Two bickering male song birds. Next to them a female songbird is sitting on the edge of a dish filled with feed. It is a photographic reproduction from an old illustrated book about nature and animals – one of countless books that fill the shelves of second hand bookshops or end up in the giveaway book boxes on the sidewalk. Just like a billboard the scene is mounted flush on the wall.
On the glass of the display window there is an area filled with golden metal leaf tracing the outlines of the bickering birds. The gilded area is reminiscent of the background in medieval icon painting, the so called gold ground, that points to the transcendental, the indescribable. Marlene Zoë Burz inverts the image structure by placing the gold ground in front of the image centre and thereby blocking the view on the bickering birds.
The title “Off Seasonal Pilgrimage” is complementary to the inverted image levels of the display window on a linguistic level. The concept of season has developed from its meteorological origin into a commercially descriptive order of our leisure behaviour. The pilgrimage is a voluntary journey for those who seek contemplation. Apart from the seasonal pilgrimage there is a different order: it brings the indescribable, the non-tangible into the foreground. With her photo-painting-hybrid Marlene Zoë Burz provides a proposal for the Off.
Text: Manuel Kirsch
SOX Berlin, 2022