All posts by Kuratorin

Sirra Sigrún Sigurðardóttir, Klingenberg Erling TV

Opening: October 26, 5pm
Duration:, October 27 – December 1,  2012

Landmarks, Seismology, Motor Sport and the Scandal of Politics and Banking

Some news from Iceland: a man instructed by his bank to hand over the keys to his house and his car hired a large digger, dug an enormous hole, and pushed both car and house into it, piling the earth back on top. The next day, as arranged, he handed over both sets of keys to the bank.

Everyone orientates themselves on landmarks. It doesn’t matter what they are: a pile of rubble, a construction site, a single standing tree, a rock formation or a flat-topped mountain, all serve equally well.

In the exhibition “Landmarks” the Icelandic artists Sirra Sigrún Sigurðardóttir and Erling TV Klingenberg cut intersections between differently marked out landscapes. The landscape of motorcycle escapism, like a German bank commercial: lone trapper’s paths opened up by the empowering roar of an internal combustion engine, the thrusting power of banking opening up limitless freedom. Opposing this lionised liberation are towering heights and sundering chasms, graphs that plot the sudden rise and ensuing descent into hell of the Icelandic banks, the brutal verticality of these peaks and troughs an uncanny mirror of the mountains and gorges of Iceland itself.

Sirra Sigrún Sigurðardóttir’s Tremors show landscapes where all orientation has broken down. People are filmed standing on an earthquake simulator, the action starting after the main shock has occurred. The films show the still reeling disorientation of aftershocks, a recurring experience that confuses as much the tenth time as the first. Such emergencies are no time for poetic subtleties: the repeated tremors in Sirra Sigrún Sigurðardóttir’s films hammer home a parallel with Iceland’s financial collapse, and the aftershocks that continue to rock Iceland’s society and institutions.

Perhaps a good way to avoid feeling the smaller earthquakes might be to jump on a motorbike and redline off into the landscape. The growl of the engine and clouds of dust should mask the shuddering ground, or the social collapse, depending on what kind of quake you’re trying to get away from; literal or metaphorical (or perhaps in Iceland, both). Although Erling TV Klingenberg is no willing petrolhead, he has nonetheless been driven to co-opt the motorcycle. What subtle gesture of obtuse conceptual art can still be recognised in the thundering overnight collapse of the state? Klingenberg uses a motorcycle as tool to paint with. Like a dog flinging earth out behind him with a gnarly paw, Klingenberg sprays paint up with a wildly spinning revved up rear wheel. Stupidly dangerous and pathetically impotent, the bike is raised off the floor and can go nowhere. The paintings that result from this dare-devil mud flinging resemble the silhouettes of vertiginous peaks.

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We would like to thank Heuser Motorräder for their generous support in realising this exhibition.

Gabi Steinhauser

Opening: Friday, September 7th, 5pm
Duration: September 8 – Oktober 13, 2012

An atmosphere of austerity surrounds the photographs of Gabi Steinhauser. Large, unframed and portrait format, they hang freely, suggestive of flags or banners. When displayed, Steinhauser’s photographs are calibrated into an exact relation with each other, in scale, number and combination. They describe structures: splintered glass, crumpled metal sheets, and elements of architecture, stairwells, steps and corridors. Non-narrative, unsentimental, the photographs appropriate the structures of their subjects into the mechanics of pure image construction.

Yet in the apparent narrative vacuum that they leave, their splinters and fractures, their incredible and brilliant colours begin to acquire an alternative and alien narrative form: the imagery of science fiction. The large scale of the photographs begins to suggest the opening credits of a sci-fi movie glowing on an up-ended cinema screen. Soon this imagery collapses, but it’s rejected afterimage dimly lingers on. Steinhauser’s photographs reveal as much in negation as their austerity constructs anew.

Alongside the photographs, Steinhauser has placed small pieces of furniture throughout the space. They mirror the sculptural attitudes of her photography: they are without function; they are not concerned with the nature of tables and benches. Glass tables with chrome legs stand in front of hanging glass plates and pieces of thin sheet metal. Cryptic, formal and teasing, these objects have only a superficial relationship with the designed interior. If Steinhauser makes an object that is not a table, it is so by almost being a table. From these non-similar but proximal points, a complex of coordinates can be plotted outwards, into increasing arcs of ambiguity.

Also shown are some of Steinhauser’s drawings on 1mm graph paper. These drawings eschew the dialogical tensions of representation and form inherent in the photographs and objects, whilst retaining an aura of austerity as a common quality. Acting out their own engagement with the complexities of image construction, precise linear marks shimmer and create optical confusion. Combined with the confusion of perspectives in Steinhauser’s photographs, and the ambiguity of intent in her objects, familiar relationships of correspondence, representation and recognition are coolly broken down.

Graham Anderson, Abel Auer, Aleksandra Chaushova, Dorota Jurczak, Lucy McKenzie, Caitlin Keogh

CIRIO

It was last spring. It hadn’t rained for weeks, and one could imagine a middle Europe devastated by forest fire. Trouble of one kind or another would be coming soon enough, this much we knew. For some time now the future had been clouded out by uncertainties.
We found ourselves in a city that no-one save a few office workers laid claim to, and where the remains of a previous century lingered on out of sluggishness rather than any meaningful wish to preserve. Art Nouveau lithographs littered the streets, golds and turquoises unwilling to let go of their shimmer, and on the street corners sat “mennel,” indulging the vice of drinking themselves to death.
What should they do? So badly prepared for a world that can now only ask the question: “To have or to have not?”
And on, in the countless second-hand stores we found books about Fin de Siècle illustrators, and a few shirts out of that good old linen they just don’t make any more.
After mealtimes, one sat round and thought: what now?Another group show, obviously. Apart from that… keep it together, and hope for a few good years.
(Abel Auer)

12th May – 23rd June
Opening 11th May, 5:00pm

(Photography: Dominik Friebel)

Maria Zahle, Peggy Franck

ZIPPY ZIPPY

Opening: Friday, March 16, 5pm
Duration: March 17 – April 28, 2012

Maria Zahle. Peggy Franck

17th March – 28th April

Opening Friday 16th March, 5:00pm

Zippily, moving quickly and lightly, Maria Zahle and Peggy Franck allow their different works to interlock in this exhibition, like the teeth of a quick zip-fastener.

On show are a combination of things, raw materials such as plexiglas, stands with hand-made objects on them, objects made from plaster and – ironic beacons of deepest subjectivity – light bulbs that bear single painted brush marks.

One might think that such combining of objects is now standard for almost every contemporary art exhibition. What is special in this case however, is the openness of the result. Here truly equal rights are granted to the different components of the exhibition, objects and materials are displayed lightened of their symbolic loads. The informal distribution of elements, the variation in their poses – some leaning, some lying down – allow them the simple presence of bodies at rest within the exhibition space.

Both artists have a piqued yet un-anxious relationship with the idea of decoration and elegance. This tendency is an absolute gift in the current climate of contemporary art. Elegance of arrangement, and decoration itself are famously central to both the concept of kitsch, and to the advertising industry, with whom (concept and industry) the art establishment attempts to maintain a low-rumbling persistent feud. However, against this dreary backdrop, the spontaneity of composition with which Franck and Zahle work, and its apparent accidentality and air of provisionality nullifies any distracting pretence of dry rhetorical games. Out are reactionary complaints on a theme of the decorative, or sly pot-shots at the “managed clichés of atmosphere” of the hotel lobby, gone too is the po-faced snobbish horror at the pictorial deception of the mail-order furniture catalogue, and so on.

Given this series of denials, and apparent casual shedding of anything other than immediate relational content, arresting open questions still remain. Exactly how is it that a collection of constructed elements comes to represent so specifically intended a study of the imprecise? And exactly why does a cool minimalist sculpture composed of small flat strips of plexiglas persist so strongly in the mind as the image of a human figure?

Maria Zahle, born 1979, Copenhagen, Denmark, lives and works in London and is a co-founder of the London based project space The Hex.

Peggy Franck, born 1978 in Zevenaar, The Netherlands, was a recent recipient of a residency grant at the Künstlerhaus Bethanian, Berlin, where she now lives and works.

Jennifer Bennett, Alexander Hoepfner

Opening: Friday, January 27, 5pm
Duration: January 28 – March 3, 2012

Can one get close to things as mere things? Hardly, things are always distorted by memory and convention in the most confusing ways. What’s more, these external referents fluidly transform themselves over and over at the moment of encounter, although the thing itself may seem unchanged.

So can one set aside this constantly shifting cloak of associations? Would one actually want to? What exactly would a thing be, about which one has no information? One will, as a matter of course, give the thing a name, weigh it and measure it, in order at the very least to be able to say something about it. One is compelled to act in this way. To describe objects is to participate in society, in ‘communication events’. The undressing of things to a naked state of pure being is the cloistered and silent preserve of monk-like higher meditation.

To hell with things. In this exhibition of work by Jennifer Bennett and Alexander Hoepfner, the flowing states of descriptive material that attach themselves to things are presented, crystallised, in absentia rerum.

Jennifer Bennett’s glassy-surfaced sheet-metal and ceramic sculptures have their origins in the city. Bennett is interested in barriers, obstructions and chicanery, which, like the politics of urban construction work, channel people through the city; the artefacts of public space. Bennett does not document the city, however, and the relationship with her starting point in urban realpolitik is thrown into precarious doubt by the fact that her art work consists of delicately rendered entirely new objects, that hardly seem to evoke the atmosphere of the real-politikal. The route back from this doubt is in the name itself, real, that relating to or derived from things (res). Bennett’s work then is the sloughed off after-imagery of this urban clash of things, of systems, designs, objects and life, and becomes all the more bewildering for this realisation. The solid knowledge one assumes from the equally solid objects that one encounters every day becomes shaky. What should one really think about a sheet-metal ramp, that provocatively reminds one of a reclining chair, and simultaneously a traffic sign?

Alexander Hoepfner’s paintings are made by digging down through layers of applied paint. As Hoepfner well knows, the first mark a painter makes on a canvas establishes a circular problem of artist and artwork, an endless battle of wits against one’s own subjectivity from which one can never escape (incidentally, one can’t escape this battle in any other realm of life either). Hoepfner’s quixotic task then, has been to attempt to outwit this problematic, and therefore himself, by beginning a process of removing such marks. What is left still untainted beneath the last layer of paint? What really happened last week, or the week before last? Holes in general are, in a pleasant way, provisional – an optimistic beginning. But Hoepfner is not mining to exploit buried riches, nor is he tunnelling conduits for the smooth transport of information. Sanded areas, holes or openings in the painted surface, all fulfil a common function: to deny the painted image a final resting place in one’s thoughts, hanging it in a limbo-state of permanent suspense.


Photography Dominik Friebel

Rocco Pagel

BELLE POULE

Rocco Pagel studied in Dresden at the end of the 1990s. If he hadn’t done this, his paintings would not have chalk grounds built up in many layers and sanded countless times. The painting would be a mere varnishing technique, not a layered alternation of egg tempera and oil, a fast drying method, requiring further repeated sanding. Due to the rich layers of glazes, changing light conditions allow the paintings to shimmer with a thousand nuances, just as the grey of morning shifts over a single day to the red of evening, illuminating the same scene in a thousand different ways. In the case of Rocco Pagel’s watercolours, it is a garden in the south of France planted in 1840 upon which this light falls. Here Pagel worked en plein air, immersing himself in the garden’s artful sophistication, and the exotic plants with their promises of wild and far-away lands. Here the roots of the garden grew deep into the cultural landscape as well as the French soil, and drew a distant mountain chain above the slopes of the vineyards up into a looming Kilimanjaro.
Pagel’s oil paintings are created in the studio, and here too without the use of artificial light. Pagel’s way of seeing is completely unstrictured, no fore, middle or background structure his paintings, but even so they do not disappear into complete abstraction. Instead they overflow with diverse evocations of the elements of landscape: horizon, wall, cloud, hedgerow, sea.
(December 2011)

Click here for a review of this exhibition by Jens Asthoff published in Artforum
artforum/critics’ picks

Annette Wehrmann

Opening: Friday, October 28, 2011, 5pm
Duration: October 29 – November 27, 2011
CD – Release LUFTSCHLANGENTEXTE, November 17, 8pm


Annette Wehrmann (b. 10th June Hamburg, † May 2010) was a German-speaking artist and writer. Between 1985 and 1993 she studied Fine Art at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg and the Städelschule in Frankfurt. Amongst her most well known works are the Sprengungen (1993) (literally ‘blastings’, Sprengung refers specifically to the mining of solid material with explosives), which took place in public spaces in Hamburg. Annette Wehrmann took part in a politicising of art in the 1990s, she had an active interest in forms of self-instigated action, as an organiser and participant. Annette Wehrmann died in 2010, at the same time as the exhibition “Hacking the City” was being prepared at the Museum Folkwang in Essen, in which she had been invited to take part.

Wehrmann developed a strong and singular artistic position, somewhere between sculpture and intervention. She took as starting points the methods of conceptual and action art, and combined them with the language of the Situationist International. Using cheap and ephemeral materials she assembled objects that explored critical tensions between the politics of society, theories of knowledge and important questions about art. Her work dealt with the themes of money, religion, the brain, thinking, the state, television and language. From the outset, her work was set up to confront the world around it.

As part of the BUGA (Bundesgartenschau – national garden exhibition) in Potsdam in 2001, Annette Wehrmann transformed a Soviet military watchtower into a mirrored pavilion (Der Turm, 2001). “The concept behind the BUGA suggested that the history of its location should not be completely overlooked. I have removed the core from an old watchtower, specifically I have removed the lookout platform and the stairs leading up to it, and I have converted it into a kind of hall of mirrors. Its original function pointed the opposite way, and in a strict post-Foucauldian sense, I have turned its outward-looking gaze back in on itself. This has created an illusion of unbounded space, where the borders are no longer distinguishable, where four, or rather five mirrored walls are reflected in one another. An endless space has been created, that actually only has a two by two metre floor plan.”

Annette Wehrmann’s writings include texts about art, alongside more literary work. Wehrmann gave readings of texts written on paper streamers, in which observations of everyday life became intermingled with philosophical and aesthetic questions; in this she created a kind of visual poesis in the third dimension, under the sign of art in the social context. With the project ORT DES GEGEN (‘Place of Opposition’), the artist undertook to find vacant locations within a broadly defined sense of ‘public space’, that could be charged with one’s own versions of personal resistance. “The ORT DES GEGEN describes a point of rupture for purpose-less negation, specifically for an aimless passing of time, materialised in the accumulation of waste material. It is somewhere between coming to a standstill, and a radical release. At the ORT DES GEGEN people can come together free of a sense of purpose. Normally the opposite applies, or it is absolutely not possible to do this. At the ORT DES GEGEN heaps accumulate, heaps of time and boredom, of overflow and waste” the artist wrote, by way of explanation.

One of the best known of Annette Wehrmann’s installations is Aaspa (2007), conceived for the Skulptur Projekte Münster in 2007. She erected barriers on popular walking and cycling paths along the shore of the Aasee (a landscaped artificial lake in Münster), as if in preparation for a building site. In this work the privatisation of public space, the private search for healthy restoration and happiness, and the history of utopian architecture and land art came into unsettling thematic correspondence.

Helene Appel

Opening: Friday, September 9th 2011, 5pm
Duration: September 10th – October 22nd., 2011

For her first exhibition with Dorothea Schlueter Gallery, Helene Appel will show new large format paintings. Appel’s work involves the meticulous scrutiny and depiction of objects, made complex and compelling in their isolation across otherwise raw canvas surfaces. In some recent large works fishing nets wave and shimmer with op-art like electricity, in others the tall glassy surfaces of up-ended rain-water puddles reflect back the muddy infinity of sublime and starry-eyed high abstraction. Appel’s exhibition at Dorothea Schlueter coincides with the publication of a catalogue of the artist’s work over the last five years, edited by the Mönchehaus Museum Goslar, and published by Textem Verlag, Hamburg

Rischer Alexander

Súld
Anna Gudjónsdóttir and Alexander Rischer
Painting and Photography
6th September – 12th October 2013
Opening 5th October, 18:00.

A picture-cycle by Sönnich Hinrichsen of the creation of the world adorns the gallery of a church. Photographed by Alexander Rischer, the paintings depict the Garden of Eden, the Fall from Grace, and so on. One of the images, that of genesis, seems to be scandalously inverted, the first light of day at the bottom of the picture. Was the painter a black magician? Or had he imagined the division of light from darkness as a dawn, the sun rising radiantly into the receding night?

Anna Gudjónsdóttir’s paintings can be placed shortly before this moment of elemental separation. Vortices of grey matter swirl stormily around each other, their wild and lithe turmoil anticipating the imminent division into darkness and light. Or perhaps they are swirls of fog? Is there a silhouette within them, seen yonder by a child hastening over a moor? “When the eddies of peat-smoke justle, / When the wraiths of mist whirl here and there / And wind-blown tendrils tussle, / …..When the tangled reed-beds rustle.” * (from The Boy on the Moor (Der Knabe am Moor), Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, trans. Charles Wharton Stork). In her poem, Droste-Hülshoff’s boy runs across a moor, with terrifying spirits and servants of the grave close at his heels; the awful Spinning Witch, the thieving Fiddler Knauf who stole the wedding feast, and not forgetting the damned Margaret. But he has a guardian angel and makes it to safe ground, unlike the unfortunate child that Goethe’s Erlkonig famously drags forever into his netherworld, his father denying to the end the existence of such dreaded things until, of course, it is too late.

And what lies hidden in Gudjónsdóttir’s glassy red canvases? Bloody pools? Tissue samples? Molten lava? Or more spirits, another black magician? Are they the insides of the whale where Jonah weathered the storm? In Alexander Rischer’s photographs of Jonah, the whale looks more like a Mummy’s sleeping bag, out of which Jonah conspicuously peeps, seeming to recite his evening prayer.

In this exhibition of photographs and paintings many trails are laid connecting the work of the two artists. And as a magical union the exhibition forms a two-note organ, with one pipe for each.

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Alexander RischerA selection of photographs produced by Alexander Rischer for issue 12 of the magazine Kultur & Gespenster. The photographs document Rischer’s search for the places and objects of origin that underpin different sayings and fairy tales collected and published in 1750, drawn from the areas of Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg.

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all photographs: 33 x 24 cm
link to the magazine Kultur & Gespenster

Kling & Bang

The Confected Video Archive of Kling & Bang

June 4th 2011 – July 9th 2011

Anna Hallin, Olga Bergmann, Asdis Sif Gunnarsdottir,  Asmundur Asmundsson, Berglind Agustsdottir,  Bjarni Massi, Bjarni Thor Petursson, Bryndis Björnsdottoir, Bryndis Hronn Ragnarsdottir, Curver Thoroddsen, Dodda Maggy, Eirun Sigurdarddottir, Elisabet Brynhildardottir, Emiliano Monaco, Erling Klingenberg, Gernot Faber, Gudni Gunnarsson, Gunhildur Hanksdottir, Hannes Larusson, Haraldur Jonsson, Hekla Dogg Jonsdottir, Inga Birgisdottir, Lilja Birgisdottir, Ingibjorg Magnadottir, Johannes Atli Hinriksson, Katrin I. Jonsdottir Hjordisardottir, Klangur Gunnarsson, Kolbeinn Hugi, Kristin Helga Karadottir, Kristina Adalsteinsdottir, Lina Bjorn, Loji, Magnus Sigurdarson, Malin Stahl, Monika Frycova, Olga Bergmann, Petur Orn Fridriksson, Helgi Hjattalin,  Radhildur Ingadottir, Sara Björnsdottir, Sara Gunnarsdottir, Selma Hreggvidsdottir, Sigga Björg Sigurdardottir, Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson, Sigurdur Gudjonsson, Skyr Lee Bob, Snorri Asmundsson, Thorbjorg Jonsdottir, Thorgeir Gudmundsson, Thoroddur Bjarnason, Tomas Lemarquis, Ulfur Grönvold, Una Björk Sigurdardottir, Juliette Mauduit Anna Frida Jonsdottir, Lily Erla Adamsdottir …

Since 2009 Kling & Bang Galleri from Rejkavik have been building an archive of DVDs. This June they will bring a selection from this archive to Dorothea Schlueter. The archive is compiled by the gallery out of the many projects, exhibitions and collaborations that Kling & Bang undertake, not only in their roles as hosts and curators, but also as artists in their own right. The archive contains artists’ films, videos and animations, as well as documentations of performances and much more.  Amongst others, the work shown in Dorothea Schlueter will include Kling & Bang  members and associates Hannes Lárusson, Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir, Sigurdur Gudjónsson, Kolbeinn Hugi Höskuldsson, Lilja Birgisdóttir, Inga Birgisdóttir, Monika Frycova, Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir and Erling Klingenberg.

The Kling & Bang gallery was founded by a rag tag group of artists at the beginning of 2003. Coming from a variety of different backgrounds, the group’s common goal was to challenge the context and content of creative thinking. And throughout the seven years of Kling & Bang’s existence this enthusiasm has been responsible for countless projects, exhibitions and collaborations. Of course there will be variability in terms of quality, there always is, and while too much focus may rest on the “how” and only later on the “what” this “modus operandi” has stood Kling & Bang in good stead and brought them international attention. Since 2003 they have presented work by carefully-chosen, emerging and established artists, both Icelandic and international. They have participated in a show at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, at the Berliner Liste in Berlin and at Frieze Project Frieze Art Fair in London and collaborated with such distinguished international figures as Christoph Schlingensief, Paul McCarthy, Jason Rhoades, John Bock, David Askevold, Gelitin, as well as working with a number of influential Icelandic artists.
For two years, they ran the 5,000-square-meter KlinK & BanK studio space, where some 137 artists, designers, filmmakers and musicians worked on a day-to-day basis, producing wide variety of projects, presenting on average three events per week.
As the artist-run element of the organization is vital to the group’s identity, all eight of Kling & Bang’s members are artists themselves — indeed, when applicable, the gallery volunteers to participate in the creation of artworks with the artists they invite and exhibit. Kling & Bang puts up close to a dozen exhibitions every year and they are down-and-dirty, they’re hands-on and above all “can-do”.

Nele Budelmann, Axel Loytved, Max Frisinger

 

Hundert Blätter schwarze Nudeln Afghanistan. Kimono, Kosode, Wandbehang
Opening: Friday, March 25 th 2011, 5 – 9 pm
March 26th 2011 – May 20th 2011

Nele Budelmann, Axel Loytved, Max Frisinger.
In attempting to make an exhibition of paintings by the artist Nele Budelmann, one runs immediately into difficulty. Budelmann’s paintings are large, and many in number, and they demand to be represented in something like the quantity that they are made. Budelmann’s imagery is an ongoing confusion of romantic orientalism, tempered by a critical and ironic sense of occidental folly and self-awareness. What may at first seem like the troubling fantasies of an out-dated European idea of ‘the east’, reveals itself across the span of Budelmann’s work to be an analytical acknowledgement of the disturbing attraction of cultural exoticism, and the essential ambivalence at the heart of the relationship between the individual and collective cultural forms.

As difficulty seems to be present from the outset, not only in terms of thematic complexity, but also in terms of accurately representing Nele Budelmann’s work in one exhibition, Dorothea Schlueter has invited two other artists into the gallery alongside her. These two will help Budelmann to bear the burden of her own representation, on more shoulders than hers alone.

The first of this pair is Axel Loytved, who will show small bronze objects cast from the detritus of his own trouser pockets. This perverse and neurotic manifestation of the proverbial act of ‘naval gazing’ – for what is the trouser pocket if not a ballooned and baggy displacement of the belly button? – results in a defiant and singular sculptural proposition. Rather than retreating into its own banality, the solidifying in heroic bronze of accretions of fluff, mucus-infused tissue shreds and forgotten bus tickets, prompts the realisation that the fumbled imaginings of any artist, no matter how grand the ambition, may be of as little interest to the rest of us as so much lint. Paradoxically, Loytved’s odd and formally complex delicate bronze objects capture again that very interest in their striking coral-like beauty and singularity.

Set in dialogue with Budelmann’s chorus of paintings, the balancing of opposing desires – the wish to surrender to introspective isolation on the one hand, the ambition to reach out and communicate with the outside world on the other – becomes a point of discussion between the two artists. Loytved’s renunciation of his own private imagery (whatever that may be) in favour of the accidental clumps that self-sculpt through his pockety process can seem to denounce the flamboyance of Budelmann’s paint-splattered inner life. Yet this relationship can also resolve into silent respect, the repressive compulsion behind Loytved’s objects seeming to long for and admire the chaotic release of Budelmann’s exploding creative cosmos, and vice versa. Stepping back from the apparent driving impulses of both artist, and allowing for a dimension of self-awareness in their activities, Budelmann and Loytved enable questions of locality, and the tricky nature of the interpersonal, intercultural and trans-temporal integrity of meaning to be elegantly articulated in each other’s work.

The second of the two artists invited to join Budelmann is the sculptor Max Frisinger. Frisinger will not show any of his own work, but will be responsible for the design and arrangement of the exhibition. The cool formal containment that Frisinger brings to his own sculptures, rigorous cuboids framing airy jumbles of cast-off junk, will be the organising principle along which a kind of ornamental psychogarden of Budelmann and Loytved’s work will be constructed.

Works by Nele Budelmann in this exhibition include: Business-Plan. Reptil mit sechs Schuppen. (Reptile With Six Scales) Hundert Blätter schwarze Nudeln Afghanistan. (One Hundred Leaves Black Noodles Afghanistan) Kimono, Kosode, Wandbehang. (Kimono, Kosode, Wall-hanging) Ikone. (Icon) Sechs chinesische Motive in Schwarz. (Six Chinese Motifs in Black) Paravent 1, Nudelrestaurant. (Folding Screen 1, Noodle Restaurant).

Simon Logan

Simon Logan
Five acts of mourning, and other desperate measures
February 4th – March 17th 2011

Lying on the bed, head propped up by a folded pillow, Gont tried to remember his life. It wobbled around in his thoughts, ill-defined and unspecial, ending in this small bland room in a hospital in New Prussia. An electronic arm whirred its joints and descended from an armature on the ceiling. The arm was a smooth creamy colour, with details in soft greens and blues, and held a sealed see-through plastic cup. In the bottom of the cup was a clear liquid, over this two pale yellow pills sat on a thin clear membrane. Something in the arm made a small powerful movement, and the membrane quietly popped, dropping the pills into the liquid. They quickly dissolved, leaving nothing of their yellowness behind. A movement again and the seal over the top of the cup popped too, melting into air, leaving only a faint smear round the inside rim. A screen had emerged from somewhere behind Gont’s right ear. “Please drink all the fluid”, a genderless smooth voice said, and a line-drawn animation began to play across the screen, showing the action of a genderless reclining figure taking a plastic cup from a robotic arm and drinking. Gont did as he was told, and the machinery smoothly receded. This is what my life has been, he thought. I’ve lived to die in the future.

(– from the beginning of book three of The Sapphire Fount trilogy by William Grey)

Defeated by reality, by Spain, don Quixote died in 1614 in the town of his birth. He was survived only a short time by Miguel de Cervantes.For both the dreamer and the dreamed, that entire adventure had been the clash of two worlds; the unreal world of romances and the common everyday world of the seventeenth century.

They never suspected that the years would at last smooth away the discord, never suspected that in the eyes of the future, La Mancha and Montiel and the lean figure of the Knight of Mournful Countenance would be no less poetic than the adventures of Sindbad or the vast geographies of Ariosto.

(– from Parable of Cervantes and the Quixote by Jorge Luis Borges (trans.: Andrew Hurley))

How and where does one locate oneself? Perhaps it’s going too far to say that an artist working today is like the survivor of a shipwreck washed up on the sands of the future, so instead I’ll say that an artist is like one of those unfortunate city-dwellers thrown off a bus halfway to where one wants to go, the result of a remotely taken decision to send the bus back in the opposite direction to maintain overall traffic flow. A little disorientated, and indeed irritated, one steps off. The surroundings seem familiar, one might even consider walking the rest of the way, were it not for the nagging doubt that the seemingly familiar may not quite be what or where it at first presents itself as.

Simon Logan’s drawings and sculptures are a product of this odd sense of dislocation. Dislocation from the past, and the future, experienced in a troubled and approximate present. Here different rules have to be applied. Logan has remarked that his own relationship with the history of art owes as much to faded prints of Cezanne landscapes on kitchen calendars, and drafty school classrooms with the distorted home-taped images of Robert Hughes’s Shock of the New blending with daydreams and boredom, than to any more mature and academic study of the greats. This tenuous antecedence, interwoven with early memories that distract and betray themselves, and the glassy machine of contemporary urban European life, combine as influences on Logan. Logan’s response has been to create a kind of self-determining path into image making, sometimes redolent of the tropes of high modernism – Twombly-like scribbles, the English surrealisms of Nash and abstractions of Lanyon seem to haunt different series of drawings – and at other times fragile and personal – a reconstruction of a 1950s small commercial goods vehicle that Logan’s grandfather helped to design, recurring memories of queasy yet exhilarating channel ferry crossings. Boats form themselves out of simple bedroom-style model construction techniques, crude paintwork somehow suggesting the TV fuzz of a reproduced Rothko or Still. The memory of the solace of science fiction constructs odd scale-less vessels and vehicles, the distracted improvised activity of drawing and making in the present bears witness to a lived act of immediate creative conscious description.

It is important to say that Logan is not simply a victim of sentimentality. Far from it, the collision of pasts, presents and futures are for Logan more like the interlinking rooms and passages in some kind of lyrical labyrinth of conscious life. In Logan’s case, the connection that this life has with art has as much to do with the simple fact that it is the life of an artist, as it is informed by a more considered understanding of art as a particular form of creative human living.

Logan’s work remains modest in scale, a delicate and difficult distillation of personal themes and wider subjects. At the heart of it, however, seems to lie a proposition of openness. The life of one person, the biography of the creative mind of one person, honest and flawed, as a kind of humane truth, and a petition on behalf of this quiet humane truth that could still yet be understood as universal.

I would suggest that there is a subtle distinction being made, between a received non-discursive hierarchy of judgement, and a more diverse but nonetheless discriminating active engagement with evolving thoughts, judgements and ideas. The first of these seems antithetical to Logan’s work, the second seems to be a guiding principle. Between the twin impulses of mourning and celebration, Logan constructs a tentative series of artistic gestures where apparent familiarity abuts less recognisable suggestions, structures and imagery, and a self-renewing creative process writes – draws and makes – its own life and identity. Like Gont in the above quote from William Grey’s epic sci-fi masterpiece, Logan does not want us to arrive in the future only as a place to die, but rather, like Borges’s Cervantes, to throw ahead of ourselves a more complex, if not entirely controlled, conscious living and humane aftermath.

(Text: Gethin Price)

Gudmundsdottir Gudny

Back to Nature Boys

Guðný Guðmundsdóttir and Claus Becker
Opening: Thursday, December 5th, at 6 p.m.
December 6th, 2013, to January 18th, 2014

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Fountain, tower, mill, clock, bell.

The drill for the fourth bore of the Elbe Tunnel plunges deep into the earth, devouring it. On the walls of the well shaft are stylized figures, crystals and strands of minerals.

By the entrance to the well, a ventriloquist sits with his puppet, not a robot, but rather an automaton lady of the sky, with the frame of a high-voltage electricity pylon making up her body, it could also be a hoist frame, as she towers from high above. The ventriloquist talks to himself, considering bachelor machines, while the robot lady, unfazed, surveys the world below with her prism eye.

This exhibition shows conflicting approaches to drawing that are nevertheless bolted together by a number of thematically linked bridges. Suspended, hard as glass, crystalline, and exuding cold technical precision in one place, while dreaming meditatively at the next.

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POLO

(Gudny Gudmundsdottir with Jochen Lempert)

December 9th 2010 – January 22th 2011

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A filigree of lines that look like some kind of technical drawing spider over voids, coalescing around localised deposits of pale colour. Guðny Guðmundsdóttir’s large works on paper reveal curious objects and outlines; floor plans, strands of DNA, conveyor devices for the transport of metallic ores, crystals, and less distinct matrices of description. These objects string together in floating garlands, yet their internal connections do not resolve the ambiguity of their significance.

Guðny’s sculptures, heavy looking dark brown fired clay objects, although dense and rough in direct opposition to the lightness of her drawings, share their indefinitely postponed resolution of resemblance. A horse appears to be wearing a heavy carriage harness, yet could just as easily be unfurling a pair of wings. And the possible uses of the “Werkzeuge” (Tools), odd earthy models of hand tools, stay deeply buried in un-mined seams of thought.

more images …

Galerie C&V

Another Decade of California Color: Charles Arnold & The Missing iNovember 6th – November 25th 2010

»History is very slippery when it’s such a long time ago«(Frank Lloyd, Los Angeles, May 2010)

This is a story about forgery. In November 1970 in New York the Pace Gallery held an exhibition called A Decade of California Color. A catalogue was produced to accompany the show, containing pages on each of the artists featured in the exhibition. One of these pages is devoted to an artist called Charles Arnold, and displays an example of the artist’s work. However, Charles Arnold never took part in the exhibition. The original ‘true’ participant was Charles Arnoldi: the catalogue had been re-touched to remove the “i” from the artist’s name.The missing “i” triggered the beginning of a research project by the artist group Galerie C & V, which led to a trip to Los Angeles in May 2010, in order to meet several of the artists who took part in the original Pace Gallery show.Galerie C&V’s research project forms the basis of the exhibition Another Decade of California Color at Dorothea Schlueter Gallery. The exhibition takes place on the exact date 40 years later of the original exhibition.Galerie C&V are: Alexander Mayer, Jo Zahn und Jörn Zehe.

www.the-missing-i.com