Natalia Stachon – Omitted Center 


06 November 2015 - 20 February 2016


Of nearness to her sundered Things

The Soul has special times –

When Dimness – looks the Oddity –

Distinctness – easy – seems –

(Emily Dickinson, 1862)


But I am not one in space I am one in time–Metal time–Radioactive time–So of course I tried to keep

you all out of space–

That is the end of time–

(William S. Burroughs, 1964)


Ambivalences, dynamic, alterable and multi-faceted spaces of sensation in literature always fascinates Natalia Stachon. Especially when they speak of the inability of language to grasp what it is trying to describe. For her, they possess the ability to open new rooms. Inspired by the encounter with the writings of William S. Burroughs and Emily Dickinson, Stachon continues this engagement with the works shown in the exhibition entitled Omitted Center:

“When reading texts by Burroughs, it often seems to me as if I were able to understand a foreign language. The endless superimposition of fragments makes it seem as if everything intertwines and suddenly makes sense. Like a film exposed a thousand times over, for one unrepeatable moment this literature contains everything that is current and significant. Susan Sontag once wrote that Burroughs’ language is based on the "freedom of dreaming", inextricably interweaving time and space. For me, this also applies to Emily Dickinson’s poetry, which only ever circles around the supposedly obvious, without ever naming it directly. The American film and literature scholar Jay Leyda coined the term "omitted center" for this principle. Through allusions, elisions, references, parallels, and reflections, Emily Dickinson weaves a dense net in her poetry whose nature we can only encounter in the in-between, in movement and approximation. Thus, meaning presents itself as something fleeting, and something incredibly precious. In the writing of these two authors, there is for me a connecting element: it is keeping a secret as a value. Appreciating mystery as a possible foundation of creativity.“ (Natalia Stachon, 2015)

At the center is a video installation. The film’s motif is a group of young men, assembled in a strict formation, balancing a heavy wooden construction on their shoulders. They move slowly through a large hall, exploring step by step the surrounding space in a choreographed movement. This mysterious gathering seems like a separated fragment looking for a connection, or like the last remnants of an enigmatic ritual or dance. This works explores the term "circumference", which was highly significant for Emily Dickinson: "my business is circumference", she wrote in 1862 in a letter. The Latin root of the term goes back to "surrounding" and "carrying around". Dickinson, however, used it to "illustrate poetic activity as movement: circling as an approach to something mysterious".

In the show, the video installation is contrasted with new sculptural works that are based on Stachon´s  engagement with texts by Burroughs.


Natalia Stachon (*1976) lives and works in Berlin. In the last years her works were exhibited at: BWA Contemporary, Katowce/PL (2015); n.b.k. Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin (2015); Museum für Konkrete Kunst, Ingolstadt (2014); Kunstraum Alexander Bürkle, Freiburg (2015/2014); Daimler Contemporary, Berlin (2013/2009); Museo Santa Giulia, Brescia (2013); Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2013); Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn (2013); Haus am Waldsee, Berlin (2012); Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich (2011/2010). She taught inter alia at HafenCity Universität Hamburg, at Hochschule der Künste (Berne) und Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg.