Kunstverein Wiesbaden

02 March 2008

On that which remains 2 March - 20 April 2008 James Aldridge / Holmer Feldmann / Rachel Goodyear / Falk Haberkorn / Jeon Joonho / Elena Loukianova / David A. Parker / Kei Takemura / Rebecca Wilton / Haegue Yang curated by Elke Gruhn und Katharina Klara Jung What remains when things disappear? Memory knows more than we do ourselves, it is creative, not restricted to simple impulse and data but processing and saving information along with their meaning which surges from communication with all senses and is interpreted through our feelings. Memories don't always come from experiences but also from books, movies, stories of others... What remains? Tales, traces, echoes, shadows and sometimes, something new... The large sale paper cuts CREEPING DEATH and DARK LAKE by James Aldridge lure the spectator into an eerie dream world. His bizarrely beautiful landscapes with birds, flowers and smoking skulls are made intuitively and without prior planning during the process of cutting. The motives surge from memories of heavy metal record covers and intense studies of nature. By cutting away the negative form, the process becomes inversed drawing; what is left is form, motive and space. DER BRIEFRAUM (the letter room) Holmer Feldmann calls his conceptual work in which he plans to paint a letter for every day of the 20th century. Out of a growing archive of unknown persons’ private correspondences, he works on single sequences of this time period. The meticulously detailed paintings that repeat every water stain and inkblot preserve and transport a part of the writers’ and the addressees’ / owners’ personal history and thoughts. The content’s intimacy counteracts the sublimeness with which the documents are charged by their translation into painting; by turning it into a painterly motif, what is written seems to change from personal memory into historic document. Rachel Goodyear’s small drawings on purposeless relics of the everyday combine their own stories with those of the material they are drawn upon: Old train or theatre tickets, the reverse of hurriedly scribbled notes or napkins turned to shopping lists; objects that - when found again - have a mere reminder value open up a new dimension of possible stories and associations. In the work LA DITTATURA DELLO SPETTATORE, Falk Haberkorn reflects the potential of longing in tourism: At the Piazza San Marco in Venice, he photographs tourists taking pictures. Opposite the shots of owercrowded places full of people stretching their cameras over their heads to get nearer still to their motifs hang strict and un-emotional photos of the coaches left behind on an empty parking lot on the mainland. What remains? Snapshots, an experience made through the camera lens and an abandoned bus before the city’s gates… In his animated film THE WHITE HOUSE, Korean artist Jeon Joonho is concerned with a different kind of disappearance, shows images of a virtual reality. On the backdrop of a twenty-dollar-bill with the image of the White House, a human figure moves, painting over the president’s residence’s real architectonical openings, eliminating its windows and doors. What is left is a blank white façade, sealed hermetically against both inside and surroundings. Untroubled laughter resounds from Elena Loukianova’s audio piece STÄDELGARTEN, laughter that sounds of freedom and energy. Together with the soft rustling of leaves it surges images that might come from one’s own memory, or from a film that one saw a long time ago: the sound blurs the borders between imagined and real experience. In David A. Parker’s short film LAND CLAIM, a map of an American suburb, symbol of a nature arranged by civilisation, is sucked absurdly into a hole: It distorts and crumples, then disappears completely, the earth closing smoothly over it in a humoresque, almost grotesque attempt on nature’s recapture of a mapped world. TO REMEMBER THE DAYS MORE EXACTLY is the title of Kei Takemura’s work consisting of an almost transparent fabric on which fine needle stitches trace a room’s contours like an afterimage. The room is the flat of the artist’s late grandmother. Having next to no memories of it herself, Kei Takemura reconstructs the lifeworld of a beloved person through the stories told by her relatives, concentrates the recollections of many on a veil that almost appears as though it was a mere memory itself. With her photographs of historic places, Rebecca Wilton bears testimony of the past, of the social life that once accounted for the place. The eye meets a young woman – the artist herself – in the middle of those former cultural and social environments. Her clothing is stereotype and connected to the places’ original purpose. In the imitation of that which can be imagined from the past lies an expanding melancholy: by sensitively approaching what is lost, Wilton grows away from herself, loses her identity in the impossibility of inhabiting the past. In the installation BLACK CABINET of Hague Yang, a flowing light piece out of light bulbs stringed from ceiling to floor plunges the space into an atmospheric twilight. An A4-sized dia projection reduced communication to the silent ritual of sending faxes without written notes. The messages are replaced by the traces left by the mechanical transmission. Next to it, the WHATEVER BEINGS translate the Din-format into sculpture and thus ad absurdum. On COVE, imprints and traces in clouds of black paint have been caught by the paper during a different work’s production. The black of the BLACK CABINET marks an attendance in simultaneous absence; a presence is perceptible, yet it remains hidden like the messages that might have filled the fax machine’s blank pages.

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