McCarthy life’s work, which he has been creating since the 1960’s, was inspired by “primal themes” in American society and is characterized by irony, unmasking and the grotesque, as well as a complex nexus of interaction between media and materials. He makes use of Disneyland, comics, Hollywood and set pieces from art history. In his content-packed performances – which strain the limits of endurance – conceptual art, action painting, surrealism and minimalism seem to shift space. McCarthy introduces moments of the uncanny, of dislocation in space or masquerade, a situation that is reflected in the almost stage-like, three-dimensional collage “The Box” (1999): an oversized wooden box, into which McCarthy has built his entire studio, i.e. the setting for his creativity and the production of his artworks. The installation appears outwardly to be an inconspicuously simple trunk, yet inside a stunning variety of things that reference not only McCarthy himself, but his extensive creations from the beginning of his career to the present as well. The box with over 3,000 fixed objects from his studio – tables, equipment, tools or boxes – is tilted 90 degrees. Due to the rotation, it becomes an almost surreal spatial experience. This ties into McCarthy’s radical performance art and opens up new perspectives on the creative space.
As the single work exhibited in the expansive hall, “The Box” is granted particular significance. The narrowness of the studio – the private space – meets the expansiveness of the surrounding – the public space. At the same time, this artwork relates to the collection housed in the Neue Nationalgalerie, which is exhibited in the basement. Specific points of connection can be found to the cultural assemblage from the 1960’s exhibited here (Daniel Spoerris “Snare-picture”) or Bruce Nauman‘s early studio videos (“Bouncing in the Corner”). The view into the studio, a constantly recurring theme by modern artists, is in this version by Paul McCarthy the portrait of an unsparing artist who is willing to reveal everything.
Birgit Brenner’s works set in where the banalities of everyday life begin: unemployment, loneliness, status symbols and social decline or the fear of aging are topics that recur continually in her room-filling installations. With everyday situations the artist addresses very familiar societal fears in scenes that take place in inner monologues of the protagonists or between couples. What do we believe in today? Do prayers help or rather a plastic surgeon?
The cinematically told stories are spread like fragmented stage directions also over her expansive collages which she develops out of the installative works in a space and condenses in the two-dimensionality of the collage to a sequence, a multi-cross-faded still. By the means of drawings, photography and text, Birgit Brenner not only assembles diverse media on one surface, but also multiple realities as quickly-sketched pictures of the monotony of daily life up to the collapse. The works appear nearly overloaded, pieced up from fragments that don’t seem to match at first sight but still they tell a story that the viewer can decipher in a different way time and again deprived of any hints to the identities of the protagonists.
The magnitude of information one is simultaneously bombarded with thanks to the means of modern technology is both a blessing and a curse for Birgit Brenner. A blessing, because one gets immediate access to the desired information, a curse because one can neither filter nor proceed the lot. This may lead to a lack of empathy, exhaustion or the possibility of manipulation through the generation of fear.
Birgit Brenner addresses this issue with the principle of collage, in which most diverse pieces and parts of information randomly concur, overlap, cover or complete one another. In Brenner’s collages this happens using raw materials such as brown cardboard, tape, staples and markers.
The scenes of everyday life Birgit Brenner has worked into the collages in her current exhibition “Alles auf Anfang. Bitte.” (All back to start. Please.”) turn around gold chains, tuned up cars with sports rims to the packaging of hormonal drugs prescribed against anxiety: Plain and cynical short stories about the human existence in its most trivial states.
10 May 2012 – 15 June 2012
A small, nondescript detail catches our eye; arrests us momentarily. Caught up in the moment, we stand and gaze at the scene or the image. But which fragment is it, and why? In the exhibition Detail, Florian Japp, Madeline Stillwell and Peter Truschner show which moments of their perception influence their practice. Installations, collages and photographs explore how the fragmentary and fleeting reflects a wider reality.
Florian Japp (born 1971) likes to tease. Taking Franz West as his starting point, he constructs obviously non-functional large-scale sculptures in acid shades of bright. While associations with the gym (nets, balls, ropes, poles) are intended to frame the piece, these remain fragmentary. The viewer is left bemused, caught trying to imbue the pieces with functionality, but losing himself in the artist’s puzzle. The action of the pieces is thus restricted to the imagination, and one is left meandering in a slightly malfunctioning parallel universe.
Peter Truschner’s (born 1967) photographs resemble film stills with highly-saturated colours and seemingly casual compositions, fragments excised from a much grander narrative. Truschner is a highly-regarded author, and his flair for the narrative spills over into his photographic practice. His focus is on the quietly grotesque: butchered carcasses contrast with the harmonious assemblage of a mid-day meal, the restful repose of a trader among the cluttered debris of the street. In the series Glue Trushner investigates the images come together with the personal experiences and associations of the viewer to form the delicate web which unites the depicted narratives.
Madeline Stillwell’s (born 1978) delicate collages take their life from sculptural remnants of city detritus. Decoupages taken from fragmental photographs of decaying machinery, rusting shutters or derelict outbuildings, their colours softened through wind and exposure, resemble fantastical machines. Objects are thus re-infused with life, but removed from representation, their origins no longer apparent. Stillwell thus hints at a wider reality, but leaves the viewer caught between the work’s constitutive elements and the alternative reality they suggest.
The exhibition runs from 6th April to May 26th.
Text source: http://galerie-open.net/exhibition/view/2306
‘Doctor, Doctor Every Night I Dream Your Investigation My Notion’, Wil Murray @ Sur la Montagne, March 22nd, 2012
Wil Murray about his work in this exhibition @ SlaM: „I make two things at once: a painting that leaves through the studio door, and another that travels down wires and through the air. To never meet again. They participate in completely different narratives, torn apart and raised up by proud nails, drunken revelers, and teenaged bloggers.
The camera and the loom were always part of the act. They were just off stage until now. I erased the syllables of can-vas by weaving and the sound of re-pro-duc-tion by exposing film. Neither need be spoken anymore… the awful quotation marks around the word “painter” took care of that.
I have been called the Hooters of painting. I always thought I was the Brad Dourif. Potato potato. In this show you’ll get it all.“
Text source: http://www.surlamontagne.de/Archiv.html