Brigade is pleased to present the opening of ‘Earth, Wind & Fire’, a solo exhibition by Peruvian-German artist Berenike Corcuera (b.1994, Lima, Peru).
Throughout history humankind has grappled with the fundamental questions of our existence; who are we; where did we come from, how should a life be lived; and where are we going? From animists to polytheists and monotheist, humans have always looked for answers within the context of our social groups, often referring to external spirits or divine entities to explain or validate our common principles and understandings.
In her practice Berenike Corcuera continues this fundamental exploration of the human spirit and soul. Answers to spiritual questions are still sought in the realm of the divine, but in a divinity that exists only as a sanctity within each of us. Corcuera believes that in contemporary spirituality, our collective consciousness has moved away from traditional concepts and personas of religion and is no longer bound to any specific dogma, but rather to a bigger realm of exploration and research.
Corcuera views the divine as a uniquely personal understanding rather than a series of common certainties applied generically to everyone. In Corcuera’s spiritual world the personal and collective consciousness moves towards intuition and creativity and away from any authoritative principles. Human existence must be interpreted as a journey of changing states rather than a series of events set within a static condition.
In her first exhibition with Brigade, Corcuera engages with questions of spirituality and diasporic narratives through a series of large-scale appliqué works. The colorful works depict her own spiritual journey, from the syncretism of indigenous spirituality and catholic religious structures of Peru to her move to Europe and later search for identity and belonging in western contemporary spirituality. Presented as a cycle of life, the spiritual journey takes us through the different states of the human existence, with each state represented by one of the four classical elements - earth, air, fire, and water - referencing both ancient explanations of nature and matter common to many cultures in general, and her Peruvian ancestors’ religious beliefs in particular.
Corcuera has an educational background in textile-print from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design in London (2019) and in menswear from Institut Francais de la Mode in Paris (2020). She since learned her craftmanship from fashion design studios such as Versace, The Row and Bernhard Willhelm, before deciding to pursue her artistic practice. Using as her vantage point the craftmanship and knowledge gained from the world of fashion, Corcuera’s explorations are manifested through a series of large-scale appliqué works that shift playfully between the hopeful, the nostalgic and the inquisitive.