wall work was planned for a kindergarten in 1989 but was not realized after the fall of the Wall. Now, thirty years later, this significant work, which depicts five children in geometric abstract form, is on view for the first time.
Already in early Typewritings, the artist visualized forms like “cubes,” “boxes,” and “cages” on paper with her typewriter through the use of punctuation, special characters, and letters. Interlocked, overlapping, and building on each other, numerous figurations with the title Cagy Being (Käfigwesen) were created from these character forms—autonomous, fictive (character)-beings. In the title, Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt plays with the ambiguity of language. By combining "cage" and "being," she detaches the words from their original meaning in a subversive and humorous way.
With the wall work Cagy Being (Käfigwesen) 3, now installed at MINSK, the figurations are transferred from paper to the wall. The figures resist a simple interpretation. They are about closed and open spaces and systems and therefore how boundaries and limitations can be tested and overcome. The treatment of such topics requires taking a stance, then and today, and constitutes the contemporary relevance of Wolf-Rehfeldt’s work.
The installation heralds the comprehensive retrospective of the artist Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt at DAS MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam in early 2023. Born in Wurzen in 1932, the artist is considered a pioneer of Mail Art in the former GDR. Her work encompasses Typewritings, prints, collages, and painting. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Wolf-Rehfehldt ceased to work as an artist. In November 2022, her work will be distinguished with the Hannah Höch Prize of the State of Berlin.