An encyclopaedia of possibilities.
In his marvelous and scholary book about “the encyclopaedia” (Philipp Blom, Enlightening the World: Encyclopédie, The Book That Changed the Course of History. New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), Philipp Blom describes the methodologies and the world of encyclopedists.
In a similar manner, Birgit Jürgenssen’s work with its encyclopaedic approach and its diversity, which sometimes has been perceived as a lack of conclusiveness, unfortunately only starts to unfold posthumously.
Birgit Jürgenssen’s literary mind, the influence of prominent figures such as Flaubert, Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Nerval, Mallarmé, from Lewis Carroll to Italo Calvino, not to mention the whole surrealist literature, surfaces most clearly in her unpublished diaries and work notes. “It was impossible for me to draw without having a piece of literature in my mind,” said Jürgenssen. Literature is remembering.
“Ungesehenes” is showing a selection of so far never exhibited works from the estate of Birgit Jürgenssen. Recently described as “brilliantly disturbing” by The Guardian, which is how the work of Birgit Jürgenssen presents itself. She mentioned once that “to veil something can make it visible”, she masks, veils and distracts the visual sense in order to surface and manifest the unseen. Jürgenssen’s “unseen” works, despite their divergence, are united in one point. Birgit Jürgenssen worked within the medium of sensibility.